- Bamboo is another environmentally friendly choice for flooring. It is made from processed strips of cane then compressed to be just as hard and durable as regular hardwood flooring.
- If the environmental impact of transportation is a concern to you, some bamboo is supplied in North America.
- Less expensive bamboo floors may not always have the highest quality of UV protective finish.
- Radiant flooring can be used under bamboo floors.
- Technically, bamboo is a grass, not a hardwood. However, do not let this discourage you as the manufacturing techniques used for bamboo make it just as hard, strong and durable as hardwood.
- Bamboo has been rated as to be almost as well as slightly harder than red oak. Darker bamboo floors are reported to be a tad softer than lighter shades. This because of the heating process, which also darkens the colour.
- The dimensional change with moisture content is also significantly less than that for most common hardwoods.
- Most bamboo flooring sold in North America is made in the southern Chinese province of Hunan, in an area known as “the bamboo sea”. It’s name is from its vast amount of bamboo forests.
- If you are able to, we recommend that you find out if the manufacturer of the flooring you are buying allows the bamboo to reach full maturity. Buildinggreen.com suggests that the shoots reach full size after one or two years; however, it takes a third year for them to mature to the point where they no longer feed the plant. If the shoots are cut before this maturity level, the plant will suffer. If the shoots are cut after this maturity level, the plant benefits from its removal, as it turns into “dead weight”.
- Harvesting in these forests is not a threat to Pandas as they live at a higher elevation and eat different species of bamboo than what is used for bamboo floors.
Good for the environment:
- Bamboo matures in three years.
- Bamboo regenerates without need for replanting.
- Bamboo also requires minimal fertilization or pesticides
- There currently is no FSC certified bamboo so it is important to see what you can confirm about the bamboo you are interested in purchasing.
- Finish options include a Klumpp coating that comes with a longer warranty because of the quality of the ingredients.
- Klumpp coatings wear extremely well and are certified to be free from toxic substances.
- Bamboo floors are available with the following installation techniques: glue, nail, staple or floating in pre-finished or unfinished.
- The installation process is the same as the process to install hardwood flooring.
- Bamboo is offered as handscraped, in tiles or in planks.
- Handscraped bamboo products have limited availability.
- In bamboo, the grains run either vertical or horizontal. Horizontal graining is wider and shows the knuckles of the bamboo, where vertical graining is thinner and more linear.
- With vertical, slats are stood upright on their edge and then laminated. With horizontal, pieces are arranged side by side, laid flat, and then laminated.
- The first colours that were introduced were carbonized and non-carbonized. The results were natural amber, brownish colours as well as a yellowcolour. The brownish amber colour is achieved by pressure steaming the bamboo, which creates a darker colour through carbonization.
- Today, you can also find colours such as rich reds, mochas and blacks.
- Like hardwood flooring, bamboo floors need to be swept or vacuumed (without a beater bar) regularly to keep dust and dirt away. Dust and dirt can scratch the finish of the floor.
- Mats should be placed at every entrance to keep the dirt off of the floor.
- Spills should be cleaned up immediately. If a spill sits too long, it can soak through the floor and permanently stain it.
- To avoid invalidating your warranty, be sure to check to see if a specific cleaner needs to be used. These cleaners are recommended from the manufacturer.
- Do not use rugs with a rubber back, as they may discolour the floor.
- Furniture protectors should be used; we recommend fabric or felt types. Casters should be removed and replaced with felt floor protectors when possible.
- Because sunlight can fade bamboo, furniture and rugs should be rotated periodically. Rotating the furniture and rugs will produce a more even colour. Use of window coverings also helps protect floors from sunlight.
- It is possible that high-heeled shoes can permanently damage bamboo floors with small dents.
- Dragging furniture or other items can permanently damage bamboo floors.