This type of flooring is very eco-friendly because bamboo is a highly renewable source of energy. Similar to grass, bamboo grows much faster than any other wood. Moso Bamboo, the primary species used for the manufacturing of floor planks, grows up to 24 m high in 40 to 50 days. It usually takes 3-5 days for bamboo to reach its full maturity. The traditional type of wood takes 20–120 years to mature completely.
Bamboo need not be replanted for harvesting because the root system is left in its original place when it is harvested. Its rhizome root structure has a fantastic ability to hold the soil in place, which in turn prevents erosion. The root structures of bamboo grow below the surface as horizontal stems and help in vegetatively reproducing a plant. These rhizome structures spread or colonize laterally.
Since bamboo takes five years to reach full maturity, that is also the optimal age for harvesting. Only 20% of the forest, one that is sustainably harvested, is gathered or yielded annually. In five years, this allows for a 100% harvest. Bamboo does not need pesticides, irrigation, and fertilizers in its natural environment since there are very few pests for bamboo. The bamboo that is certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council meets the criteria for environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Since bamboo can isolate 70% more carbon per year as compared to hardwood forest, bamboo reduces the carbon footprint to a great extent.
Advantages of Bamboo Flooring Are:
- Easy Maintenance – Bamboo flooring can be maintained very easily. To remove small particle debris, it has to be vacuumed or swept regularly. Also, occasionally it can be cleaned with a non-wax, non-alkaline, bamboo floor cleaner, or using a damp mop.
- Water Resistant – Bamboo flooring is more resistant to water stains, water damage, and warping when compared to hardwood materials. However, bamboo flooring is not entirely isolated from these concerns either.
- Natural Material – The current trend in constructing houses is the use of natural materials. As the world is evolving concerning the awareness of eco-friendly products, people are more likely to demand such products. They seek designs and raw materials that focus on natural evolution and environment conservation. Bamboo can satisfy these demands effectively.
- Durability – Bamboo is strong, durable, and hard. Uncarbonized, natural bamboo is as sustainable as red oak. Strand woven bamboo is more complicated than red oak.
- Style – Bamboo makes the flooring look trendy. It instantly improves the elegance of the space. It feels like hardwood yet gives a different and distinct look.
- Refinishing – With time, bamboo floors may lose colour, get scratched, or marred. However, sanding down the surface by reapplying the finishing coats gives a brand-new look to the flooring. Hence, we can say that bamboo flooring can be easily refinished. The thickness of the planks determines the amount of sanding that needs to be used for refinishing.
Eco-Friendly Bamboo Flooring
All the advantages listed above prove that bamboo flooring is eco-friendly and adds a lot of value to the natural eco-space.
Along with some advantages, there are some drawbacks of bamboo flooring as well:
- Emission of VOC’s – Manufacturing of the flooring planks results in the discharge of individual toxic VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). The thickness of the planks manufactured determines the amount of VOCs emitted.
- Scratches – With time, bamboo flooring can develop scratches. A vast flood can easily damage the bamboo flooring installation.
- Humidity – Bamboo planks cannot be used in humid areas because high humidity causes the planks to plump and shrink.
Lack of Toughness – Bamboo planks that are darker in colour are soft.