Archive for February, 2012

Butterstick don’t eat this stuff!

Our friend Tai Shan, the native son of D.C.  also known as Butterstick to us D.C. folks loves to eat bamboo.


But I would not have him eat this bamboo.

Fossilized Bamboo from Cali Bamboo

Bamboo is a great hardwood alternative for flooring.  It is technically a grass.  Like other grasses, it grows fast, in fact it’s been reported to grow 39 inches in a 24 hour period.  It grows to full height within 3-4 month then it spends the next 5 years to harden and mature.   Bamboo used for construction is typically harvested between 4-7 years.

We love bamboo for several reasons:

1. Sustainability: With its speedy growth rate, bamboo forests can be regrown every few years unlike trees

2. Its looks: We like the natural patterns and lines of bamboo flooring

3. It’s hardness: Typical bamboo flooring, provided it is not harvested too early, is comparable in hardness with red oak.

Many flooring contractors complain about how easy it is to scratch bamboo or that it feels soft.  I think people just don’t really go and scratch other hardwood floors to see how easy it is to scratch those too.

However, I believe hardness will not be an issue here.

The hardness of a wood species is scored by Janka units.  The Bamboo we purchased from Cali Bamboo today registered 5103 on the Janka rating which beats out every hardwood out there.  It is a “stranded” bamboo, which means instead of gluing strips of bamboo together, they glue and press together much smaller, thinner pieces of bamboo together creating a bamboo floor that is extremely dense and hard….and super heavy too.  (We moved some ourselves but quickly gave up).  Prior to ordering, we did a scratch test, with a regular bamboo or a regular hardwood floor, it really isn’t too hard to scratch with your finger nail if you press hard enough.  We really could not scratch this stuff!  So, Butterstick, don’t eat this stuff!





Wow, how time flies?  It’s been a couple weeks since our last posting.  We were finally able to make some progress in the last week.

We passed our insulation inspection.  I have to say here it took us two tries.  Who’d thunk it?  Apparently, some of our ESR reports on EPS foam were expired and we needed to do some more fire blocking.  Well, it wasn’t hard but still funny to have failed insulation inspection once when we have more than twice the R-value required.

So, we were able to install drywall.  The process took just two days.  A huge change seem to have occurred in the drywall world.  None of the supply houses around here carry regular drywall.  The only 1/2″ drywall I could find were Ultralight.  They weight about 30% less than regular drywall.  Here’s some information about it.

I tried lifting a 4′ x 12′.  It really wasn’t too bad.  I think the lighter weight is definitely beneficial in terms of shipping costs, installation speed and better for the backs of the workers, especially when installing ceilings.  

With drywall up, it is much easier for me to visualize the final product.

Living Room


Master Bedroom



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