Bamboo Floors – Strong, Durable and Attractive!
The word “bamboo” often brings to mind adorable panda bears, climbing up into bamboo trees to feast on the little shoots. But bamboo is actually one of the most durable types of flooring that money can buy. It is actually much harder than oak flooring!
In order to understand just how hard bamboo flooring is, it’s necessary to understand a bit about the Janka hardness test, which gives a rating to flooring depending on how strong and durable it is. While red oak, white oak and rock maple range in their Janka ratings from 1,290 to 1,450, newer manufacturing techniques have given bamboo flooring Janka ratings ranging from 3,000 to 5,000.
One reason that bamboo flooring has been growing so rapidly in popularity is due to its gorgeous appearance that closely resembles hardwood flooring—it is probably most similar to beech wood. For homeowners who want a darker bamboo floor, it can be put through a carbonizing process that involves steaming it using controlled amounts of heat and pressure. In addition to looking fantastic, bamboo has a natural ability to resist bugs, and it can also repel moisture. This makes bamboo a perfect selection for busy families with kids who spill their milk or juice from time to time.
Bamboo is also getting a lot of attention for being a “green” and renewable product that is very Earth-friendly. For example, because bamboo is technically a type of grass, it grows very quickly—much faster than wood. A form of the plant called Moso Bamboo is what is traditionally used for flooring; it can grow a whopping 47 inches in just one day! While hardwoods that are used for floors can take anywhere from 20 to 120 years to reach full maturity, bamboo gets there in just 3 to 5 years.
Because bamboo’s root system is left as is when it is harvested, it does not need to be replanted. Once the bamboo is cut down, the root structure will cause the grass to regenerate, and new bamboo will begin to grow again. These features help to make bamboo a very attractive option to eco-conscious homeowners.
Like hardwood flooring, bamboo floors do need to be cleaned in certain ways to keep them looking their best. A dust mop can be used to get rid of any dirt and dust, and a traditional broom will help to remove grime that has settled into the crevices of the bamboo. Just like you would not want to use a wet mop and harsh cleaners on a hardwood floor, the same holds true for bamboo. When the bamboo floor gets dirty enough to warrant a more thorough cleaning, a damp mop combined with some hardwood floor-safe cleaner should do the trick.