Strand woven bamboo flooring is a little known type of flooring that is destined not to remain a secret for long. Like regular bamboo flooring, it is one of the most environmentally responsible ways to cover your floor, yet unlike standard bamboo, it has the beauty and grain of hardwood as well as double the durability and toughness of many hard woods such as oak, maple or cherry wood.
Bamboo is a type of grass which grows rapidly and when it is cut, it replaces itself within 3 to 5 years. Compare this with the 15 to 25 years it takes to replace trees cut for wood and you can see it makes ecological sense compared to something like oak flooring. The bamboo plant itself is not uprooted when harvested and continues to sprout from its extensive root system, a system which itself helps prevent soil erosion and land slides in susceptible areas.
When the plant is cut every part is used, either shredded for regular bamboo flooring or in long strands for strand woven bamboo floors, so nothing is wasted. The material is boiled to remove starches and sugars (which would attract termites and other pests) and then it is mixed with resins and low VOC (volatile organic compounds) glue and then bonded with heat and high pressure to form a block from which planks are cut, exactly like regular hardwood planks.
If you compare a strand woven bamboo floor to a regular one, you will see that the strand woven floor has a grain and variability to it very like natural wood whereas regular bamboo does not look like wood as it has a consistent look which may seem unnatural especially over large expanses of floor.
Also, the strand woven flooring is twice as hard as regular bamboo or hard wood on the Janka hardness rating scale used for measuring how much pressure is required to damage a surface.
If you want to save money, you may already be thinking about getting a good deal compared to hard wood by using bamboo flooring. Strand woven flooring costs slightly more than normal bamboo but it is still a good deal cheaper, probably half the price of hard wood and you will be getting the same hardwood flooring look with a natural material unlike a laminate floor.
Installation of Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring
The flooring can be installed using any of the normal methods of wood floor installation – by a click system , hidden nails or glue depending on the brand of planks you buy. It is no more difficult to install than wood and any hardwood flooring installer should be able to offer installation of this material too. Th only slight difference is that you should let the planks acclimatize to the environment longer than with wood. 72 hours is suggested as a rule of thumb but check with the manufacturer or packaging instructions.
Caring for Your Floor
Bamboo flooring planks are generally finished with a tough coat of polyurethane sealant, which helps protect them but this in itself can be scratched so it is important to keep your floor free of grit and hard particles by sweeping or vacuuming every few days. Avoid letting pets claws get too long by keeping them trimmed and don’t drag heavy furniture across your floor and expect it to remain unscathed. It won’t! To clean the floor, wipe with a well wrung out cloth or mop.
Bamboo Floor Scratch Remover
If scratches do occur, then use a scratch repair kit you can normally get from the store where you bought your flooring. Alternatively disguise light scratches with a stain pen that matches the color of your floor. For deeper scratches, fill with wood putty and buff to a smooth finish, before using the stain pen and then finishing with a polyurethane coating to blend in with the rest of your floor.