Bamboo Flooring

A bamboo floor is a type of flooring manufactured from the bamboo plant. The majority of today's bamboo flooring products originate in China and other portions of Asia. Moso bamboo is the species most commonly used for flooring.

Characteristics

Bamboo has been used as an alternative for flooring because of its physical similarities to true hardwoods. Bamboo floor manufacturers and sellers promote its strength, durability, its eco-friendliness and its natural resistance to insects and moisture. The hardness of traditional bamboo flooring ranges from 1180 (carbonised horizontal) to around 1380 (natural), while newer manufacturing techniques including strand woven bamboo flooring range from 3000 to over 5000 using the Janka hardness test. Other flooring materials have comparable Janka ratings, with a higher number indicating a harder material: red oak (1290); white oak (1360); rock maple (1450); hickory (1820); and Brazilian Cherry / Jatoba (2350).

Bamboo Flooring Maintenance

Like most hardwood floors, bamboo floors should be treated carefully. When mopping, it is best to use a dust mop to remove the dust and grime. A stiff bristled broom can be used to remove more stubborn dirt from the crevices of the floor. Wet mops should be avoided on the bamboo flooring. When it is necessary to mop the floor, wring the mop out thoroughly to prevent any extra water from being released onto the floor. Cleaning detergents should be checked to make sure that they are safe for hard wood floors before they are added to the mop water. Many detergents contain a waxing agent which will dull the colour of the flooring and leave behind a filmy glaze. The United States Green Building Council's LEED program allows points for the use of bamboo floors by virtue of it being a rapidly renewable resource. Controversy exists over agricultural and manufacturing issues related to the production of bamboo floors, including the environmental effects of deforestation in order to plant bamboo and the use of carcinogenic chemicals such as urea-formaldehyde in the glues used for lamination in some products. Bamboo flooring has led to deforestation, as existing trees are cut down to be replaced with bamboo plantations; this results in soil erosion in the often hilly and mountainous areas occupied by forestland, along with a loss of biodiversity in the region as other flora and fauna are cleared for bamboo. Additionally, the use of pesticides, weed killers and fertilizers in bamboo production can have an effect on the environment.

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