For approximately ten years, an affordable, environmentally friendly material, bamboo, has been producing outstanding, beautiful hardwood floors. Bamboo is technically not a tree at all, but a grass that includes over 1,000 species. Even without planting, bamboo naturally grows back, and it reaches maturity in only four to five years. This makes bamboo an excellent, forest-friendly source of wood for flooring.
Bamboo flooring is durable, and has a warmth and beauty that makes it especially desirable for flooring.
Though there are many species of bamboo, only some are suitable for making flooring. Moso, for instance, is a common choice that reaches 40-50 feet high after just one year of growth. In another three years, the reeds are mature enough for harvesting. After harvesting, the bamboo is dried in the sun and then cut into strips that are shaped and planed. From these strips, bamboo flooring is made through a process of laminating and staining. The two main colors available for bamboo flooring are natural (a light woody color), and carbonized (an amber shade). There are also other color variations depending on the staining method.
Bamboo flooring has many remarkable qualities that make it equal to or better than many other “wood” flooring options. It is as hard as hard maple, and has been confirmed as harder and more stable than red oak. Maintenance for bamboo flooring is no different than for other pre-finished wood floor products — frequent sweeping or vacuuming, spray cleaners, and occasionally mopping. Environmentally, the impact on world forests would be dramatically lessened if bamboo flooring were more widely used.
When considering bamboo flooring, it is important to know that not all bamboo is equal. Nor is all bamboo processing equal. Some discount or wholesale companies are already selling immaturely cut bamboo for bamboo flooring. The result is low-quality, cheap bamboo flooring that won’t last. Timing is also important in processing bamboo. If it is not treated within three days after it has been cut, the bamboo can easily mold, making the resulting flooring look bland and dull. Be sure to confirm that the wholesaler you deal with is knowledgeable and can assure that their bamboo and processing methods are of high quality.
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