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  • What You Need to Know Before You Buy Bamboo Products

    Who does the company’s buying?

    Before buying bamboo products, it is very important to determine whether a company you are considering buying from is an importer or a manufacturer. An importer will buy from any factory or broker that has the best price that day, this style of business rarely ends well for the consumer if the importer does not know or care what he is buying for you. The other result of this is that there are no two shipments of products that are alike and you may never be able to find the actual manufacturer if you have a problem in the future. There are also companies that exist only on the internet and have no physical location or showroom; this allows them to operate with no system of accountability. They may be offer amazing prices, but they may also be “here today and gone tomorrow”.  Many smaller or new companies exist also operate with offshore addresses and are shipping all sorts of products to the U.S. through “trading houses” in Asia; this usually will not end well for the consumer. The consumer should always be aware of the quality of what they are purchasing. It is important for any consumer to know that there is a great variance in consistency in what is be harvested for raw material, in the actual hardness of the material, the coloring will vary, in the quality of the milling from shipment to shipment and companies business practices

    Higuera Hardwoods is proud to say that we do not operate this way, and we stand behind our products

    Bamboo Grading or Rating System:

    Since bamboo is not a traditional hardwood, there are no official U.S. or international grading system for bamboo products and many companies manipulate this loop hole.  While hardwood companies use a common system to rate their product (#1 Common, Select, etc.), a rating system like this does not exist for bamboo products, which can make it difficult to determine what consumers are really purchasing. Bamboo products may “all look alike,” but the products and the companies providing them may not be what you perceive them to be. With pricing on the market varying from $1.99 to $8.99 per square foot for bamboo flooring it is important to consider factors aside from price when purchasing bamboo products from the different companies. There are some companies that spend a great deal of money “marketing” themselves as having the “best” bamboo  and they charge a great deal of money for the products, think about it who has to pay for that advertising? You do. Higuera Hardwoods does not advertise in all the nationwide publications, buy spots on television or do promotions touting ourselves as the “best”, we simply allow our distributors, retailers and customers to do what we cannot buy a happy customer.

    There are several key factors to consider when choosing bamboo products:

    (A) Companies reputation

    (B) Raw material sources

    (c)  Kiln drying material

    (D) Color selecting

    (D) Laminating process and adhesives

    (E) Milling quality

    These are only just a few stages that MUST be right to offer a quality product

    How hard is the bamboo product?

    Bamboo products can be as soft as fir and harder than oaks depending on what species are being used and also at what age and region the raw material is being harvested. For instance, Higuera Hardwoods solid bamboo products are on the average more than 25% harder than a red oak and 12% harder than North American maple. This is due to our consistent requirement that the Moso species bamboo we utilize is harvested only at maturity between 5 to 6 years of age from the mountain regions only. When bamboo is younger or less mature (harvested at 3 years or less), it is much less expensive, but also much softer and is quite a bit less stable.

    What kind of finish is used on the products?

    There are many different quality levels for floor finish coatings on bamboo flooring. Most companies offer products with 3 to 6 layers of finish and will use a polyurethane-only finish, this is a much less expensive way to do manufacture the product and it is much less durable then a finish coating containing aluminum oxide. Higuera Hardwoods flooring finish coatings utilize seven coats of finish all with an aluminum oxide additive in the polyurethane finish.

    What is the formaldehyde level in the adhesive?

    It is important to be aware of the level of formaldehyde in the adhesive used to laminate the bamboo strips together because high formaldehyde levels can negate the environmental advantages of using bamboo and it is also a well-known cancer causing carcinogen. Higuera Hardwoods bamboo products have formaldehyde levels that are much lower than what OSHA USA standards and meet or exceed EU (European Union) standards, which are more stringent that US regulations. This raises the price of our products because higher formaldehyde adhesives are less expensive than those with lower levels, but we fill it is worth it and not an area where we will cut corners on our manufacturing process.

    Do all bamboo flooring qualify for LEED® credits?

    Companies can qualify for LEED credits by providing documentation on the bamboo itself and the binding adhesive used in the manufacturing process and by using our FSC approved bamboo material.

    How readily available are the bamboo products?

    Higuera Hardwoods stocks a large inventory in our main Washington State distribution facility to ensure that orders are shipped out to you within 24 hours. Higuera Hardwoods ship nationwide through FedEx and trucking freight lines daily

    What coordinating bamboo accessories are available?

    Higuera Hardwoods U.S. distribution facility is located in Washington State. We maintain an inventory of 150,000 to 200,000 square feet of flooring, 30,000 mouldings and 1000's of sheets bamboo panels and veneers which are ready to ship within 24 hrs

    Higuera Hardwoods offers not only bamboo flooring but also a full array of coordinating products.

     • FSC Bamboo flooring in Strand Woven, Solid, Engineered, Hand scrapped and other stained products.

     • FSC Bamboo panels, veneers, countertops,

     •Stair Parts—Bamboo Handrails and stair systems for your home or business.

     •Vent/Mouldings—Bamboo Vents, Pre-finished and unfinished mouldings, and more.

     •And Many Other Bamboo Products

    Most retailers often attempt to match products from several different bamboo companies, mainly because very few companies offer complete product lines, the results are often disappointing.

    Higuera Hardwoods offers not only bamboo flooring but also a full array of coordinating products including stair parts, moldings, vents, plywood panels and veneer.