Engineered Bamboo Floor
Bamboo Flooring - 2013
Engineered Bamboo Floor
While it is no secret that bamboo floors have been in use for quite a long time, a popular new trend that showcases engineered bamboo floors has sprung up all around the world and is slowly gaining popularity. An engineered bamboo floor differs in several ways from other hardwood floors.
The engineered bamboo floor is a cost-effective flooring option. Typically, a square foot of bamboo flooring may range in price from $5 - $7. Other hardwood flooring materials such as hickory cost an average of $10 per square foot. While this may not seem like much, simply multiply it by the whole house floor area and one can see for themselves that they stand to save quite a lot of money.
While cost may certainly be an influencing factor as to why one should choose the engineered bamboo floor, it is not the only factor. The engineered bamboo floor is quite strong and durable. In Japan, traditional bamboo has been used for flooring purposes as well as making industrial scaffolds. Through a unique strengthening process used to make the flooring material, the engineered bamboo floor’s strength rivals, and at times, surpasses that of other hardwood floors in the market. Traditional bamboo has a hardness rating of 900-1200 on the Janka scale while the engineered bamboo floor had a rating of about 2300-3600 on the same scale.
The engineered bamboo floor is manufactured by a rather unique process. The bamboo poles are harvested and dried through industrial boiling or steaming. This aids in removing any sugars that may be present at the time. The next step involves compressing the planks with a low VOC adhesive under extremely high pressure. This results in flooring material that has extremely high density. The most common bamboo engineered floor is the woven bamboo floor.
Though some may rate the engineered bamboo floor at the same level as laminate flooring, it far outweighs the latter. Laminate is comprised of melamine infused paper and wood composite. A bamboo floor is comprised of sandwiched bamboo material at the top with plywood underneath. Thus, this can be termed as actual wood while the laminate equivalent is not.
Also, the engineered bamboo floor comes pre-finished. Unlike other hardwood floors that may require sanding before one can walk on it, this floor comes ready made and sealed allowing one to walk on it immediately after laying the floor. Moreover, this floor can easily be sanded in case any dents or scratches are left on the surface. Though this may be limited by the fact that one requires a professional to do the actual sanding process, it is still advantageous as laminate flooring cannot be sanded.
The engineered bamboo floor is popular for a host of reasons. One of the most notable is its ease of installation. Traditionally, bamboo floors were made to be nailed or stapled down. However, the introduction of the popular “floating installation” technique changed this tradition. It is now common for manufactures to engineer floors that employ this Do-It-Yourself technique. This is beneficial in that it enables laying of the engineered bamboo floor without relying on outsourced labor.