Bamboo Flooring Hardness

Bamboo Flooring - 2013

Factors Influencing Bamboo Flooring Hardness

Bamboo is becoming an increasingly important option as a flooring material. This can be attributed to various advantages of the bamboo over other trees. One is that it is very environmentally friendly. Though it takes quite long to germinate, it requires only 5 – 7 years to grow to maturity unlike most other hardwood trees, some of which take up to 50 years to mature. In addition many harvests can be made from one tree. In terms of attractiveness, it also beats most other hardwood flooring materials. To add to its desireability, it is economical to install, thus making it cost effective.

Bamboo flooring hardness is one major advantages of bamboo as a flooring material. Surprisingly enough, the bamboo belongs to the grass family. But its hardness is comparable to hardwood trees such as oak, walnut and teak. This makes it a good option as a flooring material. Hardness in wood is measured by what is called the Janka scale and bamboo flooring hardness gives it a rating comparable to hardwoods. There are several factors that determine bamboo flooring hardness.

The manufacturing process of the bamboo is the main determinant of bamboo flooring hardness. Woven bamboo is made by numerous strands of bamboo being pressed together under high pressure. Solid bamboo flooring is made by milled splits of bamboo being pressed together using glue. Another type is known as engineered bamboo. This comprises of a layer of bamboo placed over pine and rubber wood. Woven bamboo has the highest hardness rating at 3000, followed by solid bamboo at 1640 and finally engineered bamboo at 1400 - 1600. In comparison, Brazilian cherry is rated at 2350, red oak at 1290 and teak at 1000.

The moisture content in the wood also influences bamboo floor hardness. The acceptable moisture range is 7 – 14%. The lower the moisture content, the greater the hardness. The density of the wood also influences its hardness. Using high compression during milling of the bamboo makes it denser and increases its hardness. Hardness can be added by use of wood fillers and adhesives.

Bamboo stalks need to be processed immediately after being cut to improve on quality and hardness. If they are kept long, they develop a mold that can impact negatively both on its durability and appearance.

Due to its high density and hardness, bamboo has consistently been rated among the top ten flooring materials with respect to the Janka scale. With the green revolution in place, where environmental concerns are high on the agenda of many governments, bamboo can be regarded as green flooring due to its positive impact on the environment. So as interest in environmental conservation grows, so is the popularity of bamboo as a flooring material growing.

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