Not All Bamboo Is Created Equal



EPA Headquarters

As the designer and developer of all Teragren products, we seek perfection in what we bring to market. We rigorously specify that Teragren products have an impressive environmental pedigree that takes into consideration the health of our planet, as well as human health and the health of your home. We invest in high quality materials that produce a high quality product, and we back it up with a 25 year residential/10 year commercial finish and Lifetime Structural warranties. Many resellers of bamboo products in North America today do not know where their products came from, or how they were made, meaning that you're getting a product with price as the driving force, rather than value. Teragren provides value, because you can trust we have made decisions every step of the way with you in mind, and because our products are designed to last for generations.

  • arrow The Teragren Difference
    • Positioned to do things right

      As the manufacturer of all Teragren products, we are in the best position to provide you with high-quality, high-performance bamboo flooring, panels, veneer and worktops/table tops that you will enjoy living with in your home or business. More than 15 years of bamboo flooring manufacturing experience guides us in every step of the process from product specifications to distribution. The bamboo stalks we use are the right species, age and density to make strong, beautiful products that last. The farmers who cultivate and care for the bamboo are paid a fair price. Our products are independently tested on a regular basis, and our factories are ISO 9001:2000 and 14001-certified.


      All of our floors have been tested for 78 VOCs and are FloorScore® certified, one of the most stringent environmental standards worldwide. All of our panels and select veneer are SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold-certified, a standard than ensures that individual VOCs in the bamboo and adhesive do not exceed one-half the defined CREL threshold. And we can easily provide design and building professionals with the documentation they need. These detailed efforts ensure that we do our job, because when we perform at the highest levels, so do our products.


  • arrow Optimum 5.5 Moso Bamboo
    • Optimum 5.5® Moso bamboo, a Teragren exclusive

      For our bamboo products, we specify only Teragren Optimum 5.5 Moso bamboo grown in the Zhejiang province of China. There are more than 1,500 species of bamboo and moso (Phyllostachys pubescens) is among the hardest, with dense fibers that make for strong timber and beautiful, durable bamboo flooring, panels and veneer. Bamboo has greater compressive strength than concrete and about the same strength-to-weight ratio as steel in tension. But it doesn't start out that way. To achieve the characteristics valued in construction material, it must be harvested at the right time, between 5-1/2 and 6 years.


      Even fast-growing bamboo needs time to mature

      Like all bamboo, each culm grows rapidly from a rhizome. Moso has been known to grow 47 inches in 24 hours, but it generally reaches its maximum height of 80 feet within just two months. After that, growth occurs within the stalk. The walls of the hollow culm thicken inward as chlorophyll, sugar and organic material are changed into dense, fibrous cellulose. It is these reinforced but lightweight internodes that provide tremendous strength with flexibility along the entire length of the bamboo culm.

      Young shoots of moso are so tender that they can be harvested as a culinary delicacy (for humans, not panda bears). One-year-old culms are still soft and can be used to make fine calligraphy paper. At four years of age, fiber development in the culm is more appropriate for pulp and paper manufacturing than bamboo flooring.

      When the bamboo reaches maturity at 5-1/2 to 6 years, its fibers are at peak density—and it's time to harvest. By using only Optimum 5.5 Moso bamboo harvested in this way, Teragren ensures that our products are harder and more stable for lasting beauty and performance.


      Hardness measured by the Janka ball test

      The hardness of bamboo that is key to durability is established by the Janka ball test. The Janka ball test measures the force required to embed in the wood a .444-inch steel ball to a depth of half the ball's diameter. Teragren Signature Naturals flooring averages a Janka rating of 1921. By comparison, white oak registers 1360, North American maple, 1450. Teragren Synergy™ and Portfolio strand bamboo flooring with Xcora™ technology, made with our optimized manufacturing process, is rated at 3271. (View hardwood hardness comparison chart.)

      Bamboo is more resistant to moisture than hardwoods. In products like bamboo flooring, that means less contraction and expansion with changes in moisture—during installation and throughout the life of the floor, even in humid or dry climates.

      Moso bamboo timber has been used in construction for thousands of years. In Asia, homes, bridges and multi-story scaffolding are made of moso timber. In South American earthquake zones, bamboo has been used to build thousands of homes because its flexural strength helps the homes withstand temblors. Plywood made from moso performs well as flooring for truck beds, trains and containers. Other uses of moso bamboo include furniture, beds, mats, chopsticks, baskets, musical instruments and handicrafts.


  • arrow Manufacturing in China
    • Tackling quality assurance together

      Our most important ally in our efforts to make quality bamboo products responsibly is the single factory group with which we have worked for more than a decade. Headquartered in the Zhejiang province of China, our partner maintains our strict, environmentally conscious standards day in and day out. Teragren president Mike Boshart and vice president of manufacturing and operations Tom Goodham frequently visit the factories for ongoing product development, quality assurance and to monitor working conditions. The factory group is certified ISO 9001:2000 and 14001 with 11 quality-control inspection stations in the production process plus a quality control engineer performing spot checks.


  • arrow Moisture Control
    • As with all hardwood, moisture content is key to avoiding problems such as warping or cupping after installation.

      Our ultimate goal is for Teragren products to arrive at the job site with a delivered moisture content of approximately 6 to 9 percent. Teragren incorporates moisture-control measures in the manufacturing process. Slats are kiln-dried before lamination. Flooring planks are stored in a unique humidity-controlled warehouse for two weeks before milling. By contrast, other factories may leave planks in rooms open to the outside air for only 24 hours; as a result, their flooring is less stable.


      The last moisture-balancing step must be taken after the product is delivered to the job site. Always allow the flooring to acclimate in the room where it will be installed before installation to ensure performance.* See individual installation guidelines for more details.


      *Does not apply to Studio and Synergy® floating floors.