Reviews on bamboo flooring, generally speaking are in favour of the product. Bamboo has gained a reputation as an eco-friendly and a highly renewable source of material. Bamboo is classified as a grass and it is the fastest growing plant on Earth. There are many species of bamboo with the primary species used in manufacturing flooring and plywood being Moso bamboo.
The Moso bamboo can grow an amazing 47 inches in 24 hours and grow to a height of 78.5 feet in about 40 to 50 days. It takes only about three to five years to mature versus the 20 to 120 years it takes hardwood to mature. Reviewers further favour bamboo because once the bamboo is harvested there is no need to replant. The bamboo roots sprout new shoots the following rainy season. In addition, unlike traditional hardwoods which are harvested after 40 to 60 or even more years, bamboo can be harvested 3 to 5 years. Furthermore, the root structure has the ability to hold the soil in place preventing soil erosion.
Floors made of bamboo offers a large variety of designs ranging from vertical bamboo, horizontal bamboo, carbonized bamboo and natural and scraped bamboo. Reviewers are in favour of floors this type of flooring because it is extremely environmentally friendly. Bamboo is a perfect solution to the problem of conserving trees and forests. More and more people are opting for floors made from bamboo because of its visual appeal. It is on a par or may even be better than hard wood when it comes to looks and appearance. It adds a warm and homey feel to a room and is very pleasant to look at. Bamboo plants are like midgets when compared to the massive hardwood trees but looks can be deceiving as it is in the case of bamboo. Floors made of bamboo can be equally strong, if not stronger than hardwood flooring. Bamboo is water and moisture resistant and is an ideal flooring option for kitchens and dining rooms. However, one should take care not to leave water lying on the floor for prolonged period of time. If water seep into the floor, both bamboo and hardwood floor will swell and weaken.
Reviewers however, also point out a few of the less desirable characteristics. The floor is prone to scratches and discoloration. Direct exposure to sun may cause discoloration on the floor surface but this is not limited to only to floors made of bamboo.
GUIDELINES FOR SELECTING BAMBOO FLOORING
There are many reasons why some bamboo hardwood flooring is softer than others. Bamboo flooring should be made from the Moso species to achieve optimum hardness and the bamboo must be at least five years old before harvesting. Do not settle for anything less. Ultimate hardness is archived when seven years old bamboo is harvested. There are some manufacturing processes which make the flooring softer. One such process is called Carbonization. It refers to a heating process that changes the bamboo to an amber color. This also will lower its Janka rating. The Janka rating is an internationally accepted rating scale for hardness in flooring. Bamboo flooring will scratch because the bonding material between the bamboo fibres is less strong than lignens in old wood.
Traditional bamboo floors Janka rating is from 1,300 to 1,600 Pounds-Pressure on the Janka rating. For durable long lasting floors woven strand bamboo with aluminium oxide multi-layer finish is recommended for higher rating. For example, Premium Green, Morning Star’s strand bamboo and Build Direct’s Yanchi brand offer strand bamboo with a 3,000 Janka rating. It cost more than lesser quality flooring but a wise man always pay first; he knows paying later costs a lot more money. If you go with prime products like those listed above you need not worry.
Natural bamboo is light in color. If you want a more durable flooring and like a light color floor, choose the lightest color bamboo. Natural bamboo floors come in planks. You can install the planks by nailing or gluing them. If you like the natural bamboo but wish to have a darker color then choose the stained bamboo. To achieve darker colors the natural bamboo planks are stained with different colors so you can get the strength of natural bamboo and the color of your choice. You can see many fine or thick lines in this floors. In the horizontal grain bamboo you can see fine long lines in the vertical grain bamboo you will see interesting small little stripes.
In the horizontal patterns, flat layers of planks are placed on each other and glued together. In the vertical pattern, long thick planks are glued to each other in one layer, enhancing the fine nodes of the wood. One of the benefits of solid bamboo floors is that they are stronger than red oak and less expensive than most other hardwood floors. This type of flooring can also be floated on a sub-floor. There are many types of floors for you to choose from. Take the time to research the one most suitable for your needs.
Do your research before you decide to purchase your bamboo or hardwood flooring. Look for established brands to make sure your flooring is genuine, meets quality standards and follows all of the environmental guidelines. Most of the bamboo floors are produced in countries that don’t have many regulations for manufacturers to follow. Visual imperfections, contraction and extension are some of the issues you may have to contend with if you buy low quality flooring. I am adding some of the well known brands to the names I have above. You may pay a little more for higher quality but you will save yourself a lot of headaches and enjoy a beautiful worry free floor for years to come. The more trusted names for your list are Ecotimber, Stepco and Teragen. High quality bamboo floors installed and cared for properly will last a lifetime.