Wellmade, a bamboo flooring maker based in Wilsonville, Ore., said it has developed a new soy-based adhesive designed to be completely formaldehyde-free. The product, which is currently being tested at the company’s plant in China, offers the same benefits as low-formaldehyde adhesives currently available, but with not even trace amounts of formaldehyde in the product, according to the company. A roll out of the new adhesive, which the company says is the first of its kind for bamboo flooring, is expected in the first half of next year.

“It’s one thing to be environmentally friendly; it’s another thing to be people friendly,” Bruce Baxter, Wellmade’s general manager, told NFT. “Even though the formaldehyde levels in our regular adhesives are below the level that would normally have any impact on a human being, you can’t ignore the fact that formaldehyde is a major issue for many consumers and states.”

Baxter said the company has been working with an outside firm called Hercules to perfect the adhesive over the past couple of years. “You have bugs that you have to iron out of the system,” Baxter said of the development process. “The big problem with most non-toxic formaldehyde-free adhesives is it’s just not practical – the adhesives don’t work.’ He said his company’s new adhesive would change that.

Additionally, Baxter noted Wellmade has created a new finish that combines hardness with extreme flexibility. The finish, called Hardmax, is exclusive to Wellmade and offers unmatched protection, he said.

“We believe this is a revolutionary finish,” he noted. “It has the hardness. In fact, it appears to be significantly harder than acrylic impregnated. It also has the elasticity to bend, not break.”

The new finish is currently available, he said. The company is also taking inquires on its planned soy-based adhesive. Baxter added that once the new adhesive is ready, the company will create a bamboo flooring line featuring the adhesive and Hardmax finish called Green Arowana.–Michael Chmielecki