Bamboo is the fastest growing and most versatile plant in the world, which is why many nations depend on it for their livelihood. There are about 1500 bamboo species in the world and they can be found on every continent except for Europe and Antarctica. The bamboo plant is technically a grass, however some species grow so tall and thick, that they are commonly referred to as bamboo trees.
The Bamboo plant is a quick growing source of timber, which only needs between 3 and 5 years to mature, as opposed to other hardwoods, which take anywhere between 20 and 120 years. The bamboo plant is also pest resistant, and doesn’t need a great deal of water, nutrients or care. Said to be the strongest woody plant in the world, bamboo has a tensile strength similar to steel.
Bamboo forests are much more efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide than a hardwood forest. And, they are estimated to produce up to 35% more oxygen than other trees. With bamboo species ranging in height from 3 meters to 30 meters and in a variety of colours and shapes, there is a bamboo to suit everyone and every application.
Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants there is. Bamboo is strong, durable, fast-growing and sustainable, making it a favourite material for many applications.
According to Tom Godfrey, spokesman for consumer organisation CHOICE, bamboo is ‘hard-wearing, durable, easy to clean, and uses low embodied energy.’ The latter refers to the total energy used to produce the flooring, which is an important environmental consideration.
Bamboo has been recognised as one of the most environmentally and eco-friendly building materials available. This is due to the fact that bamboo grass stalks can grow very rapidly and when harvested, the roots don’t need to be cut so it can continue to grow without being replanted. Bamboo is all-natural, can be recycled and is 100% biodegradable. Most commercially-used bamboo is grown in Southeast Asia, therefore it is important to consider the energy expenditure needed to get the bamboo to its final location when considering the environmental benefits of bamboo.
Bamboo is used commercially for building materials, home decor, fabric and clothing, kitchen and eating utensils, agriculture, weapons, food and medicine, musical instruments, bridge construction, scaffolding, furniture, toys, paper and much, much more. As the ancient Asian proverb says, ‘A man is born in a bamboo cradle and goes away in a bamboo coffin. Everything in-between is possible with bamboo’.
Bamboo in Flooring
Top-quality bamboo flooring is just as durable (if not more so) as traditional hardwood flooring. Even though the bamboo plant is a type of grass as opposed to a tree like more traditional flooring, it looks and feels very similar and should be refinished in the same manner. Bamboo wears well and lasts as long as traditional hardwood floors and is slightly more water-resistant.
Bamboo offers a clean and modern aesthetic that will fit most home decor styles. This particular flooring option is elegant, and while similar to hardwood, distinctively unique. Because of the nature of bamboo, it can become discoloured, dented or scratched overtime, however the floor can be refinished as needed and will come up as good as new.
While solid ‘flat grain’ and ‘edge grain’ bamboo floors rank well, compared to traditional hardwoods, in regards to strength and durability, it was the breakthrough of strand-woven bamboo flooring (which is 2-3 times harder than oak flooring) that led to the popularity of bamboo flooring. All bamboo flooring is engineered, which means that the strands of grass are sliced and shredded, then compressed back together with heat and flues to form the floor boards.
Another reason that bamboo floors are gaining popularity for both homes and commercial spaces is that it is an ecologically sustainable and affordable material.
Bamboo flooring is one of the easiest flooring types to maintain. Regular cleaning with a dust mop, soft bristled broom or vacuum cleaner, or a wood floor mop kit is all it takes. Never use a wet mop or a steam mop as excess water can seep between the boards and cause damage. It is not recommended to use wax, oil, soap or any abrasive cleaners on bamboo flooring to maintain its quality.
At Back To Timber, we offer a huge variety of Bamboo timber flooring options. Check them out, below.
If you have questions about these products or any other flooring products, please contact our friendly team. We’d love to hear from you!