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I’ve never been in a bamboo forest, but I imagine a deeply lush, impossibly green thicket that is alive with tropical sounds and dripping with humidity. I imagine pinpoints of sun penetrating the thick foliage above and fuzzy baby pandas feasting on the tender young shoots. Of course, I’m sure the reality is full of horrible mosquitoes the size of cars, slimy slithering things and other crazy creatures who’d love to make a meal out of a fish-belly white city girl!
But whatever the reality is of the bamboo forest, the material is an interesting option for the floor of a home. I love the look of some bamboo, but like all materials, there are different grades, so bamboo floors do not all perform or look alike. I’m particularly partial to rustic, natural materials, so using it in quirky ways and surroundings appeals to me.
This material has surged in popularity in recent years for flooring among those people who want the look of wood with a slight twist. Quick regeneration makes this an environmentally responsible choice, however the flip side is the carbon footprint of manufacturing and transportation and the compounds used to finish and seal it, can quickly eliminate the environmental advantages. However, unlike oak, which typically takes 80 years to grow before it can be harvested for building materials, bamboo only needs six. Depending on how it’s cut, the planks may obviously show the knuckles of the bamboo stalks.
A high quality bamboo is harder than even the hardest of hardwoods, and its natural color ranges from a pale blonde to a warm caramel. It particularly suits a contemporary interior.
Natural bamboo in a contemporary condo. ©2013 Sieguzi Kitchen & Home Inc.
Have you had experience using bamboo in your home? Do you like it? What are its advantages and disadvantages that you’ve found?
Next in the flooring series: Put a Cork in it! Cork on the floor.