When looking to design an interior, many folks dream of that perfect hardwood floor. Yet, in the last decade or so, an extremely popular alternative to hardwood flooring has been bamboo flooring.
The ability of bamboo floors to hold a nice finish, in addition to its ecological benefits, has quickly seen it rise to become a firm favorite with construction companies and home renovators alike.
The environmental advantages of bamboo floors are many. Bamboo is a high-quality eco-friendly product that adds as much value to a house as a new traditional hardwood floor would. Regardless of whether you are designing a new home or remodeling an existing home, the features and benefits of woven bamboo flooring are certainly worth your consideration.
Here’s what you need to know when deciding between bamboo and hardwood flooring for your next interior design project.
What is bamboo?
Bamboo is a versatile plant that has a long history of use in Asia. Bamboo is a giant grass that can grow up to 100 feet tall. It is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world and can grow up to 4 feet in a single day!
Bamboo’s rapid growth makes it a highly regenerative and sustainable plant for multiple uses, including flooring. Bamboo is also very strong and has been used to build houses, bridges, and even temples.
Bamboo is an important food source for pandas and other animals, and bamboo shoots are a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine. Bamboo is also used to make paper, cloth, furniture, and many other items.
What are bamboo leaves used for?
Bamboo leaves are used for a variety of purposes, both practical and decorative.
Many Asian cultures use bamboo leaves to make traditional baskets, bowls, and mats. The leaves are also used in the construction of bamboo houses.
In addition to their practical uses, bamboo leaves can also be used as decoration. They are often used in floral arrangements or as part of tropical-themed home decor. Bamboo leaves are also used in some traditional Chinese and Japanese ceremonies and rituals.
Bamboo leaves are also used for their medicinal properties. They are said to help relieve pain and inflammation and to boost the immune system. Bamboo leaves can be consumed fresh, or they can be dried and powdered. Bamboo leaf extracts are also available in capsule form.
Why is bamboo a sustainable building material?
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable building materials available. It grows quickly, requiring little water or fertilizer, and can be harvested without damaging the plant.
Bamboo is also strong and flexible, making it an ideal construction material. In addition, bamboo is naturally fire-resistant and termite-resistant, meaning it requires no chemicals to protect it from pests.
Bamboo is also biodegradable, meaning it will eventually break down and return to the soil.
Bamboo is a renewable resource that grows quickly and doesn’t require the use of pesticides or fertilizers.
Bamboo floors are also very durable and can last up to 30 years with proper care. In addition, bamboo floors are easy to clean and maintain. A simple sweep and vacuum is fine for extended periods. Around once every few months you’ll maybe need to have a damp mop treatment using easily attained and cheap-to-buy cleansers. They are typically non-wax and slightly acidic formulations specially created to clean bamboo floors.
As a result, bamboo is an environmentally friendly building material that can help to create a sustainable future.
Bamboo flooring is preferred because it is stronger and safer
Bamboo floors are made from the canes of bamboo plants which sometimes grow up to 100 ft high and may be between 45 and 60 cm in width.
These canes are split and flattened before they can be laminated together under extreme pressure and then made into planks, tiles, and strips of beautiful laminated flooring. Using hydraulic pressure and environmentally safe adhesives, the bamboo strips are fused and then sealed into flooring boards.
While bamboo floors are harder than most hardwoods, they are still softer than ceramic tile or stone, making them more comfortable to stand on for long periods. bamboo floors are also quieter than other types of flooring, so they are ideal for homes with small children or pets.
Bamboo floors are also safer than other types of flooring because they do not splinter or break as easily. If bamboo flooring does become damaged, it can be repaired more easily than other types of flooring.
Floors made from bamboo are safer than traditional hardwood floors. The use of woven bamboo flooring results in significantly less formaldehyde, herbicide, and pesticide content than traditional hardwood flooring products use. Bamboo is also a natural deterrent to mold and mildew. Bamboo is a healthier choice for your home because it does not off-gas toxic chemicals like traditional hardwood floors.
