Bamboo is a type of natural grass. Being so, you might think that it is soft and brittle as like typical grass and can no way be used as building material. However, bamboo has proven itself very resilient and flexible, making it the material of choice for many interior designers, builders and home owners.
The cost of bamboo flooring material averages between $5 and $7 per square foot. This is just about the same price as oak, maple and other forms of hardwood. This is a fair price considering the many benefits bamboo offers.
Installing bamboo flooring does not require any special and specific techniques. In fact, there are several ways you can install them: You can float them, nail them, or glue them down. This virtually covers all installation options.
It is important to note that that bamboo is not a wood — it’s a grass, so we cannot call it hardwood. However, it can last as long as the standard hardwoods we have around, so that’s probably why most people mistake it as such. To produce a flat, solid floor, the bamboo is “Carbonized”. This is the process in which the bamboo tubes are cut into narrow pieces. They are then boiled to strip away the starch. The boiled ribbons then proceed to the drying and lamination process, and then milled to become floor planks. This is the same process hardwoods like maple or oak go through. The planks are then treated using a preservative to slow down decay. Finally they are color stained and clear coated for their final finish.
There is something about bamboo floors that gives a room an ethnic and earthy feel. Because hardwoods like oak are rather dark and, thus, look too rich and heavy, using bamboo as your flooring can make your space appear lighter, airier, and less contrived. But perhaps the best thing about bamboo flooring is the fact that it is a renewable resource. Oak, Maple, Walnut and other species of hardwood can take 10-75 years to mature before harvesting. Bamboo takes 3-5 years and requires considerably less resources such as land and water to produce. It is also considerably harder than most hardwoods.