Bamboo flooring is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative for hardwood floors. This is due to several factors like low cost and ease of maintenance, but the most alluring quality is the eco-friendly nature of bamboo.
There are multiple components of the material that make it and eco-friendly choice. Bamboo has rapid growth and regeneration. Since it is technically a grass, bamboo starts as rhizomes and sends shoots and leaves above ground. It can also be harvested on a regular basis because it does not die when cut down- much like grass- bamboo just keeps on growing. It only takes between four to ten years for the usable wood to mature. Whereas trees that produce other hardwoods die when cut down and take decades to reach maturity.
In addition to the rapid growth rate, bamboo plants have higher carbon sequestration rates; this is because of the fast growth rate. Two and a half acres of bamboo sequesters approximately 62 tons of CO2 per year. In contrast, young forests only sequester about 15 tons. Bamboo also generates about 35% more oxygen than the equivalent number of trees.
High quality bamboo flooring can often be stronger than traditional hardwood floors because of its flexibility. Bamboo is able to bend and blow in the wind to a much greater extent than trees. This flexibility can make for greater durability in home flooring needs.
There are a few negatives to bamboo flooring, but the pros tend to outweigh the cons. Regardless it is best to know the facts. Be sure to check and see what kinds of chemicals were used to manufacture your bamboo floor because some of them are extremely harmful to the environment; a certain type of formaldehyde known as urea is often used and is particularly toxic. In addition, most of the bamboo used for home flooring needs is grown in Asia and shipped across seas, which has a large carbon footprint. For the most part, however, bamboo floors are an eco-friendly alternative that can help you turn your household green.
If you are looking for a unique option in home flooring, strand-woven bamboo is a great choice. There are also many other advantages to this type of bamboo flooring, aside from its gorgeous appearance.
How it’s made
Strand-woven bamboo flooring is made from moso bamboo, which is the largest species of bamboo on the planet. The moso stalks are cut into pieces and boiled to eliminate the sugars that can attract termites. After the moso is dried, the stalks are high-pressure pressed with adhesive to produce solid planks.
How it looks
This unique type of bamboo flooring naturally has a distinctive pattern. You will find that each plank has rough-edged stripes, like that of a zebra, made up of light and dark browns. In a way, it resembles oak flooring, which has a similar yet smaller pattern with less contrast. If you prefer a more subtle look, strand-woven bamboo flooring has other blend options that will create a pattern more like oak.
Strand-woven bamboo is the densest type of bamboo flooring available. If you are concerned about damage to your home flooring due to high foot traffic, young children or pets, this is a great option that will resist scratches and dents. It can also be installed in a variety of ways including the floating floor method, nailing, or gluing to the foundation. This makes it a viable option for any budget. Lastly, strand-woven bamboo is even more eco-friendly than other types of bamboo flooring. Typically when planks are cut for standard bamboo flooring, there are smaller pieces left that will be thrown away since they are too small to use. Stand-woven bamboo planks use every single piece of moso, leaving behind no waste at all.
Aside from the price, look and eco-friendliness of bamboo flooring, another wonderful thing about it is the options it presents. There are many different types ofbamboo flooring, making it easy for you to find the best option for you. Here are the best choices depending on your needs and priorities.
Most eco-friendly option
If you have chosen bamboo for your home flooring because you are environmentally conscious and are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, stand-woven bamboo flooring is most likely your best option. Of all types of bamboo flooring, stand-woven bamboo flooring tends to use less adhesive in its manufacturing process. It is made by taking strips of bamboo and high-pressure compressing them into planks. This process also makes the planks extremely durable.
Most durable option
Those with busy lives and homes that will experience a stampede of foot traffic may need to prioritize the strength of their new floor above all other properties. In this case, engineered bamboo flooring would be a wise choice. This type of flooring is composed of a mix of bamboo and hardwood to make solid planks. These planks are then covered with 1/8th inch-thick bamboo strips to ensure the natural look of bamboo. There is no way around the fact that hard wood is stronger than bamboo, therefore engineered bamboo flooring is the strongest you can get out of all your bamboo flooring options. While it is not the most eco-friendly option, it is still more earth conscious than all-hardwood floors.
Easiest option for installation
While bamboo flooring is pretty affordable, you can save even more money by taking the DIY approach and installing your new home flooring yourself. If you are inexperienced in this area, you may want to choose an easy installation option like click lock bamboo flooring. This type of flooring is assembled much like a jigsaw puzzle where planks are fitted together at the ends and locked into place. This floor is also known as a floating floor, which means it will not have to be glued or nailed to your subfloor.
Even though bamboo flooring is increasing in popularity, there are still a few little ugly rumors flying around about this quality option in home flooring. My Bamboo Flooring would like to squash these common misconceptions once and for all to let everyone know the many benefits of this gorgeous, eco-friendly material.
Myth #1: Bamboo flooring has limited options
Not only are there many ways in which to install bamboo flooring, from floating to nailing and gluing, there are also many different options in style. You can opt for a lighter bamboo which will create a more natural look or you can go for darker tones to mimic the look of oak and other hard woods. There are also different planks widths to choose from which will definitely affect the look of your new floor.
Myth #2: Bamboo floors are easy to damage
Bamboo is actually one of the strongest materials you can use for home flooring. When bamboo flooring planks are manufactured, bamboo strips are compressed under a tremendous amount of pressure to ensure the strength of the plank. Also, bamboo is very durable in humid climates unlike hardwood flooring.
Myth #3: It is hard to maintain bamboo floors
Those with bamboo flooring know that the material is easy to clean and very easy to repair in those rare moments when it becomes damaged. While you may need special cleaners and materials to get rid of stains or scratches, regular sweeping and mopping will always do the trick when cleaning your bamboo floor.
Myth #4: Bamboo flooring is expensive
Actually, many people turn to bamboo flooring when trying to save money on their home renovations. Bamboo is cheaper per square foot than most hardwood floors. It can also save you money when you install it yourself, which is pretty easy depending on the type of installation method you choose.