Building materials can seem green, but when they are strip mined from the ground, clear cut from our forests or chemically made in labs, then they aren’t really green at all. The key word is sustainability and it is the pinnacle behind all green building materials. Without sustainable building materials, growth is not possible after the resource runs out. Bamboo is a very sustainable material and it is very versatile; many new items besides flooring are being made from bamboo each day. But I think bamboo is best as a flooring material and here are my top five reasons to prove it.
Being sustainable is the most important aspect of a green building material. Bamboo can be planted almost anywhere on the globe with no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Stalks are harvested and the plant continues to thrive requiring no need for heavy mechanical harvesting equipment.
It’s also rapidly renewable in that it grows extremely fast. In just five years a bamboo plant reaches maturity, exceeding in diameter of over six inches. That may not sound like much, but if you put it into context with traditional wood flooring which takes over 50 years to mature, then five years sounds like a drop in the bucket in comparison.
Bamboo can easily be recycled. Not just discarded old wood flooring either. What I mean is at the factory, pieces of short scrap bamboo would normally have been thrown away. Instead it is used as filler for the layers of composite bamboo flooring. Sawdust scrap is mixed with glue and resins for tongue and groove click lock joints and seams. Nothing goes to waste with bamboo flooring.
Just like hardwood flooring, it’s easy to install. Whether it’s nailed diagonally through the tongue or glued together with a click-lock tongue and groove, bamboo can be attached in the same ways traditional flooring options work. Bamboo flooring works perfectly over all types of radiant-heat flooring options as well.
Bamboo is tough and what better way to showcase its resilience than by using it as a flooring material. In many cases, bamboo is turned on its side and sandwiched together tight, making it stronger than conventional hardwood flooring. Titanium dioxide powder coated finishes and resins further strengthen this durable and strong green building material.
Bamboo flooring looks good. Even though it’s technically a grass, it has an amazing ability to accept stains allowing bamboo to take on just about any hue, easily mimicking most real wood colors. Left its natural color, it takes on a light brown/green hue that is unmistakably charming. Because bamboo can be configured vertically and horizontally, flat on its back or tipped on its side and cut into strips or left with exposed knuckles, it can take on shapes, patterns and textures like no other natural flooring option can. Bamboo is king of the sustainable building materials!