- What is Bamboo?
- How is Bamboo Flooring Made?
- Benefits of Bamboo Flooring
- Installing Bamboo Flooring
What is Bamboo?
Bamboo is a very versatile resource and has been used as a building material for centuries to build everything from fencing and scaffolding to houses and bridges. It is even used to make bicycles. Bamboo is a giant grass commonly found in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and South America. It comes in 1,500 varieties ranging from the common household plant to species that grow hundreds of feet tall. The primary species of bamboo that is used in the manufacturing of flooring is Moso Bamboo which matures in 5 – 8 years instead of 20 – 120 years for traditional hardwoods. Quality varies greatly depending on the supplier and the manufacturing processed used.
How is Bamboo Flooring Made?
Horizontal Bamboo refers to planks that are placed next to one another facing in a horizontal direction and then attached to each other randomly displaying the knuckle or growth rings of the stalk. Depending on the finishing process used, horizontal bamboo has an average hardness rating between 1100 – 1400 on the Janka Hardness Scale.
Vertical Bamboo refers to planks that are laid next to one another facing in a vertical direction to create a smooth uniform look. Vertical bamboo has a look similar to a butcher block and offers slightly greater stability than horizontal bamboo and has a rating between 1200 – 1400 on the Janka Hardness Scale.
Strand Woven Bamboo is a process whereby the individual strands are woven and compressed together before being pressurized and finished. Strand Woven bamboo is by far the hardest of all bamboo floors and is almost 3 times harder than solid oak hardwood with a Janka hardness rating over 3000.
Benefits of Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo is a very eco-friendly choice that attracts very few pests, so pesticides are not required. In its natural environment bamboo will need no irrigation, no pesticides, and no fertilizers. It can be harvested without the need to replant because the root system is left intact when it is harvested. In a sustainably harvested forest only 20% of the forest is ever harvested annually, allowing for 100% harvest in a five-year period. In fact, you can clear cut the plant completely and it grows right back. Bamboo truly is a renewable resource that offers a unique look for almost any room in your home or office.
Installing Bamboo Flooring
Depending on the product selected, bamboo can be installed using the traditional nail down method or can also be glued down using specialty adhesives. It can also be purchased as a click together style and installed as a floating floor. Regardless of the installation method used, bamboo shrinks and expands with changes in humidity so be sure to leave the proper expansion gaps around the perimeter of the floor. Maintaining a stable environment for temperature and humidity will help to limit the amount of movement in your floor. Prior to installing your new floor ensure that the sub-floor is flat, level and dry.