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Bamboo Floors: A sustainable flooring solution?

Did you know that bamboo is the fastest-growing plant ON THE PLANET??  That's a pretty impressive title to hold.   It can grow as much as 47 inches a day! Wow!! Because of the rate that it grows, it's more sustainable than tree products. Bamboo can restore itself for use in only 5 years and it uses much less energy to harvest and than most other types of wood.

There's so much that you can use bamboo for.  Bamboo shoots often make appearances in Asian cuisine, such as in Thai curries or dim sum.  (YUM!)  Clothes and shoes can be made from bamboo. Discovery.com has a great article listing all sorts of uses for bamboo...even instruments, toys, and bicycles can be made using bamboo.

Bamboo has recently gained popularity for use in wood flooring.  We recently replaced our icky old carpet with fantastic new bamboo floor:

Another benefit of bamboo flooring is that we've found it's often cheaper than traditional hardwood.

Unfortunately, bamboo isn't always as green as it can be.  Sometimes pesticides are still used when growing bamboo and it often comes from China, so it's not something you can buy locally.

Two other things to keep in mind with bamboo flooring:

1)  Sometimes it can be a little "softer" than regular hardwood.  It probably isn't ideal for a place like a kitchen where you might be dropping stuff a lot.

2)  I've read that it doesn't do well in places that get very hot and lack humidity.  Before buying bamboo floor, make sure that it will do well in your climate.

For some more information on bamboo flooring, read BuildingGreen's Bamboo Flooring article.

Comments

Beautiful!

Your floors look beautiful! From my experience, while purchasing bamboo to use for wood floors is cheaper, sometimes having floor guys put in bamboo can be more expensive for some reason. While there are so many reasons to use bamboo for all sorts of things, some people say that a concern with bamboo is that it is a very invasive plant - that is, once you plant it, it takes over not only the bamboo forest, but spreads beyond. I guess that means bamboo foresters (is that the right term???) have to be really sure not to overplant, and to be certain to harvest regularly. As with anything, there are always positives and negatives, and bamboo is clearly a better choice for the environment than other woods.

We were lucky

because we have been able to do a lot of it ourselves so it's been easy on the pocketbook.

Thanks!  We've been really enjoying the new floor.  It's already improved my allergies!!

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