Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bamboo Flooring – An Eco (And Economical) Alternative

This week we are sharing some environmentally friendly (and affordable) options for your home. Today let's discuss bamboo flooring as an alternative to traditional hardwood. There’s no doubt that hardwood floors are both beautiful and functional. Unlike carpet, hardwood floors do not collect dust and dander so they’re great for people with allergies.  They’re durable and can last for decades and they make any home design look professional and polished.  When it comes to hardwood floors, you can’t do better than bamboo. It’s durable, gorgeous and a safe and eco-friendly alternative.

Bamboo flooring(,...
Bamboo flooring( (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Think about this: to produce an oak floor it takes several trees. Other trees used to make hardwood floors take upwards 15 to 100 years to grow to maturity.  Bamboo takes 6 years. By choosing bamboo flooring, you’re choosing an incredibly sustainable resource. 

Bamboo is also just as durable, if not more so than many other types of wood used to create hardwood flooring.  In fact, horizontal or vertical bamboo flooring is harder than oak, which is the most popular material used for hardwood floors, and strand woven bamboo flooring is harder than the most expensive hardwood, Brazilian Walnut.

Bamboo flooring is also the most economical type of hardwood flooring options available.  And those who do not want the typical light color associated with bamboo flooring will be happy to learn that bamboo actually can come in a variety of colors from a light honey to a dark amber.

However, it should be noted that all bamboo flooring products are not created equal.  Both vertical and horizontal grain bamboo flooring may contain urea formaldehyde as a binder, which can emit toxic substances, and some engineered bamboo may not be really made from bamboo at all.  Grainless or strand bamboo may use a low emitting phenol-formaldehyde binder.  When purchasing bamboo simply ask how the boards are bound to find out if you’re bringing a potentially toxic substance into your home.  Not all manufacturers use this type of binding and there are safer options. (Formaldehyde-free versions are even widely available online nowadays, through companies like Plyboo.)

Bamboo 2
Bamboo 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Additionally, for the most environmentally friendly bamboo you may want to choose flooring that comes from a bamboo farm where it is raised specifically for this purpose rather than to choose bamboo which is cut down in the forest.

Bamboo starts around $2.00 per square foot, which makes it an extremely affordable option.  Bamboo is perhaps the single best material for hardwood flooring available.  It is sustainable, durable, beautiful and will last you and your family for as long as you live in your home. 

A Few Bamboo Flooring Color Options:
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  1. Great article on holistic living. I like the bamboo flooring in the picture.

  2. Mounting bamboo flooring on every house would be a great help in our environment and also on our budget plan!