If you are looking at getting wood floors for your home, you should take a look at bamboo flooring. Not only does it have the warmth and durability of the other wood floors on the market, it is an easily renewable resource as well. Europeans have been using bamboo flooring for many years now, but it is just becoming more popular in the United States. Take a look at the many aspects of bamboo and the styles and finishes available before you decide what your next floor will be.
Green products refers products which are either recyclable, or easily renewable. Bamboo flooring is a green product because bamboo plants reach maturity and are ready to harvest at about 5 to 8 years. Compare that to most hardwood trees and you will see the difference. It can also be grown close together because it is a grass. China and other tropical climates have an abundance of bamboo.
Three Types Of Bamboo Flooring:
1. Solid-which means that pieces come in various lengths and are glued or nailed in place.
2. Engineered bamboo-this is much like the laminate flooring. It "floats" over the surface and can be used in homes with cement floors or radiant heat sources.
3. A patented variety of bamboo flooring called "strandwoven" which means that the strands of bamboo are heated and put under very high pressure. It is called "bombproof" because of its extreme durability.
Before You Begin Shopping For Bamboo Flooring
o Bamboo reaches its full height at about a year-but it does not fully harden, dry, and mature for at least 4 more years. Some companies will try to sell you mixed age bamboo that is not all mature. This can lead to problems with mold or warping.
o You can get your bamboo flooring with a natural or dark finish. One process, called carbonization, makes the flooring really rich and dark, getting darker the longer it is carbonized.
o The finish on the flooring is almost as important as the bamboo itself. Make sure that the finish is very durable and will protect your bamboo flooring from spills and scratches. If you are going to finish the floor yourself, protect it from any furniture marks for at least two weeks after you finish it.
if you are going to finish or install the floor yourself, leave the bamboo flooring open in the box in whatever room you are installing it in for at least 72 hours before you begin the project. Keep the room at a constant moisture level using a dehumidifier or humidifier if necessary. This will allow the flooring to acclimate and swell or shrink before you install it. This will alleviate problems with gapping or warping later on. Be sure to seal all of the edges carefully to keep water from getting trapped underneath the floor.
Care For Your New Floor
You care for a bamboo floor much the same way that you would care for any type of wood floor. Wipe up any spills quickly so that you will not have mold or warping. Keep pets nails trimmed and do not wear high heels without proper soles on them into the kitchen. A rug placed in high traffic areas will also help to protect the floor.