Bamboo Wall Paneling Is Used To Create A Wonderful Warm And Rustic Feel To The Pakchong (Pak Chong) Retirement House In Thailand

The Photo Below Formed The Inspiration For The Hanging Bamboo Mat Decor We Wanted

I hasten to add that the photo below is not of our retirement house we are building in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

The image is borrowed from a Bamboo Mat Ply Panels website and shows the kind of look and feel I wanted to achieve in our house in Thailand. The photo is from the beautiful Wakaya Club Resort in Fiji.

Image Showing Bamboo Wall Matt

Bamboo Matt on Walls & Underside of Roof

Above, the main characteristics I love about the application of the bamboo mat panels as a wall decor are:-

  • The exposed roof rafters
  • The darker color dividing lines between the bamboo mat panels that break up the space and create clean lines
  • The wall-washer lights
  • The clean bamboo mat finish
  • The way the bamboo mat panels are correctly finished around the windows

I wonder how close we will come to achieving this kind of ambiance in our own retirement house in Thailand?

Lest’s see how it’s panning out as the house gets decorated with bamboo mat panels under the watchful eye of my wonderful wife, Kanyah, in the photos below.

Image of Bamboo Mat As Bought

Bamboo Mat As Purchased

Above, this is one of the bamboo mats bought by Kanyah in a trip to Khampaeng Phet with her nephew, Jalan. (Kanyah sacked Jalan a few weeks ago, after first terminating the first builder’s contract)

You can see that it is very lightweight and has not enough strength so support itself. That’s why our Thai Architect specified that it be fixed to 4mm thick plywood panels to form Bamboo mat panels.

In the photo below you can see the start of the process of gluing the bamboo mat to the plywood panels.

Image Of Bamboo Mat 02 - Pasting The Plywood Panels

Pasting A Plywood Panel

Above, the brush is used to apply the adhesive, detailed below.

Image of Bamboo Mat 03 - The Glue

The Glue To Fix The Bamboo Mat

Above, the bamboo mat glue and below a finished bamboo mat panel ready for hanging on the wall.

Image of Bamboo Mat 06 - Bamboo Mat Stuck To The Plywood Wall Panel

Bamboo Mat Stuck To The Plywood Wall Panel

The next photo shoes the bamboo mat in close-up.

I’m not so happy with the finish. Looks a bit coarse to me compare to the bamboo mat finish in the photo at the top of the page. Also the colour looks too light and I would have expected it to have been varnished…

O.K. I’m hard to please. After all this Is Thailand!

Image of Bamboo Mat 03 Close-Up

Close-Up Photo Of Bamboo Mat Wall Lining

Below, the first photo of some bamboo mat actually hanging as wall decor. I must say this does not really give the feel i wanted in the photo at the top of this page.

Quite clearly the finish is not so smooth, there are no dividing lines between the bamboo mat panels and the installation is not flat.

Image of Bamboo Mat 09 - Wall Matting Hanging

The Bamboo Mat Panel Hanging As Wall Matting

In the photo above, it’s clear that the Bamboo mat wall panels are not tall enough to cover from floor to beam level. I suppose some kind of infill panel will be added but that will look like an afterthought. Clearly the Bamboo mat panel size was not considered before hanging them.

Perhaps this is something the the Thai Architect should have done when producing the construction drawings for the Thai house.

Next another photo of the Bamboo mat wall panels as they are added to to form the Bamboo wall decor.

Image of Bamboo Mat 08 - Around The Window

Bamboo Mat Around The Window

In the photo above of the Bamboo mat installed around a window I notice that the window frame is not visible. No idea why and it should be visible to define the edge of the Bamboo mat wall panel.

Next, we are coming to a real big issue with me.  Not in this photo but in the next one (appears in the next post).

Image of Electrical Wiring 10 - Wiring Hidden Behaind The Bamboo Mat Wall Paneling

Electrical Wiring Hidden Behaind The Bamboo Mat Wall Paneling

In the photo above you can see that the electrical wiring (in yellow colour) is run through the wooden fram forming the support for the Bamboo mat panels.

That is OK. (Except that the Specification made by our Thai Architect calls for all wires to be run through conduit.) Note for the non-technical person. The phrase “conduit” refers to pipes that are used to carry electrical wires. (you’ll see plenty of those in the next post)

The Next Post Shows The Ugly Way They Have Done The Wiring – A Major Issue That I Had To Raise With Kanyah – And It Caused Quite An Upset

  • You’ll see the exact email and marked-up photo that I sent to Kanyah – and that caused such a stir on the job site in Pakchong.
  • You’ll read about the big technical mistake that I made when checking the Thai Architect’s drawings  - despite it being one of the things I am passionate about doing in my role as a professional engineer.
  • And I’ll fill you in on how the response from the Thais made my blood boil, and
  • Why I decided to cool down and let Kanyah just enjoy her moment.

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2 Responses to “Bamboo Mat Wall Panels”

  • Gerry:

    Alan,
    I agree with you, the dividing lines in the first photo do make the panels more pleasing on the eye. The bamboo will darken in colour through time and will blend in. Just Wondering if they treated the mats with insecticide? as these mats are not only vunerable to termites, but other little critters that like to nest there and lay their eggs etc.
    Gerry

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi Gerry and thank you for your note.

    The original builder had a copy of the first photo showing how we want the bamboo mats to look and he had promised to achieve that look. In theory that should have happened.

    Also the first builder knew that we wanted the rafters exposed as seen in the first photo. Originally (before we engaged any builder) the roof structure was wood as designed by our Thai Architect. We changed to a steel roof system by CPAC to reduce the cost. Hence the rafters are steel and not wood.

    But since we have changed builders there has been no opportunity to explain what we want to the new builder and this matter was discuessed between myself and the previous builer. he was going to put up some dummy wooden reafters bolted to the steel ones, just for appearance sake. I’m sure that Kanyah doesn’t know about it.

    So what we will get in the roof I have no idea. In the past I have sent marked-up photos and drawings to Kanyah to illustrate things like this but now I have given up what she refers to as “interfering” and i’m just letting her finish the house in her own way.

    If Kanyah is happy with how the house looks – and she is telling me that she is very happy with it – then that’s all that matters.

    As to putting insect poison on the bamboo mat, it’s a good point but I doubt it has been done. I actually wanted to have them varnished, but in my new hand’s-off policy (which you’ll read about in the next Post on “How Not To Wire A House In Thailand”) I’m not going to ask Kanyah to do anything more than she is already doing.

    Anyway Gerry, thanks agin for the comment and best of luck.

    Alan

    [Reply]

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