Hardwood has established itself as a staple for North American construction ever since the colonial period, and this includes flooring jobs. The flooring of any building is often taken for granted even after renovation, but if a floor has issues such as stains, scratches, or warping or cracks, anyone in a home or commercial building will quickly notice and be unhappy about it. When a building is being made, or if the floor is being renovated, a homeowner or public building manager can look into floor options beyond the obvious. What is out there? An alternative to traditional hardwood floors has arrived: bamboo flooring. This is a highly renewable, strong, and attractive material that is low-maintenance and can be used for a number of flooring projects, such as bamboo T molding or even bamboo floor trim. Why should a homeowner consider bamboo floor trim or bamboo hardwood for the home? What are the advantages and disadvantages of bamboo floor trim and bamboo planks?
Bamboo floor trim and floorboards are a part of the larger flooring industry, which in turn is a robust and popular industry. After all, any building would need flooring, and homeowners and commercial building managers will sometimes renovate and look for the best materials for the job. Recently, in 2017, the total sales for flooring work came out to $21.99 billion, and among all those sales that year, a total of 19.726 billion square feet of flooring was put down, an impressive amount of flooring. And this industry is set to continue growing in the years to come. A recent survey reached out to retailers, manufacturers, and contractors of flooring and found that over 70% of the respondents expected growth of 3% or more for the flooring industry in the year 2018, and out of three respondents in fact expected 8% or more growth in that time frame.
How does bamboo fit into all this? Bamboo, which is technically a grass, is allowed to reach maturity (which takes three to five years), and it is sliced and shredded into fibers which are then compressed with heat, glue, and pressure to form solid, wooden planks that are often just as tough as actual hardwood is. What is more, bamboo represents an ecologically friendly alternative to hardwood flooring. After all, it takes some 20 years for hardwood trees to reach maturity and be cut down, but bamboo takes much less time to grow, and an older plant may grow even faster than a newly planted one. This means that if enough bamboo is used, then this greatly eases the strain on North American hardwood forests, and that protects the environment while the very sustainable bamboo farms are used instead. For those looking to protect the environment, using bamboo hardwood planks is an ideal route to take. And as a construction materials, bamboo offers a number of advantages, while there are a few disadvantages for a buyer to consider before starting a floor renovation project.
Why Use Bamboo?
There are several assets to a bamboo floor. First of all, as mentioned above, bamboo is very good for the environment, saving on hardwood trees. What is more, bamboo, while an unusual construction material, can compete with hardwood on the market, usually costing around $5 to $8 dollars per square foot, not including installation fees. Bamboo hardwood, after being treated at manufacturers, is just as tough as hardwood and can stand up to many years of use. Bamboo is fairly low maintenance as well, often only needing cleaning with a wet mop or damp rag, and while bamboo can get scratched, refinishing it is relatively easy, and any homeowner can sand it down to make it look like new. What is more, bamboo looks very attractive and lends a great aesthetic to any room where it is installed, and for those interested, carbonized bamboo is darkened to provide moire shades of color.
Bamboo is susceptible to humidity issues, however, and it may bend, twist, or warp if the environment is too humid, and it may crack and shrink if conditions are too dry. Bamboo can also get scratches, although these are easily refinished. Buyers should also be aware that bamboo comes in a relatively limited selection of colors.