Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bamboo Flooring- What are your options?

We fought the concrete- and the concrete won.  I posted HERE about our adventures in staining the concrete in the den ourselves.  It was a great flooring for us for a couple of years.  Then we had a baby, and that baby started crawling.  We started noticing that his hands and feet would be covered in brown stuff.  It was the floor coming up on him.  He must have a weird skin composition because it didn’t come up on us or other babies but we didn’t want him to eat too much of the stuff- who know’s what’s in it.  It was time to start exploring other options. 
I knew I wanted bamboo flooring.  It’s green (as in earth friendly- not actually GREEN), it’s beautiful, and not many other people have it.  Qualities I was looking for in a flooring.
Side note: here’s why it’s Green
Bamboo flooring Grown in Southeast China, bamboo is a fast growing grass that requires no pesticides or fertilizers. It generates without replanting. Its a low-energy naturally renewable resource and offers ecological diversity as a sustainable resource. It only takes 3 to 4 years for bamboo to mature. Bamboo is super strong, durable and highly versatile as building material, perfect for both commercial and residential uses
Here is what you probably think of when you hear Bamboo Flooring.
natural bamboo
Light in color, distinctive “markings” every few inches, thin strips.  This is a horizontal natural bamboo.  Great product- it’s hard and will hold up fine for you.  It’s not for everyone though.  Some people want a traditional wood and they won’t be happy with bamboo no matter what.
Here’s another option.  It’s a Vertical bamboo which means the “strips” are turned on their sides. 
vertical bamboo
I love the thin linear look of this one.  This piece is “carbonized” in color which means the bamboo has been steamed and pressed and the sugars darken the color a bit.  Carbonizing softens the product a little but a lot of people are looking for a darker color than the original light bamboo.
When looking for a bamboo- look for a piece that has bamboo from top to bottom- not just a thin layer of bamboo mounted on plywood or other substrate.  I think bamboo having the bamboo all the way through is better- but that’s just my opinion.
And here’s another option for bamboo. 
strand bamboo 2
It’s called strand bamboo.  This is when they take all pieces of the bamboo and smash them together with a lot of heat and pressure.  This is the hardest bamboo they make.  In fact, it’s harder than Oak… by quite a bit.  It’s also priced a bit higher than the other two options and looks the least like traditional bamboo.  Here’s another strand bamboo.
strand bamboo
They took natural and carbonized pieces and sandwiched them together.  I’m in love with this one.  In fact, we were very close to installing in in our living area but it was about $2 more a sq. ft. than the one we selected and we just couldn’t. 
Still not sold on a bamboo?  How about one that looks like this:
walnut-stained-dark-bamboo-flooring
Stained and scraped and you can hardly tell it’s bamboo. 
Bamboo comes in so many different options and styles.  If you are interested in bamboo for your home, do your research and don’t let your flooring supplier talk you out of it.  In our recent search for a bamboo floor- if they didn’t sell bamboo or had some more expensive products- they worked very hard to try and convince me to go a different direction. 
Well, it didn’t work because as I type- someone is installing this
 vertical bamboo
in my living room.

Pictures to come!

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3 comments:

Timberland Flooring said...

Bamboo grow very fast and these give unique look to your flooring and it is being liked due to its green and echo-friendly features . It has the become almost the first choice for flooring !

niki petrov said...

Много хубаво обяснено - благодаря ви . Поздрави - http://bambooflooringprosandcons.net

Dolly Perez said...

Having thought of redecorating your house especially your flooring? You must try bamboo flooring as a great option for your house. Bamboo floors are truly amazing and can add elegant design to your home!

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