Often referred to as “the new timber”, bamboo is a very popular flooring choice for modern homes and businesses alike.
It’s not hard to see why bamboo has soared in popularity. While giving the same stylish look as timber, it is an affordable and very environmentally sustainable alternative. An oak tree, which would be used in timber flooring, would take up to 200 years to grow, whereas bamboo will only require between four to six years. When it reaches maturity the bamboo forest will generally be pruned rather than completely cleared. Therefore, bamboo can continue to be farmed without losing mass areas of forest or doing irreversible damage to the environment.
Bamboo is technically a grass and has more than 1,200 different species. However, when referring to a bamboo floor, generally it is the Moso variety of bamboo that is being used. The strands are fused together with various adhesives under a very high pressure to create the floorboards that are so popular today.
Alternatively, more highly engineered bamboos are also available. This uses a layer of veneer bamboo on top of several layers of wood such as ply or high-density fibreboards that have been bonded together.
Another reason many people opt for bamboo flooring is that bamboo is very tough, meaning it will stand the test of time. Bamboo is not immune to scratches though, so it pays to take care of your bamboo – particularly when it’s being used in high traffic areas, such as a kitchen or living room. Cleaning your properly finished bamboo is very easy though, it can simply be mopped with a mild soap and it will look like new.
Where damage does occur, bamboo (like most other hardwoods) can be refinished, bringing it back to its original state.
Bamboo can be stained a variety of different shades to suit the buyer’s taste. Both lighter and darker shades of bamboo present a very natural look and once installed have a fantastic and very modern finish to them.
In most cases bamboo will be installed as a floating floor, meaning that each individual piece will be connected, but only to each other rather than to the base underneath. This makes for an easy installation.
For those looking for a hardwood style floor on a budget, bamboo is a great option. It presents a highly comparable finish and life span, often for a fraction of the price.