Bamboo has gained popularity in recent years as a viable flooring option. Though many people have a visual in their heads that involve bamboo as a hollow tree growing in patches that giant panda bears like to eat, it is so much more. In fact, bamboo is not a tree at all, and it isn’t even a hardwood. Though it is a grass that can be successfully grown all over the world in areas that have a tropical and humid climate, bamboo is culturally significant to those countries that comprise East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Bamboo is an extremely versatile material and is used for scaffolding, food, building materials, and — of course — as flooring. The experts at Floor Coverings International Kansas City West outline some bamboo basics below!
Why Choose Bamboo Flooring?
When compared to other materials such as concrete, steel alloys, and graphite, the tensile strength of bamboo rivals them. Many other types of flooring materials — oak, for example — can take decades of growth before it can be successfully harvested for use. When compared to the 40 years that it can take an oak tree to grow enough to be harvested, bamboo can be harvested in as few as three years, making it a highly sustainable source of material.
How Does Bamboo Get From Stalks to Flooring?
As mentioned previously, bamboo can be harvested after three years. It is preferable, though, to give the grass a longer period of time — as long as six years, in fact — to mature. Once the stalks are harvested, they are milled to remove the outer husk which is tough and green. These milled stalks are cut into long strips and then boiled. This boiling step removes grit, dirt and debris, as well as impurities and the natural sugars and starches of the bamboo. This is a necessary step that makes bamboo less appealing to pests as well as reducing contraction and expansion because of humidity. At this stage, the bamboo can be carbonized using steam pressure to produce darker planks or left uncarbonized. This will result in a natural bamboo color that can also be stained.
Types of Bamboo Flooring
Though there are variations within them, there are three primary types of bamboo that vary depending on the pattern of the grain. All three of these types — vertical, horizontal, and strand woven — are made by joining treated strips of bamboo together using either resin or glue.
Regardless of the type that a homeowner chooses, bamboo flooring is a fantastic option for those who want an eco-friendly choice that’s also strong and beautiful. Schedule your free in-home design consultation with the experts at Floor Coverings International Kansas City West today to go over your many different bamboo flooring options. We proudly serve the greater Overland Park, Shawnee, Lenexa, Prairie Village areas and look forward to working with you!
Photo Credit: Ninever