Strand Woven Bamboo Decking: Walking On The Grass
Strand woven bamboo flooring is an option that we’ve championed for some years here at BuildDirect. On the spectrum of green building materials, bamboo is pretty impressive anyway. And strand woven bamboo is the result of even further thought and technological innovation where the idea of sustainable materials is concerned. As many of you already know, strand woven bamboo flooring is a post-industrial product, made from the parings created when standard bamboo floor boards are manufactured.
Since it was brought to market, this kind of flooring has taken off for a few reasons. One, it’s got a unique look. Two, it’s pretty easily stained. And three, it’s harder than a dozen action heroes. But, you still couldn’t install it outside.
Strand woven bamboo decking is hard and stable!
Well, technically the flooring product should be kept indoors, of course. But now there’s strand woven decking boards to consider for an outdoor living space.
And to kick things off, the hardness we’ve seen in the flooring definitely translates to decking, scoring a 2820 on the Janka Hardness Scale. That’s harder than Brazilian cherry (Jatoba).
But who cares, right? Well for one thing, that level of hardness will stand up to what your climate will throw at it all year round. It also means you don’t have to worry about splinters, and splits.
A big part of that last point has to do with tensile strength and stablility. A strand woven deck is made up of boards that are in turn made up literally of strands that are bound together with a great deal of pressure. And as such, the strands bound together discourage warping and twisting. There’s a lot to be said for this, especially if your looking for a surface that is going to remain even and level for the long-term.
Reversible boards and creative layouts
But, maybe the practicalities of how decking boards stand up to punishment, or just plain age, should be a given. This is fair enough.
So, what are the design possibilities here? How do we impress people using this stuff? One obvious one is that each strand woven decking board can be installed on either side. On one side, you’ve got a tailored board with clear “grains” (not really grains since this product is post-industrial, but you get the idea).
Here’s an example:
But, another option is to install the boards on the reverse side, which shows the striated patterning of the other side of the board. Take a look at what I mean:
The color is a bit on the yellowy side in this picture as opposed to the golden brown of the actual product ( I took it with my pea-shooter camera phone). But, you can see the difference in texture that I’m talking about.
With this reversible feature, a pattern of your own choosing is an option. The north side of your deck can be smooth. The south side can be patterned. You can alternate the boards. You can install them in a layout that you just come up with on your own. There are no rules with this – it will be your deck. Either way, the installation is designed to be clean and easy, which adds some subtle stylistic benefits all on its own.
Some things to consider for strand woven bamboo decking care and maintenance
With a unique product come a few unique aspects with regard to care and maintenance. One, this is a natural product that is prone to photosensitivity. So, as it’s exposed to sun, it will change color over time. Second, to keep your deck clean, a hose and a stiff-bristled steel brush are your friends. Also, where staining any wood deck is to be expected, with strand woven bamboo decking, a sealing oil is preferable. Ask us about which decking oil products make the most sense.
Strand woven bamboo decking – walk on the grass!
And what about this?
Bamboo is a species of grass.
It’s incredible to me how durable, good-looking, and how versatile the bamboo plant is, given how unassuming it is, and how simple it is (if you know what I mean). The fact that it grows quickly, can be harvested without injuring the plant, and that it tends to grow with very little intervention are definite selling points in the green stakes. The fact that bamboo is a species of grass also helps to explain how its fibrous nature adds to how stable it is, as mentioned above.
But, mostly it’s the wow factor that a plant this hardy can be used to such great effect as flooring, and now also as decking products to be trusted in a wide variety of climates.
If you’ve got questions about our new line of strand woven bamboo decking, feel free to drop a line to the BuildDirect decking department, or call them at 1 877 631 2845.