The appeal of bamboo flooring

The appeal of bamboo flooring

Try the latest type of flooring in your next reno. Discover The appeal of bamboo flooring.

Floors are an essential and important element in an interior design scheme. Small wonder, then, that the eye-catching patterns of bamboo flooring have been attracting attention. It is made from the bamboo plant—a grass. This style of flooring allows homeowners to make a bold design statement underfoot. Another reason for the buzz? Bamboo is considered an eco-friendly flooring option. “While bamboo flooring is unique and beautiful, it’s also a fast-growing grass that reaches maturity in four to six years.” Chelsea Fossum, a buyer for Lumber Liquidators, recommends bamboo. “This makes it a highly renewable resource. It is gaining popularity in home design.”

How It’s Made.
To make bamboo flooring, the stalks of the bamboo plant are cut into thin strips. They are bonded together in layers with the use of an adhesive resin. They can be layered horizontally. The strips face up to reveal the natural shape of the plant. Vertically, the strips are turned on their ends and pressed one against the other. This results in a striated pattern. The third process creates a product known as “strand-woven bamboo.” The process involves shredding the bamboo stalks. They mix the fibers with adhesive. Then are pressed together into highly durable flooring sheets.

Varieties are horizontal-grain, vertical-grain, and strand-woven bamboo flooring. These are commonly referred to as “solid bamboo.” They are made up entirely of bamboo strips or fibers. Another option on the market is called “engineered bamboo.” The process uses thin strips of solid bamboo. They are adhered to the top of another type of wood such as plywood or fiberboard. The main advantage of engineered bamboo is ease of installation. Engineered planks can be floated above a subfloor.  There is no need for nails or adhesives. Solid planks are installed much like traditional hardwood.

Colors and Patterns.
Bamboo flooring is available in a wide range of colors. Shades include pale straw to deep mahogany tones and everything in between. Natural bamboo resembles light woods like ash and beech. To create other colors, bamboo can be stained or carbonized. This process produces pleasing deeper hues. Carbonization, however, is thought to degrade the durability of bamboo floors. Darker colors may not be best for high-traffic areas.

The variety of patterns in bamboo flooring is one of its biggest draws for homeowners. Natural silhouettes are visible in horizontal-grain planks. Linear quality can be appreciated in vertical-grain planks.  There is a visually graphic quality in strand-woven designs. Which variety to use in a room of your house will depend on your personal taste.  You’ll need to consider the overall style of the space.

Care and Maintenance.
Regular sweeping and occasional mopping with a damp cloth are all that’s needed. These will keep bamboo flooring looking its best. For high foot traffic, pets, or young children, thoughtfully positioned area rugs may be a worthwhile investment. As with hardwood floors, placing felt pads on the bottom of furniture legs can help extend the life of bamboo.

The cost is about $3 to $8 per square foot. The price of bamboo is comparable to other flooring options such as hardwood, carpeting, or tile. It’s worth paying a little more for a higher-quality product for increased durability. Warranties are often a good indicator of quality. Planks with a longer warranty are generally more durable. Households with young children or anyone with respiratory sensitivity will want to inquire about VOC levels before making a purchase. The chemicals sometimes used in manufacturing can off-gas in the home.

To help you find the best pattern for a particular room, think about the other colors in the room.  The fabrics and finishes that will share the space with the bamboo floor should blend, much as you would when considering paint swatches. More graphic patterns lend themselves to use in modern interiors. Simpler designs are typically suited to more traditional decor.

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