Green Home Decor

Published on March 31st, 2009 | by Stephanie Evans

11

Bamboo Flooring as an Alternative to Traditional Hardwood

If you are interested in a sustainable hardwood flooring option for your home then you must consider bamboo. It’s easy to clean and has anti-microbial properties so you know it will be around for a long time.

Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that is renewable, durable, and attractive. It is an excellent alternative to tree wood because bamboo can grow wood faster than any tree. Because bamboo is a rapid growing grass and not wood, it can be harvested every 5-7 years, unlike 15-100 years for many tree wood. This makes bamboo an extremely environmentally friendly product for flooring. A variety of bamboos products can be found in the market today. We recommend ‘strand woven bamboo’ which is made by weaving together strands of bamboo grass. The weaving process eliminates the needs for glues and formaldehydes that release toxic fumes into the environment over time.

Photo by mangpages.bamboo flooring for pennies on the dollar

Eco-friendly bamboo flooring for pennies on the dollar

Companies such as Teragren bamboo flooring, have a mission is to reduce dependence on dwindling timber resources by manufacturing flooring, stairs, and panels from bamboo sustainably harvested in the Zhejiang Province of China. Click here to find a Teragren supplier near you (http://www.teragren.com/where.php) Bamboo flooring Biz is a great resource with many useful links to websites with information related to bamboo, flooring and home improvements. (http://www.bambooflooring.biz/directory-index.htm)

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  • Katie

    I love the look and feel of bamboo flooring but there are still so many questions unanswered. For example: bamboo tends to be grown overseas and shipped half way around the world vs. using local hardwoods grown in sustainably mangaged forests. Many bamboo floors also have high levels of formaldehyde to bind the bamboo pieces together. I realize many bamboo flooring companies pay attention to both of these factors, such as working with bamboo growers that practice social and environmentally responsible practices and use ways to minimize the off-gassing in binding the bamboo. But many flooring companies do not pay attention to these factors and just tout “bamboo” as if it is environmentally friendly in itself. How do we sort out the truly environmentally friendly companies vs. those that are not?

    • It’s a good question you ask Katie, and one I ask on GreenTalk quite a bit to all of these companies (with varying degrees of clarity and satisfaction resulting from the answers given). I would direct you to listen to the episodes with Bamboo Flooring and the FSC (both under the Green Building/Flooring topic here), as they directly discuss these issues and questions.

  • i love bamboo flooring, funnily enough, they sell this here in costa rica. but they have no idea that it’s a green thing to do. they just sell it cause it’s gorgeous and different. i had it in my old house actually.
    another green flooring that they use here, is clay tiles. it’s literally red dirt put in a kiln. very colonial style, and cheap!
    The Travel Expert(a) and an Expat with a Twist

  • Hey everyone,

    I saw the comments about going green and being more environmentally friendly. I think it is great that so many people are waking up to the fact that the planet is in trouble and that we need to act now in order to help. I saw your post about trying to save the planet, and I love the money saving tips found on this site, I think with all the financial worries going around at the moment, we all need to be more aware of our spending. I thought I would share my new tip with you, I have now recently become a bit of a fan of electronic greetings cards. I have spent ages on the internet and found a really cool website that allows you to send e-Cards for free. I think this is such a great idea as a money saving technique! I dread to link how money I have spent over the years on papers cards, and postage! I like this particular site because it always seems to have new designs to choose from, so I have never become bored. They also have a great application called ‘Face It’ where you can upload your own photos to add that extra personal touch, which is a great idea. I hope this piece of information helps, let me know!

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  • Richard Lynch

    Hi my name is Richard Lynch I have bought a piece of property in Famouth trelawny Jamica with hopes of one day making it as Eco freindly as possible I have blueprints for two cottages on a Acre of prime property I want some Eco direction can you help me?

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  • Jerry Simpson

    I’ve been looking all over, not for a hardwood flooring alternative, but a bamboo flooring one. I’ve done enough research to know that the stuff you buy from the big flooring companies & supply stores are filled with VOCs and chemicals like formaldehyde. Frankly, the only time I want that stuff in me is when I am dead and gone, thank you very much! I’m really curious to know more about reclaimed wood flooring that comes from wasted lumber strips. This Staybull stuff looks really like it would fit with those new age modern homes. I thought reclaimed flooring was just for rustic looking places like mine? I have to say it’s interesting to say the least.

  • I love the look and feel of bamboo flooring but there are still so many questions unanswered. For example: bamboo tends to be grown overseas and shipped half way around the world vs. using local hardwoods grown in sustainably mangaged forests. Many bamboo floors also have high levels of formaldehyde to bind the bamboo pieces together. I realize many bamboo flooring companies pay attention to both of these factors, such as working with bamboo growers that practice social and environmentally responsible practices and use ways to minimize the off-gassing in binding the bamboo. But many flooring companies do not pay attention to these factors and just tout “bamboo” as if it is environmentally friendly in itself. How do we sort out the truly environmentally friendly companies vs. those that are not?

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