Purchasing the right bamboo flooring requires time and effort. While it may already sound specific, there is actually a wide range of bamboo flooring to choose from. Those available in the market vary in size, color, style and even quality.
To help you start with, the House of Bamboo, a leading provider of bamboo and other natural sustainable materials in Australia, has compiled a comprehensive bamboo flooring guide based on its types, as well as its pros and cons.
Bamboo flooring shares many of the positive benefits of a hardwood floor. For this reason, it is often referred to as hardwood flooring, when in fact, bamboo is a type of grass. It is a highly renewable natural resource due to its capability to fully grow in as little as 3 to 5 years when trees take about 20 to 100 years to reach full maturity.
3 Types of Bamboo Flooring
Engineered bamboo flooring undergoes a similar process as the solid bamboo flooring. However, after it is completed, the solid planks are sliced down into thin horizontal layers. These slices are installed on a backing material such as plywood or fiberboard using heat, pressure and adhesive.
2. Strand Woven
This type of bamboo flooring comes in fibrous planks. The process begins with stalks that are thinly sliced into strips and treated for insects. These strips are shredded into fibers and mixed with adhesive base. The material is pressed together into blocks using heat and pressure before it is cut into planks, sanded and finished.
With solid bamboo, stalks are skinned and sliced into thin strips for a certain length before it is treated and dried. The strips are then coated with an adhesive and are pressed together either horizontally (flat strips lay atop of one another) or vertically (strips stood on one end and pressed together on the side). This process produces solid and durable planks.
Cost – Bamboo flooring is a relatively economical material with its price depending on a variety of characteristics.
Quality – Since bamboo flooring is a fairly new floor covering, there is no standard grading system yet that will exactly determine its quality.
Strength and Durability – While it is relative to hardwood flooring materials, the strength of bamboo still depends on a variety of factors including its color.
- In its raw form, bamboo is a light tan color. However, it can be darkened through a process known as carbonization. This changes its color into a darker, richer hue but also weakens the material in the process.
Bamboo is a highly renewable resource that outpaces hardwood trees with its ability to grow to maturity in a short period. It reaches its full height in as little as 3 to 5 years, whereas hardwoods take 20 years upward to fully grow.
Finished bamboo flooring cleans easily. It can regularly be swept, vacuumed, occasionally mopped or wiped with a non-wax, non-alkaline floor cleanser.
Some types of bamboo flooring are as durable as hardwood flooring. Natural bamboos can be as durable as red oak while a strand woven bamboo can be harder than that.
The surface of bamboo may be refinished, depending on the thickness of the planks. Sanding it down then reapplying a finishing coat will give it a fresh new look.
The adhesive used in the process of adhering bamboo fiber or strips together can release volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) into the air overtime. The amount of adhesive use and the amount of VOCs emitted will vary depending on how the planks are manufactured.
Bamboos, particularly those that are low quality, are susceptible to scratches and damage from water and excessive humidity. When installed in a very humid area, moisture will cause it to plump and allow mold to grow.
Lack of Hardness
While bamboo flooring is relatively hard and durable, bamboo planks that are darker in color are generally softer. This is because of the carbonization process it underwent which weakens the bamboo structurally.
George Katsoudas is a Digital Marketing Professional. Whom works as the Managing Director of Low Cost SEO, a digital marketing firm in Sydney and a Digital Media Manager for House of Bamboo, offering Australia the most varied collection of classic and new natural materials.
House of Bamboo is Australia’s trusted source of eco-friendly and high quality natural materials that can be integrated into contemporary setting. Our range encompasses high quality bamboo fencing, timber screens, privacy screens, decorative screens, ceiling panels, rattan cane webbing, fence panels, and pool certification.