Bamboo floors are an attractive, practical choice for a different kind of hardwood flooring solution. Bamboo floors are highly regarded for their strength and durability, but they also provide great benefits from their resistance to insects and water. The hardness of bamboo floors can vary depending on the processing methods, from 1180 (carbonized) to 1380 (natural) all the way up to 5000 using the newer strand woven manufacturing technique. If you are looking for a unique flooring alternative to other hardwoods like cherry or maple, but still prefer a natural choice above synthetic options, then bamboo could be a great way for you to go.
Bamboo flooring varies in different parts of the world due to its multi-faceted use. In North America, manufactured bamboo flooring is highly processed, with the sliced strips boiled in solutions of boric acid to remove starches and prepare them for home use. If a darker color than the natural beech wood color is desired, then the strips go through a carbonizing process. This can soften the bamboo, making most colored bamboo flooring softer than pines and red oak.
To maintain your bamboo floors, you should take similar precautions as you would for any other hardwood flooring. Use dust mops to remove dirt and grime, and if wet mopping is ever needed, wring it out well to reduce any extra water exposure and make sure that the detergent used is safe for wood floors.
Strengthening the case for bamboo floors is their positive environmental impact, especially when compared with other options. Since bamboo is a grass, it can grow much faster than wood. While it takes most hardwoods 20 to 120 years to mature, it only takes bamboo 3 to 5 years, with an initial growth spurt of nearly 80 feet in a just over a month. This means that if a bamboo forest is sustainably harvested at 20% per year, then it can be 100% harvested in just 5 years. And the rapid replacement rate is complemented by its automatic nature—bamboo doesn’t need to be replanted since the root system is left intact and can sprout new shoots on its own.