Bamboo Flooring: A “Green” way to cover your floors
Bamboo floorings are gaining in popularity owing to their superior aesthetics and functionalities and their low cost as compared with most hardwood flooring. There are several types of Bamboo Flooring available:
- Horizontal Natural (and Spice / Carbonized)
- Vertical Natural (and Spice / Carbonized)
- Strand Woven (Natural and Spice)
- Stained Bamboo
Bamboo is considered “Green” for different reasons. It is a renewable source and, with the standards in manufacturing today, high quality Bamboo Flooring has a low VOC and virtually no Formaldehyde.
The woven strand involves the pressing of bamboo fibers creating an extremely dense flooring material. These pieces of bamboo are woven tightly together, coated with an adhesive and then tightly compressed and allowed to set up. The resulting material is then cut into planks to be used as flooring. Stranded flooring is stronger than plank bamboo flooring due in part to the adhesive coating and compression period. However, its main strength comes from the weaving process. As basket weavers can attest, weaving materials together creates a tightly locked bond that is superior in strength to unwoven materials of the same kind. Here are some technical facts about some Bamboo Flooring:
- 5-7 years maturity is better than 3-5 years
- Vertical grain is harder than Horizontal
- Strand woven is much harder than vertical or horizontal grains
- Glue down is the preferred method of installing Bamboo Floors. Most Bamboo Floors (Including Engineered) can also be installed by floating method and some can be “top-nailed” down.
Whilst bamboo flooring is extremely durable and hard wearing, taking care to protect your floor from potentially damaging elements will ensure that it continues to look its best and provides decades of use long after it has been installed. As with other types of hardwood flooring, treat your bamboo floor with care and it will reward you by showing its natural beauty to admire and enjoy year after year for many years to come. Follow the Manufacturer’s care tips to help you maintain the beauty and longevity of your floor.
If using a rug on your bamboo floor, make sure that it is a type that is suitable for use on wooden or bamboo flooring. Rubber backed rugs should be avoided as they may cause discoloration of the flooring because the floor is unable to breathe through the rubber. Protective pads should be placed under the ends of legs on chairs, tables, cupboards, etc. The thick fabric / felt type are usually best. If some of your furniture items are on casters, remove them, if practical, or place fabric backed caster cups / floor protectors under them.
Under no circumstances be tempted to drag any heavy furniture items across a bamboo floor as doing so may leave a deep gouge or scrape marks and will probably damage your floor beyond economical repair.