In the past ten years or so, bamboo flooring has become a serious contender in the hardwood flooring market. More and more homeowners are choosing bamboo floors for their renovation projects because bamboo is versatile, durable, affordable, and environmentally friendly. And now companies are seeing the benefits of using bamboo flooring in their place of business as well.
What Exactly is Bamboo?
Bamboo is not a hardwood but a member of the grass family and grows in diverse climates around the world, from sub-Sahara Africa to Northern Australia and throughout much of South America and Asia. Bamboo is known for its strength – it has a greater compressive strength than concrete and close to the same strength-to-weight ratio of tensile steel.
Most of the bamboo used in North America is grown in China. Many Asian cultures have used bamboo in numerous ways for a very long time. It has been eaten as well as made into everything from cutting boards to fabric to paper and chopsticks.
Why Bamboo is the Greener Choice
Incredibly High Growth Rate
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world. This fast growth enables frequent harvesting without causing damage to the ecosystem of bamboo forests. Bamboo can grow, on average, up to almost 24 inches in a single day, while some species can grow nearly 48 inches. In fact, bamboo has the ability to achieve its full height and thickness in a 3-to-4-month growing season. Bamboo can regenerate after only 3-7 years. Compare that to hardwood forests, which can take hundreds of years to regenerate after logging.
Bamboo Produces a High Yield
In a single harvest, bamboo yields 20 times more building material than hardwood trees. A single bamboo stand can yield over 200 poles in just 5 years. The abundance of bamboo keeps prices low, making it a much more affordable choice than traditional hardwood building materials.
Bamboo Production Helps Impoverished Nations
As mentioned earlier, bamboo grows best in tropical areas of the globe where many people are struggling to make ends meet. The production of bamboo provides economic stability to developing countries and impoverished nations. As bamboo’s popularity increases, it offers a sustainable way of making a living for people around the globe.
Bamboo is Good for the Air
Bamboo can even help combat global warming. It’s true – bamboo produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees. With each bamboo shoot that is planted, global warming is taken down a peg or two.
Bamboo is Good for the Soil
Some of the greatest benefits of bamboo are just out of sight – namely – underground. Bamboo’s widespread root system helps prevent soil erosion. Also, bamboo’s enveloping canopy prevents water from reaching the ground and eroding the soil. For these reasons bamboo is used widely in a number of developing countries to prevent crops and even whole villages from completely washing away.
You may have heard that bamboo flooring was the “greener” choice, but now you know exactly why it is. If you are a company owner who wants to be more “green” and you have any questions about using bamboo in your place of business, feel free to be in touch with us!