In the past, the environmentally conscious home owner did not have many good options to consider when installing new flooring in their homes. Strand woven bamboo flooring changes all of that. Once considered impractical for durability reasons, stranded bamboo takes a good, renewable resource and makes it better, stronger, and more durable than traditional bamboo flooring.
Hardwood floors, while absolutely gorgeous, are not a sustainable, eco-friendly product. Consider that it takes over one hundred years for a hardwood tree to mature in a rain forest environment. Add to that the rate at which our worlds' rain forests are disappearing and you will quickly understand why hardwood floors are not a sustainable technology. Bamboo, on the other hand, is a grass that typically needs to grow from four to six years before being ready to harvest for construction materials. In many parts of the world, bamboo growth is so prolific that it is considered a weed! Most of the bamboo that is used in the flooring industry is grown in the Guangzhou Zhujiang province of China in what are considered controlled growths. The typical bamboo plant also produces on average 35% more oxygen than hardwood trees do, providing a further benefit for the atmosphere.
Originally bamboo flooring lacked the durability of the majority of hardwood floors - bamboo, while indeed a strong plant, is not typically as dense as traditional hardwood. This made bamboo a beautiful novelty flooring, but not really practical for today's family. Strand woven bamboo, on the other hand, is created by a unique process that results in a flooring product that is much stronger and more durable than laminate or engineered bamboo. Stranded bamboo is made by boiling Moso bamboo plants, drying the resulting strands, and then pressurizing those strands with an adhesive with a low VOC. The process of boiling the bamboo has the added benefits of removing any sugars from the plant which may attract termites. The resulting plank uses all of the remaining parts of the bamboo plant and is two times the density of normal bamboo flooring. The waste that would be left over in creating traditional bamboo planks is eliminated through the stranding process.
If the natural, light color of strand woven bamboo flooring isn't what you have in mind, there are also many different darker shades available. To achieve darker coloring that matches that of hardwood flooring, raw bamboo is heated and cured to various shades. When using the older types of plank flooring, darker shades of bamboo will be less durable as the heating process weakens the fiber structure of the plant. The pressurizing processes used in strand woven bamboo lessen these concerns considerably.
When you are ready to remodel your home, consider upgrading your floors with beautiful and eco-friendly strand woven bamboo. In almost every case, bamboo flooring costs a fraction of rain forest hardwood flooring. With the increases in durability that the stranding process provides combined with using a truly sustainable natural resource, you can achieve the best of both worlds. Going green and saving the pocketbook at the same time are great motivators!