Bamboo flooring is a perennial evergreen that is grown primarily in the southern and eastern regions of Asia. Although classified as a grass, the look and feel of bamboo is almost indiscernible when put side by side to hard wood and is quickly becoming one of the top flooring options for new or renovated homes due to its ecological and practical benefits.
What’s So Great About Bamboo?
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing natural resources, being fully matured in approximately three to five years. Trees, on the other hand, can take anywhere from 20 to 100 years to reach the maturity point of harvesting for wood. An economic benefit for bamboo growers is that the root does not need to be harvested making replanting unnecessary—the plant simply regrows itself. These grasses are also easy to maintain and take care of. Certain types of bamboo are also extremely durable. Strand woven bamboo can be manufactured to be even stronger that red oak and with the ecological impact that bamboo presents when compared to the mighty oak tree, bamboo is definitely the best way to go for homeowners that wish to go a little greener when building and designing homes.
Bamboo flooring is extremely easy to take care of, only needing regular sweeping and dusting to keep up the look. Mopping can be done as needed using non-wax floor cleaner or specialized bamboo solutions. This natural flooring is also slightly more water resistant than hardwood flooring. This doesn’t mean that they are precluded from warping, water stains or damage, just able to stand up to the everyday wear and tear of usage a little bit better. Luckily, bamboo is also very easy to refinish if it ever become scratched or discolored with age.
Different Types of Bamboo Flooring
Traditional bamboo flooring, such as what is seen in traditional Asian homes, is made by slicing the plant into thin planks. These are then nailed onto wooden beams or large bamboo pieces. This style of flooring creates a cooling effect through tiny gaps in the flooring. It that allows the bamboo to breathe and ventilate.
Strand woven bamboo flooring is made in a similar way to that of paper. The bamboo is sliced thin, treated for insects, and then are often times boiled. When the pulp is ready, it is mixed with adhesive and pressed together using heat to form blocks.
Solid bamboo flooring involves complex manufacturing process where the bamboo is stripped, boiled and carbonized, then dried in a kiln. After this initial process, the bamboo is coated in resin, and pressed together to form planks. This type of bamboo flooring is most like hardwood in the look and feel, although it does soften the product.
The last form of bamboo flooring is engineered. This flooring is the most durable because the treatment is the same as the solid bamboo flooring. The last step is to cut the bamboo into thin strips and adhere it to plywood or other hardwood.