Things To Know About Bamboo Flooring

by Cheryl Dunn

New flooring presents you with many options, and sometimes you can feel totally overwhelmed by the process of finding the right fit. If that's your situation, you may want to consider the benefits of bamboo flooring. Here are some important things to know about this kind of flooring so you have a full understanding.

1. It's Not Wood -- Bamboo is actually a plant, and unlike most trees, bamboo can fully mature in about five years. Many species of bamboo are ready to be harvested in only three years. According to Builder Online, some bamboo shoots can grow as much as three feet in one day. On the other hand, trees can take decades to reach the point where they can be harvested for residential and commercial applications. There are more than 1,000 species of bamboo, but there are wide variations in the hardness with each species. For example, Moso bamboo is recognised by bamboo sellers as one of the strongest and most durable species of bamboo, and the plant is usually harvested at six years when it reaches maturity.

2.  Bamboo Is 'Green' -- The plants from which bamboo is harvested possess the ability to absorb carbon dioxide, resulting in lower levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Bamboo also has a high rate of recyclability, which is beneficial for the environment. Another interesting fact is that bamboo trees are oxygen-producing, and retain some of that ability even after they've been harvested for residential and commercial applications. Bamboo's rapid rate of growth offsets any environmental impact that occurs when the plant is harvested. In addition to bamboo's quick rate of growth, since the entire root isn't pulled out when bamboo is harvested, there is less disruption to the ecosystem.

3. There Are Two Types -- Bamboo typically comes in two types, stranded and engineered. Stranded bamboo is real bamboo all the way through, but is shredded and then bonded with adhesive and pressed into flooring sheets. Engineered bamboo is made of bamboo and composite material that strengthens the wood and provides additional protection against moisture and breakage.

4. It's Strong -- Bamboo has long been known to possess tremendous durability. According to Cali Bamboo, the average species of bamboo has a tensile strength that is greater than steel alloy and a better strength-to-weight ratio than graphite. And since bamboo isn't a wood, termites don't like it because it contains no cellulose, which is produced as wood breaks down.

Talk to a flooring specialist, such as Wood Land's Timber Floors, to see if bamboo is a viable option for your home and budget.