How to Use a Bamboo Reducer

June 10, 2011 in Bamboo Flooring Trim and Accessories Tutorial

Congratulations! You’ve installed your new Plyboo bamboo floor.  But how will you transition between the vinyl floor in the kitchen and the bamboo floor in your dining room?

With a reducer!

A reducer offers a clean transition to a different type of flooring.  A standard reducer, which is sometimes called a flush reducer or a one sided reducer, is usually used to transition the floor to ceramic, some other type of tile, or ceramic floor. Occasional cosmetic uses, however, can include improving the look of a floor that would but into a fireplace or like fixture.

Pictured above, Durapalm reducer in coconut palm.

In addition to standard reducers, Smith&Fong Co. offers several other types of trim to suit your needs. For example, if the floor needs to transition to a lower floor, try our overlap threshold.

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.

Spring in the Bamboo Forest

April 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

There’s such magic at this time of year that cannot be ignored. The days grow longer, life springs up all around us at lightning speed, and undeniably, we feel more connected to each other and everything around us. Very recently, Dan Smith, of Smith&Fong, spent a few weeks enjoying the awe-inspiring splendor of the bamboo forrest. The following account is from Dan’s experience of the sights and sounds in China:

Spring is a very special time all over the world and no less so then in a timber bamboo forest in China. Spring expresses itself most profoundly with the shooting of the bamboo in late March. Shooting is one of the most miraculous aspects of a bamboo forest. This is the period when bamboo does its most rapid growing. A shoot can come out of the grown at 6” to 7” in diameter and reach full height in 50 to 60 days. At top speed, bamboo has been clocked at an inch an hour over a 24 hour period. This is also a time when bamboo culm harvesting is limited as well as entry into the forest itself creating a temporary shortage in supply. To get through this period manufacturer’s typically stock up before the Chinese new year and this allows them to keep production flowing through this time of shortage. Here are a few shots from my recent trip to the forest.

Maozhu (moso bamboo) shooting in spring.

Bamboo forest in spring. The yellow bamboo is the new growth that shoots in the spring from late march to late June.

Freshly cut crown section remains from culm harvest. A culm can be taken down with as few as 3 to five swings of a bamboo forester’s machete. Typically the diaphragm, the inner seal of the bamboo culm is tapped with the machete or bamboo knife to create a puncture that allows the decomposition process to progress more rapidly, nourishing the bamboo rhizome system to support next years’ growth.

A year old crown section working its way to full decomposition in the bamboo forest.

A shoot just breaking the surface. This one was later harvested for our lunch. Shoot harvesting is pretty much over by mid-March and so this lunch shoot, constituted a late harvest. A week later there would be no further harvesting of shoots until the fall season.

Maozhu, or moso bamboo forest in spring. Bamboo forests in Hunan, Fujian, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces take up vast areas of mountainous lands providing both a food source as well as a raw material source to fuel many different bamboo industries including our own, bamboo plywood and flooring.

Wear marks in the stone pathway from many years of dragging Maozhu culms down the mountain to the weigh station for sale.

Mountain path in bamboo forest in spring

Bamboo forest in spring.

Weather shelter for bamboo foresters during both monsoon summer months and cold winter days when temps can drop into the 20s (Fahrenheit).

Lao Tu, is an old friend whom I have know for more than an 15 years. He is a retired bamboo weigh man for this forest. Everyone here knows him, as he has been a fixture for more than 60 years. We have climbed these mountains, cut culms, hunting for shoots together and in previous years have done some famous drinking of the locally distilled baijiu or Chinese vodka.

There are many facets and subtleties of the bamboo forest. The seasons, harvesting techniques, working a living from the land, even the people of these mountains have their secrets shared only over time, plied with much good local food, spirit and friendship.


The Plyboo Difference = NO ADDED UREA FORMALDEHYDE, Period.

March 15, 2011 in FAQ series

If you’ve given any thought to green building, you probably already know there’s so much information to sift though to make and informed decision. Here’s an infographic to explain what makes Plyboo different along with a few things to consider in the floor buying process.
Click image to enlarge

To buy flooring with Smith&Fong Plyboo now, click here.

Green building products popular for college construction projects

June 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Perhaps nowhere else has the green-building movement achieved more traction than in institutional construction projects on university campuses. According to green-building consultant Jerry Yudelson, principal of Yudelson Associates and author of 12 green-building books, U.S. campuses now account for about 15 percent of the total LEED projects in the country.

Architects working in the institutional segment are on the lookout for sustainable, environmentally healthy building products, and bamboo fits the bill in many ways. It’s not only rapidly renewable; Smith & Fong’s
UCSFmedicallibrary Plyboo bamboo and palm plywood and flooring products are urea formaldehyde-free and meet both CARB Phase II and LEED IEQc4.4. indoor air quality standards. And Smith & Fong obtained the very first non-wood FSC-certification on the planet for its bamboo resource and manufacturing operations.

“With some of the brightest minds in the sustainability movement studying and teaching at North American universities, it’s no wonder the facilities are being designed with that in mind,” Smith & Fong president and founder Dan Smith said. Aside from prominent installations at Yale, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Syracuse University, the company has seen recent projects using Plyboo and/or Durapalm products at Amherst College, University of Oregon and Vanderbilt as well.