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Go Green with Bamboo!

Bamboo flooring is one of the new trends in flooring and because bamboo is a more sustainable material opposed to other traditional wood flooring it is great for the environment.  Bamboo can replenish quickly, trees take much longer to grow!!  It looks different from hardwood floors and it is so beautiful!  There are many options to choose from when picking out bamboo floors:


Horizontal or Vertical Bamboo Grain:  Horizontal bamboo and vertical bamboo look very different; I prefer the horizontal bamboo.  So what is the difference?  Horizontal bamboo is created by uniting strips of bamboo together that are laid flat; the surface shows the bamboo’s natural growth rings. Vertical bamboo is created by uniting strips of bamboo together that are laid sideways creating a very different look of vertical rows that are close together.


Natural or Carbonized Bamboo:  Natural bamboo is not stained or carbonized so it is much lighter than the other types of bamboo.  Carbonized bamboo is boiled to achieve a darker color (the picture to the right is carbonized horizontal bamboo flooring). 

Stained Bamboo:  This type of bamboo is actually stained and there area many stains to choose from.

Hand scraped Bamboo:  This type of bamboo is hand crafted and has more of a distressed appearance.  If you run your hand across one of these bamboo planks, it feels kind of wavy from the ridges in the bamboo and is not flat like the traditional bamboo styles.  For a textured look, this is a great choice! 

Strand Bamboo:  The entire bamboo stock is used for this type of flooring.  The bamboo strips are heated together with extreme pressure which not only gives it a slightly different look than other types of bamboo, but also makes it much stronger than traditional bamboo.


Bamboo looks beautiful in homes but there are a few disadvantages:

  1. It is said bamboo flooring is stronger than maple but I have also been told it is softer and more comparable to a birch or beech wood.  If you prefer the darker color carbonized bamboo has to offer instead of the natural bamboo, note that boiling the bamboo does make it about 30% softer than the natural bamboo. The hardest bamboo flooring is the strand bamboo. 
  2. From my experience, it scratches easily, if you have pets that run around the house, bamboo floors may not be the best option for you.  Depending on what type of bamboo you install, the scratch resistance may vary.
  3. Similar to wood floors, the color of the bamboo changes when hit directly by sunlight.  If this occurs, move your rugs and furniture around so the sun can hit all areas of the bamboo floor in the room.  Otherwise, you will see defined lines separating the different shades on your flooring.


Price of bamboo is surprisingly affordable when compared to wood flooring and can be purchased for $2.19/SFT through Lumber Liquidators!  Depending on the type of bamboo flooring you purchase, it may have a warranty as well.  As far as installation goes, bamboo is installed with the same techniques and tools as with any other wood floor installation.  The bamboo planks have a tongue and groove edge just as the normal hardwood planks do.  Don’t forget to let the bamboo acclimate for at least 1 week prior to installation.

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