Bamboo is extremely strong, long-lasting and just plain exotic. Not only gorgeous to look at, it’s also one of the most green and environmentally friendly flooring products on the market today. If that isn’t enough, it also compares favorably to hardwood flooring in price.
Bamboo – the renewable resource
Because it is a natural, renewable resource, bamboo flooring is considered by many to be the logical flooring choice of the future. Categorized as a grass and not a tree, bamboo just might be the world’s most sustainable resource. It is the fastest growing grass and can you can actually watch it grow. Bamboo reaches maturity quickly and is ready for harvesting in about 4 to 5 years. Bamboo does not need to be replanted after harvesting because its vast root system continually sprouts new shoots. Bamboo accomplishes all of this on it’s own, without the need for machinery, pesticides and fertilizers. Bamboo is also used to control soil erosion and control rain run off. It’s hard to think of anything negative things to say about this remarkable resource.
Processing bamboo for flooring
Though there are over a thousand different kinds of bamboo, not all are suitable for use in flooring. The Moso variety is a common choice for flooring. Once the Moso poles reach about a year in age (40–50 ft high), their main growth stops and they begin to mature. In years two and three, the bamboo hardens. Then, at year 4 to 5 the bamboo is ready to be harvested.
After harvesting, it is boiled in a processing solution to remove any sugars. The bamboo strips are then kiln dried to a specified moisture content,and then glued with low emission glues. After hardening it is ready to be sliced into planks and milled like hardwood flooring. Natural bamboo has a natural blond colour which brings out the bamboo’s beautiful light tones and colour variations. The darker toned carbonized bamboo is achieved by pressure cooking the bamboo which highlights the warm honey-like tones. The benefit of course is that unlike a wood stain, the colour is present throughout the entire bamboo plank.
Installing bamboo flooring
Bamboo flooring is installed just like hardwood tongue-and-groove flooring, either glued together or nailed down. It typically comes in 3-foot or 6-foot lengths. It is also available with or without the distinctive bamboo nodes visible in the grain. There are many options available depending on the manufacturer.
Most wood products are compared with oak and maple in terms of stability and durability. Northern red oak is usually the standard against which other hardwood floors are measured for stability. Stability refers to the natural contraction and expansion of a wood in different climates over time. Bamboo is 50% more stable than red oak.
Maintaining your new bamboo floor
Maintaining your new bamboo floor is easy. Keep bamboo free of dirt and dust by using a broom, dry mop or a soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Use minimal water when cleaning and never use abrasive cleaners. Always follow the directions from the manufacturer of your bamboo flooring. Most non-abrasive hardwood cleaners are suitable for your bamboo floors, but again it always good to check with where your purchased the flooring.
Where to purchase bamboo flooring in Calgary
Get Fresh Carpet Cleaning recommends the beautiful selection of quality bamboo flooring by Teragren. Not all bamboo flooring is alike. Unlike many bamboo suppliers, Teragren develops and manufactures all their own bamboo products. They directly control manufacturing—and product quality—from one source from harvest to distribution, guaranteed since 1994.
For those concerned about Volatile Organic Gases (VOCs), Teragren uses low formaldehyde emitting adhesives in compliance with the widely accepted benchmark LEED® Green Building Rating System™ IEQ Credit 4.4: Low-Emitting Materials.
So when shopping for bamboo flooring in Calgary, please contact Get Fresh Carpet Cleaning for recommendations on knowledgable flooring consultants that can guide you through the various options for your home.