Flooring is an aspect of homes and public buildings that is often taken for granted. People often don’t think much about the floors under their feet, but when they come across a damaged, dirty, or warped floor, they may be quick to criticize it. After all, flooring is vital for any house or public building, and the flooring industry is just as large. Flooring experts can be called in to a construction project to put down the floors, or floor agents can be hired to replace or repair a home’s floorboards. Flooring can be highly durable if made from hardwood or bamboo; there are plenty of historical American buildings with their original wooden floors still intact. Hardwood floors are the standard, but an alternative to traditional hardwood floors has emerged: bamboo. This eco-friendly material is easy to take apart if need be, and bamboo flooring is both tough and attractive. Bamboo strength is even higher when strand bamboo flooring is put down. Strand bamboo flooring describes when the fibers and materials in bamboo floors cross-intersect for added strength, making for highly durable floors. What is there to know about modern flooring and bamboo in particular?
As mentioned earlier, the American flooring industry is a big one, since every building needs a proper floor for people to walk on. In fact, this industry is growing. A recent survey was conducted among flooring agents, suppliers, and contractors and found that most agree that this industry will see more growth soon. Many expected growth of at least 3% in the next few years, and one in three of those surveyed expected 8% or more, a rapid increase. This fits into the larger trend of American construction’s growth, and more buildings means more floors, too. Flooring can vary from hardwood and bamboo to tile and linoleum and concrete in a warehouse, each with different needs and purposes in mind. Homeowners and many public building owners, meanwhile, are looking for wood or bamboo floors, such as strand bamboo flooring. There’s some advantages and upkeep costs to expect with such materials.
Strand Bamboo Flooring and More
For much of American history, hardwood trees native to North America have been used in construction of all types, such as cedar, redwood, and cherry. This continues today, but bamboo has emerged as a strong competitor for a number of reasons. For one thing, hardwood trees take some 20 years to reach maturity, and there is an increasing demand for forest preservation. Bamboo shoots, meanwhile, are highly renewable and grow very fast. A freshly planted bamboo plant needs time to develop, but after three years of age, it can be expected to grow nearly one to three feet per year, an astounding rate of growth by many standards. Much of the demand for bamboo stems from an interest in protecting North American forests, and if enough bamboo is used, logging may decrease quite a bit.
Bamboo is hardly a cheap alternative just for the sake of protecting forests, however. Strand bamboo flooring, for example, often rivals hardwood in durability and performance, and such bamboo is often a similar price on the market. Quality bamboo planks and flooring on the market may cost $5-8 per square foot or so, close to what hardwood floors may cost. What is more, bamboo is easy for upkeep costs. This wood cleans easily with mops, and it if gets scratches, such as from dust or pet claws, it can be easily refinished to look like new. Homeowners should note, however, that bamboo is sensitive to humidity levels. Very high humidity can warp and twist the bamboo, and very dry environments can cause it to shrink and crack. Still, bamboo can have a clean and fresh look to it, and may be popular among many homeowners or public building managers. Bamboo can also be carbonized for a darker look during production, to increase its narrow range of colors.
How can bamboo shoots be made into planks? In bamboo factories (typically in Asia), bamboo shoots are sliced and then shredded into fibers. These fibers are then fused into boards and planks using heat, pressure, and glue. These bamboo planks can then be shipped to North American distributors.