Bamboo is one of the most environmentally – sustainable flooring types but it also has many practical and aesthetic qualities that appeal to even the most discerning consumer.
Unlike traditional hardwood trees, which can take up to 100 years to reach maturity, bamboo is a fast growing, sustainable resource. Although bamboo is often labelled as ‘wood’ it is, in fact, a grass, although its cell structure gives it very similar properties to wood. Furthermore, once acclimatised, bamboo exhibits virtually no expansion or contraction under normal atmospheric conditions, this makes it ideal for use in high humidity or damp areas such as bathrooms. Bamboo has been used in Asia for thousands of years. Not only is it 27% harder than red oak and 13% harder than maple, it is also lighter than most hardwoods. Bamboo is simply outstanding for use as a flooring material.
Unlike the thin poles familiar as garden supports, the flooring industry uses thick sticks with a diameter of around 300mm, up to 15m in length. Bamboo can be harvested from the mother plant without causing lasting damage. The mother plant produces new shoots every year, with stems maturing to become sufficiently hard and woody for harvesting within four to five years. In contrast, it takes in excess of ten years for Oak, Cherry or Maple to reach maturity.