Bamboo Flooring Qualities
Why is bamboo flooring so popular?
Bamboo flooring has recently started to become a popular alternative to the hardwood option. Not even a wood but a grass, bamboo is a now a favored building material due to its hardness, strength and because it resists warping. The other big advantage of this material is the fact that it is a substitute for wood which takes the pressure off our forests.
Furthermore this grass can be fully grown in three years and does not need replanting and requires no maintenance with regards to pest control and fertilization.
Bamboo flooring - so how is this wonder material produced? The hollow rounded grass is cut into a number of strips. From here they are boiled to eliminate the starch held in the bamboo. The bamboo is then dried and then pasted together under pressure to produce laminated solid planks, boards and tiles. These boards are then milled and treated with a preservative. A wear layer of polyurethane can then be applied to produce a matt or gloss finish. Aluminum oxide finishes are also available - these are slightly less prone to scratches and damage.
Bamboo floors can come in a vertical or horizontal "wood" pattern and can vary in shades from an off white to a dark coffee color. The darker shade is created by pressure steaming the bamboo boards (carbonizes the material.) The final product is also available in door and window moldings, parquet flooring strips, wall panels and stairway treads.
There are also a number of advantages to turning to bamboo:
- It is a quickly renewable resource.
- Although a grass, once treated this grass has proven to harder than most hardwoods (30% harder than red oak.)
- It has a high natural resistance to moisture and is therefore more easily able to keep its dimensions and resist buckling and warping.
- Hardwoods are traditionally dark in color, while the more popular light colored woods such as pine are softwoods. Therefore bamboo provides a bridge between the two.
- It can also remarkably be laid down directly over concrete and can be secured to ply wood or chipboard.
- Regarding installation bamboo flooring is fitted the same as any other i.e. direct gluing or by nailing / stapling down. On average you could expect the price to be about $65 per square meter (more with labor costs and price alters with the thickness of the boards.)
Bamboo flooring - how does one care for it? This is simple enough and only requires you to run a mop or vacuum over it twice a week and maybe use a little mild detergent - stay away from abrasive cleaners. To clean up a spill just use a damp cloth, but try and wipe the surface dry if you can. When moving furniture, lift it and also look into placing little cushions underneath to spread the weight evenly.