In our fight to preserve our planet and minimize our carbon footprint, people are looking at every option to be more “green”. That includes hardwood flooring. Even though hardwood floors are already about as green as they come. If you pick the right type of wood, you can ensure that you are getting your floors from sustainably managed forests or recycled materials. Another trend we’re seeing is bamboo flooring. It’s hard as wood, it looks like wood, it feel like wood, but it is actually a grass, and therefore grows and re-grows much quicker than wood. This is the reason that we began to look at bamboo in the first place as a greener alternative to hardwood flooring. But, as with anything in life, it also has few drawbacks along with a lot of benefits.
Why we love bamboo flooring
It grows quickly and naturally making it a cost effective, eco-friendly alternative to wood flooring. It’s unique color and texture will also ensure that you get a one of a kind, distinctive hardwood floor. Bamboo also tends to be much harder that many types of wood, making it as durable as wooden floors. That is, if it remains un-carbonized. And there’s the rub.
Why we don’t love bamboo flooring
Problem is not with the natural bamboo itself, but in the carbonization process used to color the bamboo. Bamboo is naturally light tan color. In order to darken the bamboo heat and pressure is applied which will damage the integrity of the bamboo making it softer and less durable. Plus the carbonization process can emit volatile organic chemicals that can be toxic to the environment, not to mention the interior space where the floor is installed.
If you’re looking at strandwoven bamboo flooring, the glueing process could be what takes it off of your “green” list. Most manufacturers will use urea formaldehyde resin, which is toxic.
So far, the quality of bamboo flooring will vary greatly, so the jury is still out on the benefits of bamboo flooring vs. hardwood flooring.
For a deeper understanding of bamboo, check out this article in Hardwood Floors Magazine.
Colorado’s leading hardwood floor contractor and retailer
Call (303) 293-8600 and schedule a free design consultation meeting.
We can help you find the right wood for your home or business. We offer eco-friendly solutions, like reclaimed hardwoods and water based polyurethane floor finishes, and specialize in installing, sanding, refinishing, and repairing Colorado-centric hardwood flooring, mill-direct products, and leading prefinished and unfinished hardwood brands.
Show room and design center: