Flooring is universal in homes and public buildings alike, since everyone needs somewhere to stand and walk. Many people take a building’s flooring for granted, but they’ll certainly notice if wood floorboard are creaking, dirty, scratched, or warped. The modern American flooring business is a big one, and flooring professionals will find work at construction sites and also for repairing or replacing a current building’s floors. Often, hardwood flooring is the norm for this, and hardwood floors are an American classic. Some historical buildings, in fact, still have their original hardwood floors, and they can still accept the weight of people walking on them. A certain eco-friendly material has risen as an alternative to traditional hardwood floors, however. Bamboo planks are an eco-friendly material, and bamboo strength can often rival that of hardwood. Bamboo flooring is a fine option for any homeowner or public building manager, and this eco-friendly material can prove easy to maintain and last a long time. What is there to know about this eco-friendly material and flooring in general?
The American flooring industry is a big one, and it is in fact growing. Many industry professionals such as carpenters, distributors, and contractors have been surveyed about this, and many of them described a 3% growth expected in the next few years for American flooring work. In fact, about one in three surveyed professionals said that they expected closer to 8% growth for flooring, predicting vigorous growth for this industry. Already, there has been some recent growth in this arena; the American flooring industry reported a 3.85% boost in sales and 3.2% growth in volume over the last year. Most often, this flooring involves popular hardwood species such as pine or cedar, or even bricks or concrete or linoleum. The flooring industry makes use of many different materials, though in some buildings such as houses and hotels, hardwood floors may be more common. Today, however, bamboo flooring manufacturers are working hard to catch up, and bamboo hardwood is a poplar alternative. Can bamboo measure up to classic hardwoods?
Bamboo flooring first differs in source material compared to hardwoods. North American logging is done with hardwood forests, but it may take at least 20 years for a hardwood tree to reach maturity for logging. What is more, there is some concern that logging is destroying forests faster than they can be replaced, and deforestation brings its own host of problems. By contrast, bamboo is a highly renewable resource, and using a lot of it can ease the strain on hardwood forests to protect them. A bamboo plant grows slowly when first planted, but it may take only three to five years to reach maturity. And once a bamboo stalk has been harvested, it may grow back much faster the second time, and all instances beyond that. This makes the bamboo plant (technically a grass) a robust source of alternative lumber, and it can easily grow back fast enough to meet demand.
When harvested, woody bamboo stalks are sliced and shredded into fibers, and then bamboo manufacturers will use heat, adhesives, and pressure to fuse these bamboo fibers into planks. These planks may have similar strength and endurance as hardwood planks, making them a fine competitor. In particular, the bamboo fibers can be strand woven for further boosted strength. These bamboo factories are typically found in China, and these planks are imported to the United States as needed. Buyers should be wary of steeply discounted bamboo planks, though, since they are made of cast-off materials that may be inferior in quality.
Bamboo planks rival hardwood in strength and price alike, and they may make for very attractive floors that are easy to maintain. Bamboo can be cleaned with a mop, and it can be easily refinished more than once to remove scratches and look like new. Bamboo has a few downsides to take note of, though. It has a limited range of colors, even counting bamboo planks darkened with canonization. Besides that, bamboo is sensitive to humidity extremes. High moisture levels in the air may warp and twist bamboo floors, and very arid environments may cause the boards to shrink and crack. Bamboo may be best used in moderate climates to preserve the flooring.