The modern, environmentally friendly and durable alternative to hardwood is bamboo flooring. Being a grass, as opposed to timber, gives bamboo the edge as not only a building product (being strong and at the same time flexible), but also as a sustainable resource: wood takes approximately 15-20 years to reach maturity, whereas the non-harmful harvesting of bamboo takes a mere 3 to 5 years. Bamboo has traditionally been the material of choice in most of Asia, and it is only recently that its benefits and environmental properties have begun to be utilised more fully in the west.
The growth in popularity in recent years for wood flooring has increased the burden on already stretched timber resources. Bamboo flooring shares many of the properties that attract discerning customers to hardwood; it’s low maintenance, hard wearing, and looks contemporary while having a timeless appeal; but it is without any of the environmental concerns that are attached to its hardwood counterpart.
Due to its flexibility as a material, bamboo flooring has a broad appeal that can be manipulated to suit a variety of styles. Its range of applications varies from period homes to offices, designer hotels and bars.
As well as being environmentally sound, bamboo flooring is competitively priced and easy to fit. Ease of fitting is always a worry for the prospective purchaser, with bamboo flooring the process has been simplified by the formulation of three different methods:
1) Floating floor: this involves gluing the tongue and groove joints of the bamboo flooring together over an underlay.
2) Secret Nailing: the bamboo floor is ‘secretly’ nailed down to a wood sub-floor.
3) Gluing down: literally gluing the bamboo floor to a sub-floor.
Each of these methods has its own benefits.
One concern that has arisen with the implementation of bamboo flooring is regarding the use of Urea Formaldehyde, which is used as a binder or adhesive in the manufacture of bamboo flooring. Using the present technology, its use is unavoidable. However, reputable bamboo flooring suppliers with firm environmental principles, make every effort to ensure that its use conforms to the rigid E-1 European Standards. It is important to stress that exposure to any dangerous chemicals in bamboo flooring is negligible.
The benefits of choosing bamboo flooring are chiefly to found in the warm, comforting ambience it creates. Bamboo flooring immediately draws attention and recognition to a room, giving it character and focus. With its hard wearing properties, environmental benefits and natural beauty, bamboo flooring is the flooring of choice for generations to come.