Is bamboo right for you? No matter your hardwood flooring needs or home decor style, consider if a bamboo floor can work for you with this helpful overview.
The versatility of bamboo never ceases to amaze me. I’ve seen it transformed into yarn and fabrics; it’s made into paper, charcoal and biofuel; you can make wine, beer and tea out of it; and everything else from helmets to iPhone covers to pipes and waterwheels can be made out of this amazing material.
But in this post, I’m particularly interested in how bamboo is transformed into flooring. We know about the sustainable virtues of bamboo, but what about its properties and look as flooring? We’ll delve deeper into how you can use bamboo in every type of décor style.
Properties of bamboo flooring
Bamboo flooring is among the hardest materials–which means that it will resist well to daily wear-and-tear like shoes, pet claws and chairs. (However, BuildDirect always recommends to put pads under chair and table legs, and to remove shoes at the door, to preserve the beauty of your floor for years to come.) Strand-woven bamboo is particularly hard–twice as hard as regular bamboo.
Strand woven bamboo also has a particular look, with more variation in the color of the grain. The two other types–horizontal and vertical–look more like traditional wood. Horizontal shows growth rings of the stalk, whereas vertical has the smoothest finish.
Bamboo comes in a variety of colors as well. Two typical colors are natural, which is a light blonde, and carbonized, which has a more caramel-like hue. How deep the color is depends on how long the bamboo is boiled.To note: carbonized bamboo is softer than the other types by about 20%, just because it’s been boiled. That’s still pretty hard, though.
If you put together natural and carbonized bamboo, you get what is called “tiger”, a striped pattern that’s quite unique and beautiful. You can also stain or print bamboo. Printed bamboo can be made to look like a different wood, like cherry or oak.
Finally, bamboo comes in three different kinds of finishes: the classic smooth finish, which looks new and modern; hand-scraped, which makes it look like an antique floor; and hand-sculpted, which is a happy medium between smooth and hand-scraped. Of course, hand-scraped and hand-sculpted bamboo hardwood floor will cost more than smooth finishes because of the manual labor involved.
So, in a nutshell:
- bamboo flooring is generally hard (caramelized bamboo is softer while strand-woven bamboo is harder)
- it comes in a variety of colors, from light blonde to dark caramel (and includes stained and printed)
- it can be stained finished to look smooth or antique.
Bamboo flooring for your decor
If you like traditional decors, bamboo is an economical and sustainable choice. The variety of natural wood colors, from light blonde to dark brown, can easily fit your traditional style. And if you crave the look of antique, worn-by-the-years look for your hardwood floor (without waiting for the aforementioned years), hand-scraped bamboo has the perfect look.
For modern styles, bamboo flooring has the right color and finish. Either very light or very dark, and with a shiny, smooth finish, you can use bamboo to enhance the overall modern feel of your home. Getting the look of cherry or maple with printed bamboo can also make the difference in your modern decor.
Eclectic decorators will find bamboo visually interesting and full of possibilities. The tiger bamboo is especially nice for eclectic decors because of its striped appearance–perfect for an original living room or kitchen! And stained bamboo can become any kind of shade you want, from white to almost-black to any other color in between, including shades of red! (Which I love.)
Those with farmhouse/country style tastes will love the look of hand-scraped and hand-sculpted bamboo for its antique properties. Bamboo’s hardness and durability will also ensure that your investment in flooring lasts for years. Choose a medium brown and/or a printed style to imitate the look of oak or cherry, for example.
Do you bamboo?
While the green argument for bamboo is well-established, what about the investment and decor properties of this wonderful material? Bamboo will last you for years and can be made to fit any kind of style, even the most traditional ones. I personally am in love with this wonder material.
How about you?