Whether you’re interested in purchasing bamboo floors or already have them installed in your space, you may be interested in finding out more about the warranties and how they work. You’ll want to have a general understanding of what bamboo flooring warranty cover and what to look out for.
In general, every bamboo flooring manufacturer provides some form of warranty for their flooring products. Ranging anywhere from 15 years to the lifetime of the floors, and covering everything from the flooring structure to the wear and finish, warranties for bamboo floors can help to replace or repair the floors should an unforeseen event occur.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that there are plenty of exceptions and there are a number of events that can take place that will completely null and void your warranty. It is important to know these exceptions and understand what your warranty covers should you feel you need to make a claim.
We’ve taken the time to review the warranty documents for some of the top bamboo flooring brands, and in this article, we’re going to share information related to where to find the coverage information, we’ll talk about what is typically covered and for how long, and we’ll go over the primary exceptions that most manufacturers include in their coverage.
Before moving forward, it is important to note that this is our best attempt at consolidating all of the information you need to have a general understanding. By no means should you use this as your final resource if a claim is needed. If you have or are planning on installing bamboo floors, find your specific manufacturer’s warranty terms and conditions to understand what is covered and how to make a claim.
Because this information can be hard to come by or difficult to understand, we’ll do our best to simplify language that can often be relatively complex and/or vague.
The 2 primary Bamboo Flooring warranty types
Before moving into some of the things you should be looking out for, it is important to know the different types of warranties and what they’re meant for. While this may vary slightly by manufacturer, there are generally two types of warranties for bamboo flooring : structural warranties and finish and wear warranties.
In general, manufacturers will cover the repairing and replacement of the floors should you qualify. However, your warranty typically does not replace the initial labor costs to install your floors.
1. Structural warranty
A structural warranty typically covers defects caused by the manufacturer during the manufacturing process. Some of the defects can be caused by improper milling, improper or uneven staining, and even an incorrect assembly.
One example of this is, when thinking of engineered bamboo floors, if you find that the wear/top layer (sometimes strand woven bamboo) is improperly adhered to the base layer, this may be enough to file a claim. In addition, if you follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer and there are defects like cracks or warping present in the bamboo planks, this may be a proper reason to activate your warranty.
2. Finish and wear warranty
Often with bamboo floors, manufacturers use a polyurethane or aluminum oxide coating to finish the floors. Finish and wear warranty covers damage specifically related to the finish of bamboo floors.
If there is significant damage to the finish of the flooring and they have been installed properly and maintained using the proper care and maintenance guidelines, you should be able to submit a claim (depending on the coverage).
Length of Bamboo Flooring Warranty
The length of your warranty is typically the differentiating factor when comparing bamboo flooring manufacturers and brands. While the type of coverage offered by most brands is fairly similar, you will find that there is quite a large gap between the least amount of years offered versus the highest number.
To help with understanding how wide the gap can be, we researched the warranty coverage of some of the most popular brands and aggregated them in a table to show some of the different types of coverage that is available. Keep in mind, this is the most up-to-date information that we found as of the day of this writing.
This list is solely an example of what some of the brands offer and is not an exhaustive list. While we intend to keep this information as current as possible, you’ll want to do a quick check of the manufacturer’s website to ensure you are getting the most accurate information.
14 warranty exceptions you need to know
While it may be simple to take the summarized version of the warranty coverage that is included on the outside of the packaging as a good guide, there are plenty of exceptions and reasons why your warranty can be made null or void.
To help with understanding what to look out for when shopping and before installation, we put together a list of the most common exceptions that bamboo flooring brands list on their warranty documentation. There may be some in addition to what is being provided, but the exceptions below were explicitly spelled out for almost all of the top bamboo flooring brands we researched.
1. Must adhere to assembly instructions if provided
In many cases we found that, in addition to the warranty information, there were many brands that included the assembly and installation instructions with the warranty documentation.
From the way the floors are installed to the way you let your floors acclimate before the installation, if even one step is missed or overlooked, the manufacturer may claim that the floors were installed incorrectly or not in accordance with the installation instructions provided.
2. Must meet certain care and maintenance guidelines, if provided
In addition to the installation instructions, you will also find maintenance and care guidelines that can range from very lenient to very strict. We found that nearly all manufacturers detailed some form of care instructions that are meant to help extend the life of your floors.
If you have already installed your floors, you’ll want to adhere to these guidelines before seeking advice from a different source.
3. Accidents, misuse, etc.
While this may seem like a very broad exception, some manufacturers provide very clear examples of what can be classified as an accident or misuse that can lead to damage caused by the owner.
One of the examples given is when there is damage created by moving appliances and/or furniture. Many warranties do not cover damage caused by moving things like a refrigerator or a heavy sofa.
Also, if you have pets in your home and there are scratches caused by the pet’s claws or stains caused by urine, these are also examples of damages that may not be covered.
4. Using improper cleaning products
One of the oddest exceptions that we found is that some manufacturers require specific cleaning products. While this is not the case with all brands, to void a warranty simply because it is not a specific brand seems a bit too stringent.
5. Extreme variations in moisture and temperature
This is an exception that may cause you to consider where you’re going to install bamboo floors in your home. In some cases, the manufacturers list the specific moisture level and temperature range allowed, which will ensure your warranty still applies.
