Reasons Why Bamboo Flooring is Rapidly Becoming the Preferred Alternative to Hardwood

bamboo-flooring-vs-hardwoodBamboo is rapidly becoming the preferred flooring alternative to hardwood. Since bamboo matures in about five years and regrows automatically, it can be harvested more than oak or maple. Oak and maple trees take seventy years or more to reach maturity, and once you cut them down, they are gone.

Many hardwood trees are taken from the rain forests. Fully mature rain forests that have been standing for thousands of years have been decimated in the past few centuries. This has people all over the world looking for alternative wood products. Bamboo is not actually wood, but with the steaming and treatment process manufacturers use, you can hardly tell the difference.

Bamboo is technically grass, a weed that grows all over Southern Asia and can be harvested every five years. Providing manufacturers with an endless supply, without destroying any forests.

Critics have said that bamboo farmers use unethical methods and chemicals to make the bamboo grow faster, and even more unethical methods of harvest. This is quite possible. It is not uncommon for farmers to send very small children into the fields. As for the chemicals, that has not been proven and is still under investigation.

The following video talks about environmental impacts of bamboo flooring:

Comparing the two types of flooring has become a great debate among home improvement experts. Bamboo winning in most cases, although some people are not ready to give up traditional hardwood floors.

Bamboo flooring Pros

  • Durable, will last as long or longer than hardwood
  • Choice of color, naturally enhanced without paints or stains
  • Environmentally and ecologically responsible
  • Easy to clean and maintain, won’t scratch and doesn’t need waxing
  • Comparably priced

Hardwood flooring Pros

  • Durable, will last longer than vinyl or carpet
  • Choice of color, whatever type of stain or paint you choose
  • Environmentally disastrous
  • Lots of up keep, with polishing, waxing and removing scratches

The costs and installation are comparable. Bamboo might be a little less expensive, depending on the type of hardwood you choose. Installation techniques are the same in both. They use the tongue-and-groove boards which can be glued, stapled or nailed down.

The main thing to be aware of when choosing your bamboo flooring is quality. Many farmers will harvest too soon, as soon as two years, for a quicker turnaround. This means the bamboo is not fully mature and will therefore not become as hard and strong.

Some manufacturers use formaldehyde instead of steam to quicken the process. Although considered safe, the end product will not stand up as well.

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