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When most people think of bamboo in a home, the image of a desktop tree or a bamboo chair come to mind. In recent years, however, bamboo flooring is becoming more popular for many reasons. The average bamboo floor is twice as stable as hardwood, for example.

Let’s back up for a minute. Bamboo isn’t a wood product, but its structure makes it durable and strong. As a wood substitute, it’s environmentally friendly, but that’s not the only way that Bamboo makes for greener living. Bamboo grows very quickly, reaching full height in one season. While its growing it provides erosion protection and a wind break. Once it’s harvested it can be made into everything from food (bamboo shoots) to fabric. Basically it’s one of the planets most renewable and functional plants.

To create one version of this flooring popular in China, a manufacturer boils the shoots to remove starch, then dries them. Strips of the dried bamboo get attached to boards, preserved and stained (optional) and laminated.

In the US, machines split and dry the bamboo, then layer it with glue and pressure very similar to other laminated products. Once finished, the bamboo floors is a little more expensive than regional hardwood, but for families going green it’s a great option.

It’s also an ideal floor for people who live in a humid region or where there tend to be various household pests. The flexible nature of bamboo allows it to adjust to humidity and it’s naturally insect repellent. Better still, this type of floor is likely to increase the resale value of your home.

Once installed, there are some simple tips for caring for your bamboo floor. First, sweep the floor daily. Small pieces of dirt can, and will scratch the surface.

Many people with bamboo floors ask that guests and family alike leave off shoes at the door to avoid some of this potential damage (high heels in particular have huge potential for damage). Additionally, check all the tables and chairs in the room in which the bamboo resides.

Add some felt protective pieces to any bit of exposed wood or metal that could harm your bamboo’s finish. Third, just as you do with carpets, move around the furniture regularly so that the floor fades evenly and to decrease the potential for pressure marks. Finally, pay attention to any instructions provided by the flooring manufacturer. This will not only help you take care of your floor, but also make sure you don’t void your warranty.


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