Think About Bamboo Flooring: The Renewable Durable Green Flooring Option
In our race to become more ecologically sound, most people are faced with two options: buying a new “green” house or renovating to update an older home. When it comes to flooring option, there are lots of new options that are affordable, sanitary, and sustainable.
Bamboo, the Wonder Grass
Because bamboo is a fast-growing grass, products that use it are considered “sustainable”, which is to say that harvesting bamboo for such a wide variety of applications does not deplete the availability of it. When hardwoods are harvested for similar functions, whole stands are clear-cut, and it could be thirty years before it is ready to be harvested again. As soon as the last part of a stand of bamboo is harvested, the chances are good that the first part has already fully recovered. Bamboo is used to make hardwood-style furniture, clothing, paper and even yarn.
When bamboo is applied to household tasks, it is sliced, pressed, and molded into the desired forms. For bamboo flooring, an additional step of sometimes carbonizing it makes it harder and gives it a beautiful reddish tone. Carbonizing is another way of saying it's been exposed to heat in order to harden the naturally occurring sugars.
Installation and Upkeep is a Breeze
Most bamboo flooring comes in traditional hardwood styles. Each plank is shaped to have tongues and grooves that fit together almost seamlessly. Installation is identical to any other hardwood floor: a layer of padding is rolled out (often called under-layment), and then the pieces are fitted together and tacked into place with a small-gauge nail. For an easier time for the do-it-yourself'er, use a pancake air compressor and a nail gun.
Maintenance of your floor is also the same as most other hardwoods. Standing water can be a slightly larger hazard, though, as the fibers will expand with water more easily than in hardwoods. Sweeping and gentle mopping keeps bamboo floors looking clean and healthy. Avoid harsh treatment such as walking with metal-tipped shoes or dragging heavy furniture as this can cause deep gashes that can't be buffed out or filled easily.
Renovating your home is often the most cost effective and easy means of moving towards a more green lifestyle. Ecologically sound materials are becoming less expensive as technology improves, and the money-saving benefits in terms of energy costs and lower maintenance costs will last for years.
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