When you're planning to put new floors in an office, bamboo flooring is probably not the first option to come to mind. But maybe it should be.
Bamboo has been used as a flooring material in Asia and the Pacific Rim for decades, but it's only recently begun to enjoy popularity in America. Previously, you would have to dedicate a serious search to find a supplier for bamboo flooring, but today, most major flooring suppliers carry it. There are many reasons for its newfound popularity.
For those who are concerned about the environment, bamboo flooring is an obvious choice. It only takes five years for a newly planted bamboo stand to reach full maturity, which means that bamboo harvested for flooring can be replaced fairly quickly. Compare that with the decades required for hard wood trees to reach maturity, and it's easy to see why environmentalists prefer bamboo.
You don't have to sacrifice quality for the sake of the environment, though. Bamboo is extremely durable. In fact, the Japanese commonly use it as scaffolding material, since it's both strong and lightweight. A bamboo floor resists breaking and damage better than the hard woods traditionally used for floors. When you look at an aged bamboo floor, you typically see a beautiful piece of wood which has stayed undamaged and developed a beautiful medley of color shadings over the years. Bamboo floors grow in beauty throughout the years.
This strength makes bamboo flooring an especially good choice for an office, where there may be a lot of weight from desks and many people. Another reason it's a particularly good flooring option in an office is that is has a bit of give to it, making it easier on the body if you have to stand on it for long periods of time. If workers are walking back and forth through the office all day, they'll appreciate the comfort of bamboo flooring over more traditional office flooring choices, such as tile or concrete.
Bamboo flooring is an easy choice to make if you need to install your new floor over an existing floor. Bamboo can be installed over many types of floors, such as laminate, tile, concrete or linoleum, with little preparation. As long as your subfloor is clean and in relatively good condition, you can put your new bamboo flooring directly over the top of it.
Another reason bamboo flooring is great for an office environment is that it requires little maintenance. In most cases, a dust mop is all you'll need to keep your floor looking great. It will need to be refinished occasionally, but less often than hard wood or many other flooring choices.
Bamboo is is easy to cut and install. Since it's actually a grass, not a wood, it doesn't require the heavy-duty cutting equipment required for many other flooring options. You can cut bamboo flooring with a hand saw, and in many cases, you can do the installation yourself. Most contractors recommend bamboo flooring be nailed to the subfloor, but with some types of bamboo flooring, you may be able to do a floating installation. That means the bamboo floor is locked together on top of the subfloor without attaching it down.
Typically, bamboo flooring is very light colored, but if you prefer darker flooring, you can find tinted bamboo that may be more to your liking. You could also try carbonized bamboo flooring if you want a darker bamboo floor. During this process, the bamboo is boiled, turning it a darker color. However, that also softens the bamboo, so it may not be the best choice for an office setting.
Bamboo flooring is available in a range of prices, depending on types and quality. The ease of installation, making it possible in many cases to do self-installation, can lower the price considerably. You want to be careful, though, about very low cost bamboo flooring. Some companies harvest the bamboo before it's fully mature and sell it at a cheaper price. These floors probably won't stand up to as much wear as floors made from fully mature bamboo.
If you install bamboo flooring, you should avoid excessive moisture. Bamboo is somewhat water resistant, but like any natural material, it's prone to warping if it's exposed to too much water. You can use a damp mop on your bamboo floors, but be sure to wipe up any spills promptly. You may want to reconsider installing bamboo floors in an area that's frequently wet.
With all these benefits to bamboo flooring, it's easy to see why it's becoming one of the most popular flooring choices. Consider installing bamboo flooring in your office. You'll be glad you did.