With environmental awareness growing, bamboo flooring has become a popular material for those homeowners who wish to replace their floors without using wood from old growth forests. While earlier bamboo floorings were expensive and difficult to find, newer products are inexpensive and can be found in many chain home improvement centers.
Bamboo flooring is manufactured into three distinct types
- The first is horizontal flooring, where the knuckles of the bamboo are clearly visible. Each piece of bamboo is steamed and flattened and then each piece is attached to several other pieces until a piece of bamboo lumber is made. Then the resulting lumber is milled into planks.
- Secondly, vertical flooring is manufactured in a similar manner, except the knuckles of the bamboo are not seen. Instead, the sides of the bamboo pieces are exposed, giving the bamboo a striped appearance.
- The third type, strand flooring, is made of the wasted bits of bamboo flooring. Together with a resin the bamboo pieces are compressed together and made into lumber. When the lumber is milled into planks, strand bamboo flooring has little resemblance to wood floors.
Buy EPA Certified Bamboo Flooring
The greatest allure of bamboo flooring remains its appeal as a sustainable material. However, the resins used to manufacturer bamboo flooring can be toxic and create significant off gassing. For this reason, it is important to buy bamboo flooring that meets EPA standards. You should also check with the manufacturer to find out what their environmental policies are as well as the standards they follow when creating their products.
Bamboo Can Take It
In the past there have been valid concerns about the sturdiness of bamboo flooring. However, if you are sure to purchase from a reputable manufacturer, bamboo flooring should have the same hardiness as a hardwood floor. If you are very concerned about the longevity of your bamboo flooring, consider using strand flooring, which has been shown to be the strongest type manufactured.
Install Bamboo Flooring Similar to Hardwood Methods
Installing bamboo flooring is as easy as installing hardwood flooring. Like hardwood, bamboo flooring should be carefully tested for moisture levels and allowed to acclimate in the space before installation begins. These precautions will reduce the chances that you will have any unsightly gaps in the flooring.
Bamboo Flooring is Easy on the Wallet
Using bamboo flooring is a great first step into the world of green building products. With its price and installation costs comparable to hardwood floors it’s an easy way to support sustainable products without a significant dent to your pocketbook.