Home owners and interior designers alike are turning to bamboo flooring as a natural looking flooring alternative. Bamboo is a top choice among the ecologically minded. Bamboo is a grass and it regrows much faster than wood, which makes it a renewable resource. For an example, Chinese Moso bamboo is used most often for flooring material. It can grow 4 feet in 24 hours, and reaches maturity in as little as three years. Traditional wood sources like maple and oak take 20 to 100 years to fully mature Bamboo is also naturally resistant to moisture and insects.
Bamboo offers an exotic choice for people who are updating their home dcor. Installing a bamboo floor in your home costs between $4 and $10 a square foot. This price is a little bit less than the price for traditional hardwood flooring. There are many different kinds of bamboo, and the highest quality materials tend to cost the most. The cheaper materials are softer and weaker because they are made from plants that are not as mature. They are also less ecologically friendly as they have usually been treated with chemicals to make them more durable.
The most popular color choice for bamboo floors is natural. Despite its name, there are many color options that are all called natural. The appearance of natural bamboo is striking, and is brighter than other shades of bamboo. Natural bamboo is more durable than the carbonized variety, which makes it a better choice for high traffic areas of the home.
Carbonized bamboo gets its color from a pressurized steaming process. The carbonization process also softens the wood by about 20%, which makes it a better choice in low traffic areas. Carbonized bamboo is about $2 a square foot more expensive than natural bamboo. The advantage of carbonized bamboo is that its color can be custom made to match existing fixtures in the home.
The most expensive alternative for bamboo floors is strand woven bamboo. The price of this material ranges from $10 to $18 a square foot. The manufacturing process renders it twice as strong as natural bamboo, making it the perfect choice if you want to put a bamboo floor in a childs bedroom.
Bamboo floors are being used in commercial applications as well. Strand woven bamboo works best, as it is as strong and durable as traditional hardwood flooring and thus will stand up to high traffic. Commercial grade bamboo is manufactured to be stronger that residential grade, and can cost $20 or more a square foot to install.
Virtually all bamboo comes from China. Bamboo is an eco-friendly alternative, but creates a significant carbon footprint as it needs to be transported over land and sea. Some people might also be turned off from Chinese bamboo because the relaxed labor regulations in China are concerning. Fortunately, China is not the worlds sole producer of bamboo, so alternatives do exist.
For the ecologically conscience consumer, bamboo is an ideal choice. Bamboo matures very quickly, which makes it much more renewable than wood. The plants are also naturally resistant to insects, which means that pesticides are not needed. They are also moisture resistant, so that environmentally harmful chemicals do not need to be a used to treat the material.
It is best to use bamboo that is at least 5 years old as a flooring material. Otherwise, the floor will not be as strong and durable as it should be without the use of chemicals. When deciding to upgrade the appearance of the interior of a home, many people are choosing the striking natural beauty of bamboo flooring.