Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

Beautiful and Sustainable Bamboo Flooring

Though bamboo looks and behaves like the most sumptuous hardwood, it isn’t a wood at all. Bamboo is actually a grass, which is one of the things that makes it such a green product. The bamboo that’s used for flooring can grow over 100 feet tall. However, after a stand of bamboo is harvested, it takes only about five years to be ready for harvest again. Compare this to the decades it takes for a stand of hardwood trees to be ready for harvest!

bamboo floor

Like hardwood, bamboo flooring can be solid or engineered. In solid bamboo flooring, a plank is bamboo all the way through. An engineered plank has a veneer of bamboo over layers of fiberboard or other, inferior woods. These layers are laid perpendicular to each other then bonded together, which makes them very strong. The veneer of an engineered bamboo floor is about one eighth of an inch thick.

But besides engineered and solid flooring, the homeowner can also have strand bamboo flooring. This is when the fibers of the bamboo stalk are shredded, woven and the bonded with great pressure and heat to create a floor with an especially beautiful grain. Bamboo flooring can also be distressed, which can give it a wavy grain that might give it the look of a hardwood like jacaranda. Distressing is done on solid bamboo, so it will be as durable as any other hardwood.

When it comes to colors, bamboo can be left with its natural “blond” color or can be carbonized. This will turn the bamboo different shades of brown, from light brown to a deep chocolate. The change in color comes because the sugars in the grass are caramelized.

Like hardwood floors, bamboo flooring is easy to take are of. As with a hardwood floor, it shouldn’t be cleaned with a sopping wet mop. The mop should only be damp. Spills need to be blotted up immediately, and some suppliers will give the homeowner a cleanser to use on the floor. If this is the case, only that cleanser should be used in order to keep the warranty in force. If there’s no specific cleanser, a quarter cup of white vinegar dissolved in a quart of warm water should be a good cleasner for a bamboo floor that’s been sealed with polyurethane.

Sites like Bamboo Flooring Facts can give a homeowner more information when it comes to bamboo flooring.

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