Bamboo floors are also hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for people with allergies or sensitivities.
Bamboo replenishes faster than wood forests
When bamboo is harvested, the root system of the bamboo plant is left intact. This ensures that the bamboo will quickly grow back to its full size, making it a highly renewable resource.
Interestingly, bamboo matures in approximately five years compared to forests which can take 30 to 60 years.
When we consider the decades and sometimes even centuries it takes for hardwood forests to be created, we can see that bamboo is a far more environmentally-friendly approach to flooring. However, it is true that most bamboo is produced in China and shipped to the rest of the world, causing emissions that carry additional environmental concerns.
Some hardwood flooring manufacturers are making efforts to offset their harvesting production with replanting and maintenance of the forests they continuously take down. However, many environmentally-conscious homeowners feel more comfortable choosing more naturally sustainable flooring options – such as bamboo – for their homes.
In addition, bamboo floors can be sanded down and refinished multiple times, further extending their lifespan.
For these reasons, bamboo is a more sustainable option than traditional hardwood floors.
Bamboo flooring is durable
Engineered bamboo is not one hundred percent bamboo, but it is much more durable than true bamboo. It also offers better moisture resistance than true bamboo, which will prevent it from warping and buckling even in very damp climates.
Bamboo, when harvested and manufactured properly, actually produces flooring that is harder than a traditional oak floor. If durability is the prime concern, it can be surprising to learn that by using compression treatment techniques, bamboo flooring can actually give greater tensile strength than even traditional hardwoods like oak. This means bamboo floors are less susceptible to dents and scratches than other types of flooring, making bamboo a good choice for high-traffic areas or homes with pets.
In addition to being extremely strong, durable, and easy to install, the other great advantage bamboo has over other sorts of hardwood and laminate flooring is that it is resistant to moisture and also insects.
This great resilience to damage, stains, and warping makes it a fantastic choice for wetter climates, especially if you know your flooring will be in a room where the airing is of questionable strength. Simply using common sense can heighten the water resistance properties of the material. For example, tactics like placing rugs and mats in areas where consistent spillage may be an issue.
Hardwood floorings can also be relatively water resistant, however, it requires much more expensive treatments. This is another factor that tips the ecological scales towards bamboo flooring.
When compared to any other flooring medium, bamboo is far easier and far cheaper to refinish. Bamboo floors can need refinishing if left exposed to strong sunlight over long periods. However, many owners decide to obtain a refinish for stylistic reasons long before one is necessary for maintenance reasons.
Bamboo floors can be stylish
When it comes to elevating the style of interior space, bamboo is a great choice. Firstly it can come in literally any style, and can even be made to mimic the natural beam patterns of a traditional hardwood floor. The most popular finish is the light airy look for which the bamboo floor is famed, the kind of look which gives any room that extra sense of space.
As you can see from the photo below, it goes particularly well when used to finish a modern, minimalist, and clean indoor installation – whether it be a kitchen, living space, or office environment.
Bamboo flooring is cost-effective
When you compare the cost of bamboo flooring to traditional flooring you will be pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive it is. The simple dynamics of supply and demand dictate that the quick-growing bamboo is far cheaper a flooring option than the increasingly scarce hardwoods.
However, the price benefits don’t stop there. In addition to being less costly to install, these floors also require far less expensive maintenance. Throughout the life of a floor, you will see substantial savings in avoiding the lengthy and detailed reconditioning that hardwood floors can sometimes require.
Bamboo floors are an excellent choice for the environment
In conclusion, there’s very little that can be achieved with an expensive hardwood floor that cannot be achieved using the more ecologically friendly bamboo flooring option. By combining resilience, good price, and fantastic visuals, you will find that it’s the best solution for your flooring problems. This is especially true over the long term where traditional hardwood flooring can often give rise to expensive reconditioning and maintenance issues.
All of these factors make bamboo a superior substance as well as an eco-friendly flooring option. When you choose bamboo flooring for your home, you can feel good knowing that you are making a sustainable choice that will benefit the environment.