We reviewed brands that listed the temperature range as 60°F – 80°F and others that listed the range as 68°F – 72°. Interestingly enough, in other cases, the requirements are extremely vague, which makes it difficult to understand when you are in compliance.
6. Do not meet humidity level guidelines
As is the case with the moisture and temperature levels, all brands that we reviewed contained language in their warranty documents related to humidity levels. The most common range of acceptable relative humidity is 35% – 55%.
7. Installing outdoors
It may seem logical that, since bamboo floors come from a grass, that it can perform well outdoors. However, much of what is done to prepare bamboo stalks to eventually become bamboo floors is done to ensure the floors perform well indoors.
Many manufacturers will automatically consider your warranty void if it is installed outdoors.
8. Discoloration caused by area rugs or mats
Many of the articles that you will read related to the care and maintenance of bamboo floors often suggest that you place area rugs or mats in areas such as entryways and kitchens to prevent damage from water and outdoor elements. Because the rugs and mats can be left sitting for long periods of time without moving or changing, you will often see some form of discoloration underneath them.
Because this is a defect that is caused by the owner and not an issue that occurred on its own, manufactures will not cover the damage.
9. Installation over floors that radiate heat
Depending on the weather where you live and your individual preferences, you may choose to have floors in your home that radiate heat to keep your space warm. If you decide to install bamboo floors over this type of flooring, any damaged caused will likely not be covered by your warranty.
10. Installation must be in a owner-occupied property
Warranties typically only apply to the party that originally purchases the floors and are normally non-transferable. Assuming you are the purchaser, if the floors are later removed and installed elsewhere, the warranty is no longer valid.
In addition, as many individuals are opting to invest in rental properties and using services such as AirBNB, if you decide to install bamboo floors in your rental property and there is damage created by a guest, this damage is not covered.
11. Floors are refinished
One of the most common jobs performed on bamboo floors and many other hardwood floors is refinishing. During this process, you are typically doing work to try to get your floors back to the original look. Many manufacturers list this as an exception and will not cover any damage that occurs during or after the refinishing process.
12. Installing cabinets over floors
In a separate article related to why bamboo floors could be a good option for your kitchen, we list out our primary reasons why this is a good match. Unfortunately, you have to decide if you’re fine with voiding your warranty if it means you are able to have the bamboo floors you’re looking for in your kitchen.
13. “Clearance” or “blow out” sales
With many products in a wide range of industries, items marked as “clearance” or “blow out” are normally sold “as is”. In fact, it is typically because of a defect that these items are labeled as clearance; this is no different with bamboo floors.
The one caveat is that you are typically giving up the ability to file a claim when going with bamboo floors that are in this group of items. While the manufacturer may have a great warranty program in general, it typically does not apply to clearance items.
14. Subfloor defects
The two primary forms of subflooring for bamboo floors are concrete and plywood. If the subflooring is found to have defects such as high levels of moisture, extreme unevenness, and dips, or instability, this will likely prevent you from being able to make a claim should something go wrong.
Where to find warranty information
Even though we’ve done our best to summarize all of the information we could find on bamboo flooring warranties, you’ll still want to review this information yourself so that you can understand the specific warranty for your floors and what is covered.
There are primarily two areas where this information can be found: on the packaging and/or online. When shopping for bamboo floors, you will often notice that a high level summary of the coverage that is being provided is typically on the outside of the packaging. To get a more detailed outline of what the warranty does or does not cover, you’ll want to look on the inside of the packaging (normally in pamphlet form).
Depending on where you’re shopping for your bamboo floors, sales associates may actually be well-versed in what is covered and should be able to walk you through the details that apply to the floors that you’re interested in.
In cases where you’re doing your research or shopping online, you should be able to find the warranty information in PDF form on the manufacturer’s website. As is the case with in person shopping, you may also be able to call in and request information from an employee if it helps you understand the details better and you think you’ll have additional questions.
What to do if you need to make a claim
If damage occurs to your bamboo floors, you believe that your warranty covers the damage, and you’ve made sure that none of the exceptions listed above apply to you, it may be time to reach out to the manufacturer.
Many manufacturers include their contact information (including email addresses and phone numbers) in the warranty documentation so that you can file your claim; this can sometimes be found on the manufacturer’s website.
While some make this process much easier than others, if you feel like you qualify for repair or replacement under your coverage, be sure to take advantage of this benefit.
Final things to consider
- In nearly all cases, your warranty can be put into effect one time only. If your claim is approved and your receive replacement floors, the replacement floors will no longer be covered by the original warranty.
- Many of the manufacturers state that the portion of your warranty that covers manufacturing defects is void once the installation is complete.
- Floors should be thoroughly inspected before moving forward with installation. If there are visible issues or defects while unpacking and before installation, you should not proceed with installing. Your best bet is to return the floors and replace them with a batch that has no visible defects.
- There is a 5% product variation that is called out by most manufacturers that include variations in color. This means that manufacturers have a 5% window of an error on the quality of the floors when compared to industry standards.
- Some manufacturers list their right to send a representative to your property to inspect the damage.
- Some of the manufacturers will only replace the boards that have been affected.
Wrapping things up
Warranty documentation can often be difficult to grasp and can even cause you to get discouraged and not go after benefits that apply to you. Our hope is that we’ve provided enough detail to make you feel more comfortable about what you’re typically entitled and the things that potentially disqualify you from being able to make a claim.