When choosing flooring for your home, the decision has traditionally been carpet, hardwood, or tile. But now there is a new kid on the block and he is eco friendly, affordable, durable, and extremely unique. I’m talking of course about bamboo flooring.
Although bamboo has a very similar look to wood, it is actually a type of grass and there are more than 1,2000 different types around the world. Typically bamboo flooring is made from Moso bamboo, because of its strength and density compared to other types of bamboo. The idea for bamboo flooring has been around for centuries, but it used to be made by splitting the bamboo stalks and binding them side by side. This type of flooring was quite bumpy and had gaps between each piece, so it wouldn’t really be practical for use today. Modern-day bamboo flooring uses the same material, but the manufacturing process is much more complicated. Stalks of bamboo are harvested, split, flattened, dried, layered, laminated, glued, and then finished, making bamboo flooring as flat and durable as any other hardwood or laminate floor out there.
Benefits of Bamboo Flooring
Eco Friendly – Bamboo is considered a rapidly renewable resource because it is a type of quick growing grass, each plant taking only about 5 to 7 years to reach maturity. Compare this to an oak tree (typically used for hardwood floors) which can take up to 60 years to replace. When harvested properly, bamboo’s root system stays in the ground and the plant can be harvested and re-harvested every 5 to 7 years. If you want hardwood floors but are worried about the affect you will have on the environment, bamboo flooring might be the right answer for you.
Durable – Many people assume that traditional wood is more durable than bamboo but this is not the case. Today bamboo flooring is made with a laminating processes that adds strength and durability and in fact, the finished product is as hard as Maple and 50% more stable than Red Oak.
Affordable – When it was new on the market, bamboo flooring sold for around $7 per square foot. However, its popularity and demand have increased which has caused its price to go way down. Today, bamboo flooring can be purchased for as little as $2 per square foot but consumers should pay careful attention to the product’s quality before buying.
Unique – Because bamboo is relatively new in the flooring industry, you can be sure you will be the only one of your friends who has it, making it a great conversation piece. Bamboo also has a different grain than conventional hardwood, so while it is similar in appearance to hardwood, it is also very unique.
Easy to Install – Similar to other types of hardwood, bamboo is manufactured with tongues and groves on each strip of flooring so that all you need to do is snap each piece together. This type of flooring is sometimes known as a floating floor, because it isn’t glued or nailed down (although it can be if desired)
Increased Home value – When it comes to home value, solid bamboo flooring has the same benefits as hardwood flooring and it will increase your home value just as much. In a study conducted by the National Wood Flooring Association, 99% of real estate agents in the US said that homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell, and 90% said that the homes sell for more money – up to 10% more.
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