Today bamboo flooring is growing in popularity as an alternative to hardwood flooring. Bamboo is as strong as hardwood floors. In addition, depending on what part of the plant the floor is harvested from, it can be stronger than maple and oak. Bamboos strength makes it durable and dent-resistant, and although it is a strong material it is not heavy. It is lightweight and will not shrink as long as it’s allowed to adjust to the homes surface for about one week, just like other hardwood floors.
Bamboo flooring is a great option for kitchens and bathrooms because of its moisture resistance unlike other hardwood floors. It also maintains well in areas of high traffic. In addition, its design is pleasing to the eye and complements Asian and contemporary styles. It’s available in a flat or vertical grain, both of which can be easily cleaned with a broom and mop.
Another major advantage of Bamboo is that it is grown and cultivated quickly and is environmentally friendly. Some producers of bamboo adhere to a code of ethics regarding how the flooring is produced. However, there are no strict guidelines on the use of chemicals or energy for the manufacturing of the flooring in some places where it is made.
The seller you work with should be able to tell you whether the Bamboo flooring was harvested from a plantation, if there is formaldehyde in the wood, and if the finish is water-based. The Forest Stewardship Council has a searchable database on its website that allows consumers to find information about which products are produced ethically.
A disadvantage to Bamboo flooring is that it is only available in a light honey or amber color unless it is carbonized. If it is carbonized it makes it 20% softer than hardwood. To prevent carbonizing the floor you can buy the flooring unfinished and stain it at home.