Bamboo Flooring - Westchester NY
Fashionable and sustainable style
Bamboo flooring has been popular in the Pacific Rim for decades, and has recently become a Westchester NY and Stamford CT favorite, too. Bamboo, while often grouped with hardwood floors, is actually made from a species of grass called “Moso.”
Most bamboo flooring is created from stalks of bamboo that are four to five years old. These stalks are then sliced into strips and woven or laid into planks. There’s a lot to learn but the professionals at Floor Coverings International are here to help.
Conservationists like bamboo for its ability to replenish itself quickly, giving bamboo flooring a “green” quality that most hardwood floors don’t have. Bamboo is also harder than many hardwoods, making it resistant to most scratches and scuffs. (Its exact strength depends on the manufacturing process and other factors.)
Despite its strength, bamboo flooring can be cut relatively easily using only a compound miter or hand saw. It is also adaptable to a wide number of surfaces, and can be fixed to plywood or even concrete. While traditionally light colored, you can stain bamboo flooring to match almost any décor. As it ages, it will take on a patina that only adds to its charm. Call Floor Coverings International for solid hardwood flooring today.
Is bamboo flooring hard or soft?
Of course, this is not a simple answer. While bamboo is technically a grass, It's usually classified as a hardwood. If you search on the web for the Janka hardness (a rating meant to standardize the hardness of wood), you get all sorts of answers.
Janka is a scale based on measurement of the force necessary to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter in wood. Red Oak is the standard at 1290. I have seen bamboo classified from as low as 1,010 to as high as 3000 (but most would agree it's harder than oak and it generally seems to fall in 1350-1400 range). Almost every other hardwood has a consistent number from site to site. Why the discrepancy on bamboo???
Well, there are a number of reasons.
1. The first lies in the type of bamboo. Is it "regular" bamboo or is it strand bamboo. (Strand bamboo is much stronger and strand woven even stronger, usually 1,800+).
2. If it's "regular" bamboo, is it natural (the light color - above) or carmelized/carbonized (the tan color below)? The process of carmelizing the sugar weakens the wood.
3. Is it vertical grained or horizontal grained? (see below for picts). The jury is still out on which of these is harder. Vertical is first (2 picts), horizontal is second. Horizontal seems to be more popular in terms of look.
4. And, finally, what brand is it??? Because bamboo is imported (usually from China), bamboo, more than any other hardwood varies TREMENDOUSLY in quality. It's really important which brand you buy. Personally, I love Natural Bamboo (made by US Floors) and Teragren. These are outstanding brands with outstanding reputations. Their products come with a 25 yr warranty.
Regardless, most agree that bamboo is a bit stronger than oak, and more importantly, it looks beautiful. It's exotic and peaceful looking - it can really give the place a zen feeling and give it a clean and modern feel. And, it's a green product, so you're doing what's right for the environment. Oh, and bonus, it costs a bit less than oak.
The funny thing is that most people that have seen dents/scratches in their bamboo floors generally got them from one of the big box stores. And, I'm not surprised at all. I buy my products directly from the manufacturer and I know I'm extremely cost competitive. When I see some of the big box stores advertising bamboo for less than what I pay the manufacturers, I know there is something suspicious. I especially know this since I'm usually less expensive than these same places on oak, so red flag here.
The reason these big box bamboos tend to dent is for several reasons. First, the bamboo is harvested too early and hasn't had enough time for proper growth. Second, the products are usually air dried rather than oven dried so they are softer. Third, they often harvest the softer part of the bamboo.
So, if you are in the market for bamboo, please buy from a reputable flooring store and buy a reputable brand. This is one place you definitely do not want to buy on-line, esp since it's imported.
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