Bamboo Flooring is the "It Floor Du Jour' because it is green and environmentally
friendly. One of the fastest growing home design trends is Bamboo Flooring.
though it is a grass, bamboo has a hollow stem that is similar to a tree trunk. People
have discovered many uses for bamboo. Entire houses, paper and flute are some of
the things made out of bamboo in China.
Other applications especially within the United States market include bamboo flooring,
bamboo kitchen countertops and bamboo fabric. The bamboo cloth is said to be allergy
free. Bamboo flooring has become a global business even though it is primarily manufactured
and imported from China.
Bamboo Historical Overview
Bamboo has a long history in its uses for building design. The Chinese built bamboo
suspended bridges during the Shang Dynasty from 1766 to 1122 ABD. The strong external
part of the bamboo was used to create tension cables up to 120 meters in length.
Bamboo bridges can also be found in India and in South America (the Incas). Due
to the material's lightweight and strength, it is no wonder that Bamboo has been
used make boats and planes. Bamboo has been proven to be a great building material
for smaller buildings, roofs, wall studs, furniture and bamboo floors.
The Global Bamboo Flooring Market
The demand for Bamboo Flooring has become global with the greatest interest coming
from the U.S., Europe and Asia. The popularity of Bamboo Flooring is due to the
green movement searching for a renewable product.
Bamboo and its by product, Bamboo Flooring also has a cultural influence. Not only
is it strong and resilient, but bamboo is also considered to bring good luck. Bamboo
Hardwood competitors can be found around the globe including the U.S., Canada, Netherlands,
Philippines, Indonesia and China. Most Bamboo Hardwood companies are relatively small
operating with a few employees.
Bamboo Floors Manufacturing
Bamboo is considered a sustainable and renewable resource due to the plant's rapid
growth. As a grass, bamboo is ready to be harvested in 3 years compared to hardwood
which requires 25 years to grow. Bamboo can grow as much as 24 inches in 24 hours.
Sixty four percent of the world's supply of bamboo comes from Southeast Asia. Another
thirty-three percent are found in parts of Latin America. Even though bamboo can
be found in tropical areas around the world, most bamboo used in Bamboo Flooring
planks is harvested and manufactured in China. This makes Bamboo Flooring, one of
the new high demand items to import from China.
Bamboo Flooring is manufactured from cut and laminated bamboo glued together to form
individual planks. Bamboo Flooring comes in either strip (less than 3 inches wide)
or laminated plank (3 inches or wider) widths with tongue and groove edges. It is
installed in a similar manner as other solid wood flooring. Bamboo Flooring can be
made in different thicknesses and colors with a protective finish or left natural
unfinished. Baking the bamboo planks for a longer period of time can darken the
Bamboo Flooring Pros and Cons
There are a number of Bamboo Flooring Pros and Cons.
Pros of Bamboo Flooring.
A Bamboo Floor can be as hard as a maple floor.
Bamboo Flooring is also more stable and 25% harder than flooring from red oak.
Bamboo Flooring Cons
Although Bamboo Flooring sounds like the perfect material, there are Bamboo Flooring
Exposure to sunlight will cause bamboo to darken over time.
Although the bamboo material is hard and durable, it is susceptible to moisture and
can be easily scratched.
There are toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing process such as resins or urea-based
adhesives for the laminating process.
Some glues used to laminate bamboo may include formaldehyde.
As a green product, LEED points are deducted due to the long distances required to
import the bamboo. Emissions from transportation vehicles make importing bamboo
a less green product.
The bamboo plant itself is considered invasive in nature.
China's Bamboo Flooring Industry
China's Bamboo Flooring industry with its 100 to 200 bamboo manufacturers is still
a small segment of China's overall wood flooring industry. Many operations are semi-finished
producers where bamboo stalks are processed into bamboo strips for assembly into
flooring by flooring mills. With the global increase in the popularity of Bamboo
Flooring, China's Bamboo Flooring industry is rapidly growing to meet the import
from China demands. The United States is one of China's biggest export markets for
Most of the Bamboo for the Bamboo Flooring industry comes from the Hunan province
Hunan XiangZhu Bamboo and Wood Product Co., Ltd., located in Hengyang, Hunan Province
is a leading bamboo flooring manufacturer in South China. The company has 500 employees
with 10 sub-factories, 18 raw material bases. The Hengxing series bamboo floorings
have a good reputation in both the domestic and the international markets. The company
is ISO 9001: 2000 and 14001 certified and exports to more than fifteen countries
around the world.