Bamboo flooring is made from bamboo stalks, the thin, long, hollow stems of bamboo. Most of the plants are grown in China and other Southeast Asian countries. It is then manufactured and exported to North America. These kinds of flooring are eco-friendly and recyclable too. Bamboo floors are available in many styles and colors. Moreover, it is also less expensive than a lot of hardwood flooring and other wood flooring products available on the market.
When the bamboo stalks are six years old, they are cut down, leaving the root behind, from which new shoots grow. First of all, the green covering and nodes are removed. After that, they are cut into long pieces called logs. The length of the logs will be the same as that of the finished product. Then, they are boiled to remove all dirt and insects. This process is called purification. When the purification process is finished, some of them are steamed to produce darker color stalks. Then they are divided into two categories, depending on their quality. After that, they are dried.
Now, the flooring can be made by gluing the stalks together. These are called bamboo blanks. The blanks are measured and cut into the final size and the edges are smoothed, in a process called milling. This is how the flooring is manufactured.
During the purification process, the color of the bamboo changes to a light wood color. This is the natural bamboo. After the purification process, some bamboo stalks are steamed in a pressure steamer in which carbon is added. This is called carbonized bamboo flooring. The color of this kind of flooring ranges from honey to light coffee. The blanks can be stained any color.
Installing Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo floors can be installed in three different ways. You can also use different types of subfloors like wood, vinyl or concrete. The flooring can be nailed to wood or vinyl subfloors. This is one common method of installation. The flooring material can also be glued to the subfloor. A third method involves clicking each bamboo plank into place using the cuts and grooves on them. This method is called the floating method. This does not involve any gluing or nailing. If you want to install the floor yourself, this is the best option.
Pros and Cons
It is difficult to find a flooring product that is both cheap and durable. This is the main reason for the popularity of bamboo wood flooring. It is also hard wearing and resistant to stain. On the other side, it has its own disadvantages. Most of the produce comes from China, where industry safety standards and regulations are not as strict as they are in the U.S. So, whenever you buy, make sure you are buying quality bamboo that is formaldehyde free. With the strand woven floor products, many of the cheaper brands use chemicals with high VOC content as adhesives and binders.
Care and Maintenance
You should sweep or vacuum your loor regularly. Wipe up any water spills immediately. You can mop them using a slightly damp mop with plain water. Do not wax or polish your floors. However, you can sand and refinish them to remove any scratches and make them look new again. In a humid area, it’s important to keep any rooms with bamboo floors cool and dry in summer.