Because bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, it is currently enjoying great popularity as a sustainable and natural resource. Bamboo plants can regenerate themselves within 4-6 years, whereas hard wood trees can require 20-120 years to regrow to maturity. Laminated bamboo flooring became popular in the Western world in the 1990's and has grown into a staple product for large retailers such as Home Depot. In considering the history of bamboo and bamboo flooring, much of the rise in popularity of this building material is a direct result of the incredible trade boom in China that has taken place over the last twenty years.
The bamboo flooring that is currently being marketed is a laminate flooring material made of the Moso, or Mao, variety of bamboo plant and grown in China. To make the laminate flooring small strips of bamboo are boiled to kill bugs or bacteria in the material; the boiling also hardens the bamboo through heat. The bamboo is then laid down in strips, dried, planned, and then coated several times with a durable and clear polyurethane. When dried the bamboo laminate floor is harder than many varieties of hard wood floors. The finished bamboo floor is lustrous and flexible with a texture that looks very much like the woodgrain of a hardwood floor.
The combination of longevity and flexibility makes the bamboo plant an excellent choice for creating fabric, paper, and laminate flooring. Bamboo flooring is a bargain priced to sell at 25-50% less expensive when compared to the cost of hard wood flooring. Another benefit of bamboo flooring is that it is resistant to moisture and insects, making it sanitary, allergenic, and mold resistant.
The popularity of bamboo flooring is likely to increase in the decades to come. This affordable, eco-friendly, sustainable, and beautiful building material is certain to remain so as long as the quality remains high and the price stays low.
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