Remodeling with bamboo flooring

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ December 6, 2011

I love the look and feel of bamboo flooring. Color tones that resemble caramelized sugar add amazing warmth to a room. Bamboo flooring is known to be durable and kind to your feet. Maintenance, as you'll see, is relatively simple and straight-forward.

If you're committed to green building and remodeling, you can shop for manufacturers that produce certified bamboo flooring that meets even the strictest LEED standards. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass, which means it's much more sustainable than hardwoods. Unlike hardwoods, the root system in unharmed in harvesting and the plant regrows.

Photo by Attractive Flooring

Let's start with one of the only real negatives I've discovered: if you have pets with sharp claws, bamboo flooring will scratch. Even hardwood products are susceptible to minor scratches and holes.

In this case, you'll absolutely need to trim your animal's claws if you want to protect bamboo flooring. Some manufacturers recommend board replacement for scratches, although there are fill-sticks for minor scratches that work like crayons to fill and color existing boards.

Maintaining bamboo flooring

Grit and sand build-up is natural the enemy of bamboo flooring; it leads to scratches. Sweep or vacuum your floor on a regular schedule and clean up any wet or particle spills immediately. You should add guards on the feet of your furniture and avoid sliding furniture across the floor. Bamboo is, after all, exotic flooring.

It also helps preserve your bamboo floor if you maintain home humidity above 35 percent all year long. The ideal humidity range is from 35 to 55 percent. Oh, and tell your family members that crossing the floor in football cleats, track shoes or stiletto heels is OUT.

Shopping for a floor that's green

Bamboo flooring is known for its resistance to bacteria and termites. It resists rot, too. Review products to ensure the bamboo material is treated with hydrogen peroxide prior to manufacture to kill any pre-existing bacteria or mold. One of the most-important considerations for a green floor is that formaldehyde is not used in the adhesive. Check out manufacturer's certifications and flooring specifications. Teragren claims that its products meet air quality standards for "78 volatile organic compounds."

Bamboo comes in two colors, its natural light tone and amber. The amber color is created by smoking the wood during the production process. Grain patterns vary based on whether the bamboo is milled by vertical or horizontal cutting.

The exceptional appearance and durability of bamboo makes need for routine care more than worthwhile. And it's kinder to the wallet than hardwood.

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