The floor of a home or building is often taken for granted, being the surface everyone walks on while paying attention to other things. But if a floor is in bad shape, such as if wood is scratched or chipped, or if it creaks or is warped from humidity, the occupants of a building will care a great deal, and to prevent problems with the floor, building owners and homeowners are urged to hire the right contractors to get a good flooring job done that will last for years as a good investment. Often, hardwood has been the traditional choice for such flooring, but an alternative to traditional hardwood floors has arrived: bamboo. Bamboo strength can often rival that of hardwood, and this eco-friendly material is easy to work with and can be very attractive as a floor material. Gluing down bamboo floors can be easily done by expert crews, and once gluing down bamboo floors is done, a homeowner will have a tough and stylish new floor that is also good for the environment. When is it time to buy bamboo flooring, and what are the benefits of bamboo flooring?
Flooring As a Whole
Flooring is a big business today, and it may grow in the coming years, too. As of 2017, total sales for flooring came out to a huge $21.99 billion, and all these sales went to a total square footage of 19.736 billion, meaning a lot of floors in homes and commercial buildings were placed in that year. This industry is likely to grow soon; over 70% of the respondents in a recent survey, which included contractors, retailers, and manufacturers, said that they expect sales growth of 3% or more for the 2018 flooring industry, and one in three of those respondents expect even more growth: 8% or more. Where does bamboo fit in all this?
Gluing down bamboo floors is work that is taking part in a positive trend in the flooring industry today. After all hardwood trees take some 20 years to reach maturity before they are cut down, and by contrast, bamboo takes only three to five years to reach useful maturity, and once cut, a bamboo plant may start growing back even faster, and this is a highly renewable resource. Using a lot more bamboo flooring across the industry means that there is a lot less pressure on hardwood trees and forests, and this can preserve these increasingly precious trees to maintain the environment.
Bamboo planks are made when these plants are harvested, then sliced and shredded into fibers that are then pressed together with heat, glue, and pressure to form planks. These planks often rival hardwood in strength and are increasingly popular as a construction material today. Gluing down bamboo floors or setting up bamboo trim can be easy for contractor crews, and when new homes are being constructed, they could have bamboo floors put down, or the buyer of an old home may hire these crews to tear up the old floor and replace it with bamboo flooring instead, and gluing down bamboo floors can begin.
Bamboo’s perks do not stop there. This material can easily rival hardwood on the market, costing around $5 to $8 per square foot, and it is also low maintenance. Keeping it clean just involves wet mopping, and if the flooring gets scratched from dust or pet claws, an owner can easily refinish it. Sanding down the affected area is all that is needed to keep bamboo looking its best, and some bamboo may be carbonized to have a darker look for those interested.
Bamboo may have a few downsides for customers to keep in mind. It can come in darker varieties, but bamboo overall has a limited color range compared to hardwood, and some customers may not like that. And although this wood is easy to refinish, it may scratch just as easily as hardwood, and what is more, bamboo reacts poorly to drastic changes in humidity. High humidity will warp and twist bamboo planks, and a very dry environment will cause it to shrink and crack. Residents of very humid or arid parts of the United States should bear this in mind before they choose to buy bamboo for the home.