What is Bamboo Flooring?
What’s the history of Bamboo Flooring? What’s today’s Bamboo Flooring?
The use of bamboo as a hard surface, commercially available flooring material is a relatively recent development. It started in the early 90’s in Southeast Asia (primarily China). About 10 years later, it spread to Europe and North America where it’s popularity has steadily grown as the technology has advanced.
But bamboo’s history as a multipurpose and versatile material goes back centuries. No other plant has as many uses and impacted so many cultures. In fact, the uses for bamboo are only limited by one’s imagination.
The use of bamboo as a building material is particularly prevalent in southern tropical climates where its abundance and utility make it an ideal construction material. As a building material, bamboo has been used over centuries to build simple shelters and huts as well as to construct fencing, retaining walls, piers, barns, towers and bridges, as well as scaffolding and ladders used to build them.
But back to bamboo and its growing presence as a stylish flooring option. Initially, the flooring was manufactured in a cottage industry setting without much quality control or marketing. However, with the increased demand, manufacturers have turned to more automated equipment, finishing processes and stronger and lower formaldehyde glue from Europe. In many ways, bamboo flooring is still in its infancy. There are many high-capacity mills in China with varying degrees of reliability and many more bamboo-flooring mills that still operate as cottage style ventures.
Bamboo flooring is still evolving. There are some areas in North America where bamboo can be grown – and that locally grown potential has yet to be tapped. But judging by its extensive history and staying power, it’s a story that will continue.
What’s the advantage and disadvantage of Bamboo Flooring?
- Bamboo is, in general, less expensive that many other hardwood flooring products.
- Bamboo has a unique look which makes it appealing to a certain a certain kind of homeowner looking to spice up their décor.
- Natural colors of “Bamboo Flooring” are generally more durable with lot of dramatic shades that are available at the Hardwood Flooring Stores that will satisfy all tastes.
- Bamboo has a high moisture resistance. When little junior runs through the house in his winter boots or spills his juice it won’t immediately soak into the flooring.
- Bamboo is hard more resistant to scuffing and scratches than most solid hardwood flooring and can be installed in high traffic areas in the home.
- Because of its resistance to moisture bamboo does not suffer the seasonal expansion and contraction
- Because bamboo is not a wood product it can be stained and refinished to restore the floor to its original luster.
- Bamboo is a sturdy and versatile product that will last in your home for decades if properly taken care of.
- The majority of bamboo is not overly hard but some can be as hard as white oak and has been known to dent and scratch easily. To avoid this issue talk to a Hardwood Flooring Store associate and they can get you the right bamboo floors.
- You need to be careful when installing bamboo floors as improperly installed floors can sound hollow when walked on.
- For the extremely budget conscious home owner, bamboo can be expensive.