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The Los Altos Guide to Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo Hardwood Flooring For Your Home

The simple bamboo plant has revolutionized the hardwood floor and restoration industry in Los Altos. Bamboo sales have gone through the roof (or should we say “through the floor”) over the past few years… and for several good reasons:

1. Bamboo is relatively cheap and quick to grow;
2. It’s easy to grow and harvest it in an environmentally friendly manner;
3. It comes in a variety of beautiful colors;
4. It’s durable and simple to maintain;
5. It’s quite beautiful.

Bamboo hardwood flooring
By Joi (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0) ], via Wikimedia Commons
In retrospect, it’s a little bit surprising why it collectively took us this long to recognize bamboo as a choice material for home construction and repair. Bamboo plants can re-grow in just four or five years. Most trees used in traditional hardwood floor construction, by comparison, take three to six decades to re-grow.

The Two Types of Bamboo Floors:

1. Engineered Planks

This method is done without using a subfloor, so it tends to be very quick. Planks are simply snapped together, and they go over an underlayment, typically made of foam-rubber.

2. Solid Bamboo

In this method, the bamboo planks are stapled or nailed down. This process takes a little longer to do – typically twice as long as the floating floor operation – but you will get a solid, dependable floor. Once you’re done with the installation, you can immediately move in furniture and even have a dance party, if you’re so inclined.

Different Bamboo Grains

  • Vertical grain is very beautiful. It consists of a bunch of different strips of wood stacked and glued together.
  • Flat grain is bamboo sliced into lasagna-like sheets and then glued together.
  • Strand bamboo is sliced and diced but much more finely – a la angel hair pasta, instead of lasagna. The fibers are often bonded together with resins and other fillers to make the plank extremely hard.

Not all bamboo floors are created equal, obviously. Since most bamboo manufacturing operations are located in East Asia, you generally pay a small premium. Lower end bamboo floors are probably on par with red oak floors. Solid bamboo sells for as little as $2 a square foot, while higher end engineered bamboo can cost as much as $7 per square foot.

For help figuring out whether bamboo is the right choice for you, look to the Los Altos bamboo flooring experts at Elegant Floors. We can guide your project and help you stay on budget, so you’re totally delighted with the end results.

The Los Altos Guide to Bamboo Flooring