Learn About Bamboo Durability
Bamboo Flooring Durability and Hardness
Labelling the hardness and durability of bamboo is difficult for two reasons. First, there are several misconceptions about bamboo flooring that make reading its hardness difficult. Second, there are many different types of bamboo flooring, which vary in degree of hardness.
The first thing to know is that bamboo is not a type of wood; technically, bamboo is a type of grass. This doesn’t mean that bamboo isn’t hard, but it does mean that it is difficult to measure its hardness. The flooring industry measures the hardness of wood with the Janka Hardness Test, which records how much force is required to drive a steel ball into a piece of wood.
When you perform the Janka Hardness test on bamboo, the readings indicate that it is incredibly hard. It scores anywhere between 3,000-5,000 on the test, which is comparable to the hardest types of exotic wood like Brazilian teak or Brazilian Cherry. However, bamboo is not quite as hard as its Janka results might indicate.
This has to do with the composition of bamboo. Bamboo is naturally fibrous and springy. When you force a steel ball into the bamboo, the fibers act like a trampoline, pushing back against the ball, and making it difficult for the ball to penetrate the wood, hence the high Janka score.
Manufacturing Methods’ Effects on Hardness
Second, bamboo is manufactured in three different ways, which vary in degree of hardness. The first two methods are similar: thin, rectangular strips of bamboo are glued together and boiled. There only difference is the direction in which they are glued together (see picture). These two types of bamboo flooring have a similar hardness to maple or oak, depending on the manufacturing process.
Finally, strand woven bamboo flooring represents the third type of bamboo flooring. This method involves pulling the bamboo fibers apart and weaving them together under intense pressure. After this, the floor is bound with an environmentally friendly resin. This type of bamboo flooring is incredibly hard and scores comparable with types of wood like Brazilian Teak.
Overall, bamboo represents a very hard flooring option, despite it technically being a type of grass. In addition, it is incredibly environmentally friendly. This makes it an excellent choice for your home. See our offerings here.