Bamboo is the fastest growing species on the planet. In a matter of 5 to 6 years bamboo is ready to harvest.
Bamboo can be grown organically because it has a natural ability to fight pests and pathogens. It puts out new shoots so it doesn’t have to be planted. Bamboo stops soil erosion. Bamboo cleans the soil. It provides more oxygen than trees and has for centuries been an important source of food and medicine for people.
Bamboo can be made into vertical, horizontal or strand woven flooring. Strand woven bamboo flooring is particularly hard. It has a Janka Hardness of over 2,500 pounds force, making it harder than oak, ask and elm.
Bamboo flooring is also anti allergenic and anti microbial so it is ideal for people suffering from allergic rhinitis and asthma.
Bamboo flooring is also much cheaper than hardwood flooring.
When you consider all of these advantages it is not hard to see why bamboo flooring is so popular.
Bamboo is the fastest growing species on the planet. It is a ‘woody’ plant, not a tree; and yet it can be used in a similar way to timber. Unlike coconut that only grows in hot and humid tropical conditions, bamboo can grow nearly anywhere. It is good for the soil and provides food, medicine and materials for local communities.
Most of the bamboo that is used commercially to make bamboo flooring comes from the Zhujiang River Delta in Guangdong Province in Southern China. This is one of the few problems with bamboo and strand woven bamboo flooring. Unlike with other countries the People’s Republic of China is reluctant to allow international oversight; and the worker’s paradise is most reluctant to participate in Fair Trade programs. Nevertheless, it is now possible to get strand woven bamboo flooring that has Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation.
Although strand woven bamboo flooring is much harder than both vertical and horizontal bamboo flooring it has the draw-back of containing low VOC (volatile organic compounds) adhesive. As yet the field of bio-mimicry has not made a commericially available flooring glue. However, if you buy strand woven bamboo flooring from a reputable dealer you can ask about VOC levels. Normally low-VOC adhesive is perfectly safe, even for people with allergies and asthma.
On the positive side, bamboo contains an amazing ‘kun’ substance that fights off pests and pathogens. So not only is the hard surface of strand woven bamboo flooring easy to keep free of dust mites it is also resistant to bacterial and fungal attack. This makes bamboo flooring one of the best flooring types for people who suffer from allergic rhinitis.
It is this antimicrobial property of bamboo that has made people look into the possibility of using bamboo linen for hospital beds. I’m sure in the future as more and more people fall victim in the developed world to allergies the use of bamboo products will increase.
For those people who just want a good-looking floor then strand woven bamboo does not disappoint. It has a natural grain and a light color like ash. For those who prefer a darker, richer color carbonized strand woven bamboo flooring is available. For those looking for a more striking look there is tiger stripe strand woven bamboo which is an attractive mixture of carbonized and uncarbonized bamboo.
In terms of performance, strand woven bamboo flooring is very similar to hardwood flooring: it can withstand heavy traffic and heavy furniture. It is long lasting and very hard. If properly maintained, strand woven bamboo flooring will easily last as long as any hardwood flooring.
And the great news is that strand woven bamboo is usually cheaper than hardwood flooring.