Any and all buildings need proper flooring in them for people to walk on, and there is a large flooring industry in the United States to keep up with this demand. Guests and homeowners may take their floors for granted, but if a floor suffers from maintenance issues, it may soon draw some unwanted attention, and this is when flooring experts should be called in. In other cases, flooring experts will be involved in the construction of a building, and most often, they work with hardwood. However, in today’s flooring industry, an eco-friendly material is competing with hardwood: different types of bamboo flooring. These various types of bamboo flooring range in color and exact price, and prices for bamboo flooring or premium bamboo flooring may lead to a great product for buyers. Bamboo installation may be easy for hired flooring experts, and this eco-friendly wood analog can do a lot of good. What is there to know about flooring and using different types of bamboo flooring today in North America?
When a floor is damaged, or when a building is first being constructed, flooring experts will be involved, and they know how to use the right materials for the job. Today’s American construction industry is massive, and of course this involves flooring too. And not only is this flooring industry robust, but it is generally growing. A recent survey checked with flooring installation contractors, distributors, sales experts, and more, and most of them agree that the industry will see a 3% growth in the coming years. About one in three surveyed experts even predicted generous growth of 8% or more for this industry. Most often, these experts are working with materials such as hardwood like cherry or oak, along with tiles or linoleum. In fact, hardwood trees native to North America have been used since the colonial times, and some species have proven effective and popular since the late 1600s. This continues into the present day, but the eco-friendly material known as bamboo may offer an alternative. Why might a construction crew look into different types of bamboo flooring?
What Bamboo Can Do
Bamboo is a woody, fast-growing grass native to Asia, and at first, it may seem like an odd choice for flooring needs. But this plant can be processed into planks that rival hardwood in strength and size, and it can save natural environments. After all, the logging industry threatens wild forests, and while no one expects logging to be suspended completely, wood alternatives such as bamboo can help relieve the pressure on natural forests and hardwood species. This can contribute to the environmental protection aspect of the worldwide “go green” initiative.
Bamboo stalks are not used as they are for flooring. Rather, once the wooden stalks are harvested, they are sliced and shredded in processing plants and reduced to tough fibers. These fibers are then compressed into planks through heat, pressure, and adhesives to form a final product that closely resembled hardwood. Factories may then export these bamboo planks to customers, such as those in North America. What is more, bamboo is easily renewable for this effort, and a single plant can be reused many times. Bamboo grows slowly in the first few years of its life, but once its first mature shoots are harvested, they grow back at a much faster rate than hardwood. This makes bamboo highly renewable, and enough use of bamboo for construction may ease a lot of strain from hardwood forests due to logging.
Flooring contractors may install bamboo as easily as they would hardwood planks, and this material has many of the same properties. Bamboo flooring comes in a modest variety of colors, but it can be carbonized to darken it and add some new shades of color. Bamboo is not only tough, but it’s also easy to maintain, since it can be simply mopped to stay attractive. If scratches appear on it, the owner may sand down the affected area to make it look like new.
Some homeowners may not like the relative lack of colors compared to hardwood, though, and bamboo is sensitive to humidity extremes. Very dry environments can cause it to shrink and crack, and very humid areas cause it to warp and twist.