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bamboo flooring

Did you know?
  • Bamboo is a member of the grass family.
  • Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant on Earth.
  • Bamboo is capable of growing as much as 40 inches in a single hour.
  • Bamboo is able to produce 35% more oxygen than a stand of trees of equivalent size.
Want to know more?
Visit our FAQ's & Glossary.

Bamboo flooring's popularity has grown almost as quickly as bamboo itself, bursting on the scene less than a decade ago. It's a great choice, not just for its functional and decorative qualities, but also for its eco–friendly characteristics. Bamboo, which is a grass, has a short growth cycle and its cultivation requires few chemicals. Plus, high–quality bamboo flooring is twice as hard as red oak and rated to last a lifetime (30 to 50 years).

Bamboo grows so fast it can be harvested in 5 to 7 years. Compare that to the 10 to 50 years it takes for softwood and hardwood trees to be ready for harvest, and the sustainability advantage is clear. This is one of the many reasons bamboo floors are considered a sustainable building product.

And although bamboo reaches general maturity in three to five years, it doesn't reach maximum hardness for a few more years. The extra time really shows in a product's hardness rating, so check it out before you buy.

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo replenishes itself with very little impact on the environment. Like most grasses, it starts growing again as soon as it's cut. It doesn't have to be replanted or cultivated. It needs very few fertilizers or pesticides. For the most part, it only requires rain and time. The sustainabilty of this type of floor, makes it a great green flooring option for any eco-friendly home or business.

Of course, nothing's perfect. For one thing, it takes a lot of energy to bring bamboo floors to, say, the North American market from the areas where it's grown – primarily China and Vietnam. And there are questions about the adhesives used to bond the layers of bamboo into flooring as well as those used to create a durable finish. Some of those adhesives contain urea formaldehyde and some finishes emit unhealthy levels of VOCs. These can all contribute to unhealthy indoor air quality (IAQ).

In response to the rising demand for bamboo floor products, tree forests are being destroyed and their land converted to bamboo plantations. Some ecologists believe this may prove to be a problem as the demand for bamboo flooring increases.

*VOCs (short for volatile organic compounds) are carbon–based chemical compounds that can be found in certain flooring materials, adhesives and cleaners.

Featured Bamboo Flooring Products

Alternatives to Bamboo Flooring – Other Green Flooring Options

Bamboo flooring is best used above grade (grade = ground level), in moderate– to medium–traffic areas with minimum exposure to moisture. Other green flooring options for areas like this include:

    Other green flooring to consider - hardwood,
cork and linoleum

  • Sustainable harvested hardwood. Yes, hardwood flooring can be green. Some hardwood flooring products are manufactured from salvaged or reclaimed wood. Others are made from trees being grown under stringent standards of sustainability as certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
  • Cork. Harvested every 9 or 10 years without harming the trees, the bark of cork oak trees produces attractive, durable, eco–friendly flooring.
  • Natural linoleum. Did you know that true linoleum is made from natural materials? Its main components include linseed oil pressed from flax seed, rosin tapped from pine trees, and wood flour diverted from the waste stream. These components make this floor one of most green flooring options.
Bamboo Flooring Information | Help
  • Questions – Considerations before purchasing sustainable bamboo flooring.
  • Lifecycle – Let us tell you how long bamboo flooring would last.
  • Buying Guides – Review our guide before you go shopping for bamboo floors.
  • Flooring Estimator Tools – Calculate how much bamboo flooring your project requires.
  • Installation Guide – Let us guide you through installing your own bamboo floor.
  • FAQs – Get your basic bamboo flooring questions answered here.
  • Glossary – Consult our handy glossary for definitions of common green flooring terms.