The flooring for a modern home or a commercial building is often taken for granted, and visitors or homeowners often don’t even notice it unless there is a problem like warping, scratches, or stains on it, but any contractor for a new construction project or someone renovating their floors will care very much what sort of materials are used for the floor and why, and now, there are more options than ever before. Hardwood floors have often been the norm for American flooring, but a competitor has arrived: bamboo hardwood. Why buy bamboo flooring? Is it easy to take apart? What are the installation instructions? How does this eco-friendly material come about? These are just a few of the questions that any renovation project head should consider, and to buy bamboo flooring is to explore a fascinating new way to make modern floors.
Flooring as a Business
Every building standing today needs good floors under the feet, and there are plenty of contractors and retailers out there to supply materials and get them installed, making for a big business. Recently, in the year 2017, the total sales for flooring jobs came out to $21.99 billion, and in that same year, all those sales added up to 19.736 billion square feet, which means that plenty of homes and public buildings got new flooring put down. Many believe that this industry is not only healthy, but even growing: 70% of respondents to a recent survey, who included contractors and manufacturers, said that they expect sales growth of 3% for the flooring industry in 2018, and one in three respondents said that they expect even more growth in that time frame: 8% or more. With all this flooring going on, naturally a homeowner or building manager will want the best, most practical materials put down, and now, one can buy bamboo flooring to enjoy its benefits. Why buy bamboo flooring?
Bamboo and Flooring
There are several distinct advantages to bamboo as a construction material, along with a few drawbacks that any building owner should take into account before making the final decision on a remodeling job. One thing to consider is the ecological impact; hardwood trees take around 20 years to fully mature and become useful for logging, but this is time-consuming and puts a strain on North American forests. By contrast, bamboo is in fact a grass, and it grows very fast and is easily renewable. Bamboo takes three to five years to reach maturity and become useful for flooring work, and using a lot of bamboo eases the pressure on forests, which can be very helpful for the natural environment. To buy bamboo flooring can be taking part in the “go green” initiative.
How is bamboo flooring made? When the plant is mature, bamboo is sliced and shredded, then the fibers are pressed into usable planks with heat, pressure, and glues to create a material that is often just as strong and durable as hardwood, if not more so. Bamboo may also be carbonized to darken its color for those who want such an aesthetic.
Another advantage to bamboo, aside from easing strain on forests, is that it is low maintenance, requiring only mopping or soap and water to clean whenever it becomes dirty, and if it becomes scratched, a homeowner may simply sand it down and refinish it to make it look like new. Visually, bamboo is pleasant to look at and can easily lend a room a sleek, modern aesthetic that may appeal to younger homeowners or look good in a museum or similar public area. Bamboo can also compete with hardwood on the market, often costing $5 to $8 per square foot, though installation costs will be added on top of this. Part of bamboo’s price is paying for shipping costs, since for North American customers, it is typically imported by ship from Asia.
Before one chooses to buy bamboo flooring, the downsides should be weighed in. Bamboo can warp if exposed to water for too long, and in dry conditions, by contrast, it may shrink and crack, which could ruin the entire floor. What is more, bamboo scratches like regular hardwood due to dust or pet claws (though refinishing it is easy). Also, buyers should avoid very cheap bamboo, since it was probably cheap, cast-off material.