Bamboo is a natural floor covering that is environmentally friendly, relatively inexpensive, and fairly easy to maintain. Bamboo plants take only about five years to mature making it environmentally sustainable, compared to hardwood species that take about 60 or 70 years to reach harvesting age. One of the biggest attractions of bamboo flooring in this eco-conscious age is the biodegradability. Bamboo is a very easy and fast-growing crop that also re-generates. This means that without planting a new crop of bamboo, this same plant can be harvested over and over again. Between its rapid growth, and the fact that it breaks down easily after being replaced, it is often seen as a better alternative to other hard surfaces. Being a renewable resource, another huge benefit of bamboo is that the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Rating System recognizes bamboo as a green building material. The USGBC actually grants credits for using bamboo in building construction.
There are two major kinds of bamboo flooring on the market – Engineered bamboo, and stranded bamboo. Horizontal and vertical bamboo floors are considered to be engineered products, providing the look of bamboo but significantly strengthening floors by laminating the bamboo to a stronger wood species as a sub-layer. Strand-woven bamboo is considered to be a solid flooring product and is the strongest of the two. It also contains lower proportions of potentially toxic adhesives. It is formed under intense pressure that makes it more resistant to moisture changes.
As mentioned earlier, bamboo is also extremely easy to maintain. You can sweep, vacuum, or dust mop with a soft accessory to keep your bamboo floor clean from dust, dirt or grit. There are also a number of cleaning products that are specifically designed for cleaning bamboo floors. You will also find that most hardwood floor cleansers are also appropriate for bamboo Floors.
Bamboo is more resistant to damage from moisture than most hardwoods, however it is important to remember not use a soaked mop. Avoid excessive water. Bamboo Floors should not remain wet for more than a few minutes. Use mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to protect against spills. If a spill occurs, blot it up immediately with a dry cloth or slightly damp mop.
When shopping around for bamboo flooring do not forget to ask about the bamboo maturity, finishes, and warranties.