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The Range of Bamboo Flooring

Jul 21, 2008
Bamboo is becoming a very popular choice for flooring. There are many different varieties available with a wide range of prices. Bamboo's reputation as a durable, ecologically friendly material that's quick to renew itself makes it a great option for many people. However, not all bamboo flooring is created equal. That's why you'll see many different prices and qualities of flooring on the market.

Here's some information to help you choose between them.

*If you're interested in bamboo flooring, it's important to know as much as possible about it. While bamboo can be produced in a sustainable and non polluting way, not every farmer is doing so. Some people are growing bamboo with large amounts of unnecessary fertilisers and pesticides, which can pollute the environment and endanger animals. Also, labour practices on some bamboo plantations are problematic.

*However, a large amount of bamboo being produced for flooring is also being grown responsibly. That means that if you're concerned about the impact and ethics of your bamboo flooring, a little bit of research ought to tell you whether or not the product you're considering is worthwhile. Check to see if there's a stamp from a certifying organisation to tell you that your flooring has been grown using sustainable management.

*Bamboo flooring can also range in hardness and colour. Unlike wood, which is tinted or dyed, bamboo is treated with heat to obtain darker colours. The darker the colour, the softer the bamboo will be, though it's still harder than many hardwoods. If hardness is an issue, lighter bamboos will be a better choice.

*Bamboo floor construction can also be variable. Look for flooring that's made using the lowest number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and which uses glues that contain no formaldehyde. These glues are better for your health, as well as for the environment and make bamboo flooring part of a healthier, more sustainable home. Look for non toxic, environmentally friendly finishes, too.

*Because of the structure of bamboo, there are no solid bamboo floors. They come in either laminated pieces or as part of an engineered floor. The thickness of the bamboo layer on engineered laminates can vary. There are also manufactured tongue and groove bamboo products made from bamboo flooring waste. Colours range between natural and dark amber, because of carbonisation. Various types of bamboo flooring are installed in different ways. Some are glued, while others are nailed and there are even some floating types of bamboo floor.

When looking for a quality bamboo floor, pay attention to how long the maker has been in business. Longer is usually a sign of better practices and higher quality. Local companies may also be a benefit, as they allow you to track the manufacturing of your flooring better and to deal with damage issues if they arise. Avoid extremely low priced floors, because paying a little extra will get you a higher quality floor that meets more environmental guidelines. As bamboo flooring gets more popular, more and more options appear on the market. Knowing as much as you can about the product and its manufacturing process ensures that you'll get the floor you want for a fair price.
About the Author
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For Bamboo Flooring styles, he recommends Completely Flooring, one of the UK's leading suppliers of Bamboo Flooring.
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