Why Install a Bamboo Baseboard

May 31, 2011 in Bamboo Flooring Trim and Accessories Tutorial, Uncategorized

You’ve done heaps of research on the merits of bamboo floors, and now it’s time to install. Of course, there are always things that haven’t been accounted for… things like flooring accessories, or simply, trim.

Why do you need trim?
Trim can be used to give a decorative element, protect the walls, cover the expansion gap between the floor and the wall, or to add a finishing touch to your intended flooring look. Some types of Trim offered at Smith&Fong Co. include: stair nosing, reducers, t-molding, baseboards, base shoes, thresholds, and stair steps.

This post is focused on the baseboard.  Baseboards are an easy way to add an expressive touch to any room in addition to its utilitarian uses.  Baseboards are know by several names such as, skirting boards, skirting, mopboards, floor moulding, or base moulding.  It’s generally used to cover the perimeter between the floor and the wall.  However, it also protects the wall from kicks, damage from furniture, and abrasion.

Pictured above: Plyboo’s Edge Grain Baseboard

As previously mentioned, using a baseboard covers the expansion gap between the floor and the wall.  If you’re installing the floor yourself, be mindful not to install the floor directly against the wall.  You’ll need an expansion gap for the floor to expand or your flooring may suffer “buckling,” when the planks lift upwards from the floor because there is no room to expand.  Buckling will be addressed later in our Maintenance Series.

Illustration of a baseboard covering the expansion gap.

Smith&Fong Co. offers baseboards for its Plyboo and Durapalm products.  To learn more, visit PlybooDirect.

Sugar Deco Palm Installation in Florida

May 24, 2011 in Installations

Newsome Law Firm of Orlando, Florida completed an installation using our Durapalm® brand Deco Palm Flooring and Deco Palm Plywood for the reception desk and a few wall portions.  The photographs were taken by Tracy Hougham.

Company Pictured:
Newsome Law Firm
201 S. Orange Ave., Suite 1500
Orlando, FL 32801

201 S. Orange Ave., Suite 940
Orlando, FL 32801

Plyboo Maintenance Series: How to Prevent Cupping

May 23, 2011 in FAQ series, Maintenance Series

Illustration of a cupped floor. Cupping is the accurate description for this particular type of “warping.”

No one wants a “warped floor,” and with these easy-to-follow tips, your floor will stand the test of time.  Any upward facing warping or bowing of the material is best described in the flooring industry as cupping.  Let me tell you, it’s not a pleasant experience nor is it the sort of thing you’d want to happen to you.  We’ll definitely address several areas in this piece, but first, let’s start simply with:

1. What is cupping?

Image: healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cupping is when wood, bamboo, or any other similar timber product takes on a curved shape.  This is most commonly caused by moisture.  The moisture can come from several sources.  Common sources of Moisture include:

  • Uncured concrete subfloors
  • Poor drainage
  • Concrete patch or leveler that hasn’t dried
  • Building leaks, leaks at doors or windows, and leaking appliances
  • Cleaning with water (i.e. wet-mopping)

Although the reason for cupping is moisture related, some floors can cup due to extremely dry conditions.  In this case, it’s helpful to know what’s going on with the relative humidity of your location. Anything under 20% is very dry and humidification is suggested in such conditions.

2. How to Prevent Cupping

Image: joannawnuk / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Try these tools and processes to stop cupping in its tracks:

  • The manufacturer’s installation information
  • Using moisture meters
  • Using moisture testing kits (Such as Calcium Chloride)
  • Administering a complete site inspection and review
  • Allowing all wet materials such as concrete, concrete patch, and concrete leveler to fully cure before installing
  • Reviewing maintenance procedures and avoiding wet mopping the floor
  • Installing the floor last on the project to avoid damage or exposure to water during construction

3. Repairing a Cupped Floor

Image: Patou / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So you’ve found this blog a little too late and want to know how to remedy the situation.  The advice taken from National Wood Flooring Association (NFWA) is to “never attempt to repair a cupped floor until all of the sources of excessive moisture have been [eliminated].”  You will need a moisture meter to perform readings on the subfloor under the affected bamboo, palm, or wooden floor.

If the wood isn’t permanently damaged, the flooring should eventually return to it’s original state.  Keep in mind, that this could take weeks or even months.  If the floor does not return to normal after an entire heating season, it is most likely permanently damaged.  You can sand off the cupped edges on the permanently deformed boards, but first check that they are completely dry.  Take a moisture reading on the flooring itself.  If you find there’s a gradient of 1% or more between the top and the bottom of the boards, they probably haven’t finished drying.

Illustration of a cupped floor after sanding prematurely.  This situation is called “crowning.” Always see that the floor is dry before attempting to sand off the edges.

Information taken from National Wood Flooring Association.

Plyboo in the Big Easy: 2011 AIA

May 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Angus Stocks of Smith&Fong Co. was the envy of the office last week as he spent his days in steamy New Orleans for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2011 Convention.  Plyboo had a booth at the highly anticipated show in collaboration with our Southern affiliates.  It was a high energy event and one to remember. (All photos by: Sergei Hasegawa)

Smith&Fong Co. Booth at the AIA show after setup.

This close-up shot really details the Deco Palm Flooring.  The cabinetry in the shot is made with our Durapalm product.

Here’s a clearer view of what guest saw at the show when walking by.  You can see that the venue was massive!  Of course, this picture was taken before the madness began… the calm before the awesome.

Here’s a close up of a cabinet made with Plyboo’s edge grain bamboo plywood and next to it, you can see large samples of the product, including the Deco Palm plywood.  Notice the feeling of depth it gives.

Plyboo Bamboo and Schmitt Designs

May 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s been an exciting week for Plyboo as we’ve had the honor to see some very familiar material on Design Milk. Brian Schmitt of Schmitt Design had his wall clocks and mobiles featured on the wildly popular design blog recently.  If you didn’t catch the beautiful work there or on our Facebook page, here it is again.


Would you like to learn more about Brian’s wall clocks, mobiles, and lighting?  Here’s a video Brian made a couple of years ago highlighting his design process.

behind the scenes with Brian Schmitt from Brian Schmitt on Vimeo.

Thanks, Brian!