Hardwood flooring has been a luxurious part of finer homes for centuries. However, with the problems of deforestation and the subsequent rising costs of wood, there are now excellent alternatives to hardwood. One such alternative is bamboo. Although bamboo is firm and strong, much like wood, it is actually a grass, which grows much faster than a tree. The advantage of this is that stalks of bamboo reach maturity in only a few years, versus decades for trees.
Benefits of Using Bamboo Floors
Generally grown in Asia from the moso bamboo plant, stalks are flattened, laminated, and formed into floorboards. These make a smooth, flat surface, much like that of a hardwood floor. Bamboo floorboards are naturally resistant to moisture and insects, and also quite durable. Though bamboo floors are laminates, they utilize much thicker pieces of bamboo compared with the wood used in plywood flooring. The natural color of bamboo is a light beige color and many floorboards use this color. However, bamboo floorboards can be stained and treated, allowing for darker tones and colors. Thus, it is easy to match bamboo flooring to most home d��cor.
Maintenance of Bamboo Floors
Being that they are formed into floorboards, bamboo flooring is installed and maintained much in the same way as any hardwood floor. Many floorboards are built with grooves and joints, allowing boards to snap together easily. In terms of maintenance, bamboo flooring can be scratched or faded, like any wooden floor. It is important to clean floors periodically to remove small stones or dirt which can scratch its surface. Also, dragging furniture across bamboo flooring can easily scratch the finish. Like all natural flooring, bamboo floors need to breathe. Thus, it is important to pick rugs that are designed for wooden or bamboo flooring to prevent discoloration.
Bamboo Flooring and Discoloration
Discoloration can also occur after prolonged exposure to sunlight, so window coverings are important. However, color change will occur to some extent for all natural flooring, and bamboo is no exception. Moving furniture periodically will allow for an even color change and prevent spot discoloration. Some cleaning products may also damage the finish. However, manufacturers generally provide a list of recommended cleaning products.
Essentially, bamboo flooring has the same list of maintenance concerns as any wooden flooring. However, its advantage comes from bamboo's fast growth and a reduction in the deforestation of our planet.