Are you trying to be eco-friendly with your new kitchen floor? You’ve probably heard of bamboo floors by now, but have you done your research? Bamboo floors are eco-friendly in theory (just ask the pandas), but make sure you know all about yours before making the purchase. Here are a few positive and negative facts regarding bamboo floors.
- Bamboo is technically a grass…not a wood. This is a bonus because it gives you the hardwood look, but grows a LOT more quickly than trees do. The species typically used for bamboo flooring (moso) grows up to 47 inches in 24 hours, and reaches full harvest maturity in about four years, whereas traditional hardwoods take 20-120 years to mature (according to Wikipedia). So, rest assured. The bamboo plant you use will be up and growing again in no time.
- When bamboo is chopped, the root system is left intact, allowing it to re-grow (think of it as mowing your lawn).
- Bamboo varies in hardness, so depending on the type; it may be harder than a maple or oak floor.
- It is said to be extremely water-resistant, so this will do well in your kitchen remodel.
- Bamboo is available in a variety of colors.
- Most bamboo floors use some formaldehyde in processing. Research your choice to make sure you’re comfortable with the amount.
- Not all bamboo floors are the same hardness, some can be easily scratched, dented or chipped. Make sure you find out how durable yours will be.
- A report for Dovetail Partners indicates that because of the demand, many natural forests have been cleared to grow bamboo for export. This part defeats the eco-friendliness.
- There are few official standards or guidelines currently set to ensure that your product was created in an eco-friendly way. Make sure you trust your manufacturer and don’t purchase solely based on price.
As with many other aspects in life, positives often come with negatives. If you’re looking to install bamboo floors, make sure you do your research and know your manufacturer. Bamboo floors are beautiful, but may not be as eco-friendly as you think.