In the past decade, we've seen the rise to popularity of bamboo tiles and bamboo flooring. Bamboos are grown in different parts of the world, but bamboo forests are quite prevalent in the Hunan province of China where bamboo is now being grown to meet the demands of the commercial market.
Very recently, flooring manufacturers have seen the value of bamboo plant as a very good source of home finishings. For one, bamboo possesses a robust character and is less susceptible to termite infestation when properly treated. Its hardness and attractive appearance makes it an attractive material, particularly for floorings and furniture. Home designers are able to create exotic looking floor patterns from the vast array of bamboo floor tiles now widely available in home depots all over the world.
Another reason why the bamboo plant has earned such a widely accepted reputation is that it is quite friendly to the environment. Since the bamboo plant is actually a type of grass and not a tree, they're easier to cultivate and replace more than trees are. Bamboo grows to full maturity in just about five years, and commercial grade bamboo can be harvested even as early as three years from planting. That's a far cry from most types of hardwood which can take a minimum of 25 years to grow. So bamboo earns the reputation of a highly renewable source of raw materials for floors, and the great thing about strand woven bamboo flooring is that it grows even in the poorest types of soil.
That assures a steady supply since it's easily replaceable. Surprisingly, bamboo can be as tough and hard as steel. It is actually dent resistant, so you don't have to worry about scratches and chips. It can be processed into various patterns for different floor designs - flat grained, vertical, floated or nailed. Prefinished bamboo flooring panels are also available for easy installation. Bamboo panels are typically available in general thickness of 1/2, 3/4 and 5/8 and 3 or 4 inches across. Lengths vary from 2 to 6 feet per panel and come in standard strip or tongue and groove installation types. So you can choose to glue, nail or float them on plywood or concrete bases.
Lastly, bamboo flooring is easy to clean and maintain. It will not require any re-staining since coloring is established during the manufacturing process and comes with 3 to 4 layers of protective coating, usually polyurethane for the ready to use panel types. Bamboo flooring has truly become quite an attractive option for the home and a less costly alternative to hardwood flooring. You can still get the natural look at a much lesser cost.