Bamboo is arguably the most sustainable flooring available for your home on the market today. Although bamboo is utilized for many of the same things trees are, bamboo isn’t a tree at all! Bamboo is a grass, and is the largest member of the grass family. Even as a grass, the rate at which bamboo can grow is simply incredible. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth, with documented growth rates exceeding 38 inches in a 24 hour period. Unlike trees, which take decades or even centuries to reach their mature size and height, bamboo does all its growing in a single season. After that, it only takes a few more seasons to reach its strong, woody, mature self. If you’re interested in learning more about Bamboo, Renew Bamboo has several articles on their website. Because if it’s renew-ability, Bamboo floors are most often less expensive than their hardwood counterparts. But not all bamboo’s are created equal. We choose Cali Bamboo, because it was the only flooring we could find that is a solid plank. All other “bamboo” flooring that we found is made of plywood with a thin layer of bamboo laminated on top. This is problematic in areas where there is low humidity. As in any laminated flooring, the materials used tend to dry out at different rates causing cupping and/or delamination. Bamboo installed in extremely moist climates have the potential of puffing up. Before purchasing any laminated flooring materials, carefully read the warranty provided by the manufacturer. If the recommended ambient humidity is higher than what is typical in your area, do not install the product unless you’re willing to live with the problem. We also recommend that you always buy any wood flooring through the company that is going to install it. If you have problems with shrinkage, you’re unlikely going to see any restitution from the manufacturer without the backing of a certified installer of their product. The material that we chose for our Haven™ home is Cali Bamboo. Although this manufacturer also recommends a humidity level that exceeds what we normally see in our high desert climate, the floor is not laminated, but Fossilized®, their proprietary process similar to baking the stranded bamboo under extreme pressure. While other bamboo floors tend to be relatively soft, the process Cali Bamboo uses to Fossilized® their raw material creates a product considered twice the density twice as that of any other hardwood floor in the world with a score of more than 5000+ on the Janka hardness test. Although the surface can and will scratch over time, their industry leading 10-stage, water-based, acrylic topcoat system is 100% environmentally safe and free of all harmful chemical compounds. Cali’s webite states that all coatings are free of halogenated hydrocarbons, heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, urea formaldehyde and any harmful emissions. Cali carries a 50 year Residential Warrantee. Cali is also a Low-VOC (Volatile Organic Chemicals) floor and 100% Formaldehyde free due to their proprietary quality control process, which includes the use of superior materials, adhesives and manufacturing techniques, we are able to manufacture a product that is beautiful, durable, eco-friendly and safe for even the most sensitive homeowners. Have any comments about using bamboo vs. hardwood? Please share. http://youtu.be/VsLk7APzgkU
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