At Poulin Design Center we are certainly no strangers to the standard flooring options. We’ve been offering a great selection of carpeting, hardwood flooring, laminate, luxury vinyl, and ceramic and natural stone tile for years. In addition to that, though, we also like to bring some more exotic flooring options to the folks in the Albuquerque area. Cork flooring is one of those options, and so is bamboo, which is the topic of today’s post. Bamboo is an excellent flooring material that we want everyone to know about.
The Basics of Bamboo
Bamboo has been used as a flooring material for centuries – particularly in Southeast Asia. Today, the majority of the bamboo used in flooring comes from China. Although it closely resembles hardwood flooring after it’s been processed, bamboo is actually a type of grass. To make flooring planks, harvested bamboo is cut into strips that are processed and then pressed and adhered together. The result is a great looking floor that has many desirable properties.
Beautiful and Distinctive
One of the reasons bamboo flooring has become so popular recently is that it is very attractive. It resembles hardwood flooring but it offers its own unique charm and exotic appearance. It offers visual warmth and sophistication that will nicely compliment your décor. You get a distinctive look with bamboo, and your family and your guests will be sure to love it.
Strong and Durable
Bamboo is also known for its strength and durability. Traditional manufacturing processes create bamboo flooring that is comparable to oak or maple hardwood. These both usually score between 1200 and 1400 on the Janka hardness test, which means they are moderately hard woods that will hold up well over time. However, the newer stand-woven varieties of bamboo flooring can actually range between 3000 and 5000 on that same test! This makes stand-woven bamboo one of the hardest wood-like materials you can find.
The amount of care required to keep a bamboo floor looking its best is similar to what a hardwood floor requires. Periodic sweeping and the occasional damp mopping are all that should be necessary. Bamboo is fairly moisture resistant, but you’ll want to avoid letting excessive moisture build up on its surface, just like you would with a hardwood floor. With just some basic upkeep, your bamboo floor will remain beautiful for many years.
Bamboo is manufactured in three general ways that offer their own styling possibilities. Horizontal bamboo flooring is made by arranging bamboo strips facing horizontally and the result is a more varied surface appearance that shows the growth rings and knuckles of the bamboo. Vertical bamboo flooring is made by arranging the strips vertically, which creates a more uniform and smooth appearance. Strand-woven bamboo is created from thin bamboo strands that are pressed and glued together. The resulting appearance usually has a more prominent grain pattern and speckled surface.
Bamboo flooring is also available in many shades and colors, due to the use of different samples of bamboo as well as a wide range of stains. You can also choose carbonized bamboo flooring that is darker in color than natural bamboo, which tends to be the color of beech wood. Tastes differ, but you’re sure to find a type of bamboo flooring that you’ll love.
A last great feature of bamboo worth mentioning is that the environmental impact of its cultivation is relatively low. When a tree is harvested to create wood flooring, an entirely new tree must be planted to replace it, and it will usually take more than 30 years for the new tree to grow to maturity. When bamboo is harvested the root system remains alive and new shoots will continue to grow from it. This means that bamboo cultivation leads to far less environmental destruction. The type of bamboo used in flooring is also one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. It’s a highly renewable resource, so if you’d like to do your part to protect our planet while you also get a fantastic and stylish new floor, bamboo is a great choice for you.
Photo Credit: Jaroslav74