Well, have you?
Bamboo is a fairly new building material that has some great properties and uses. Worldwide, there is a growing interest in the development of bamboo products as a sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally responsible alternative construction material with the same building properties as timber.
Its major benefit is the fact that it is a quickly renewable and plentiful resource. Bamboo forests have up to four times the carbon density as spruce forests over the long term. It grows in areas where often timber resources are very limited. In today’s environment where we are losing our rainforests and timber supply this is a welcome solution.
Bamboo is not timber. It is grass! With a hollow core. It is used both in bamboo sheets and engineered bamboo. Engineered bamboo is where they use the bamboo fibers and add resin to it. They then shape it into planks and sheets of all different sizes and lengths.
Bamboo is now used in exterior and interior applications. Made mostly in China, where they have an abundant supply and little timber, it has become a major building source for them. You won’t find this yet in the USA, but woven bamboo is even used as an alternative to drywall. The most common use by far in North America for bamboo is in flooring.
You can get Bamboo flooring almost anywhere they sell flooring supplies. It is available in big box stores and custom flooring places. Most reputable dealers will offer a warranty with the purchase of flooring material. With bamboo this is usually a structural integrity warranty that covers the physical strength of the floor.
The darker the bamboo the less durable it will be. That is because the dark hues are caused by a process known as carbonization, which places the bamboo under a high level of heat and pressure. This stresses the fibers causing them to lose strength. Not to say that this means the flooring will fail, just something to take into consideration if you are hard on your floors.
The most durable bamboo flooring will be made of strand woven materials. This is made by shredding the bamboo stalk, then reconstituting it into a block using pressure and adhesive. The block is then cut down into usable flooring planks. This is similar to how any engineered hardwoods are made.
So now you know about Bamboo. We hope you consider it when looking at materials for your home.