Bamboo Flooring Secrets Revealed: From Grass to Hardwood

Bamboo_Forest_1_Christopher_StewartBamboo flooring is usually improperly categorized as a hardwood, this is done to make it easier to grasp for customers. Confusing I know, but this is because it is so similar to hardwood in the sense that it is installed the same way and cared for the same way. Even those these function the same way when it comes to flooring, the difference between them is that grass is not as porous as wood, giving bamboo a slight advantage in a kitchen or bathroom where the inevitable spills happen.

Unlike bamboo, hardwood is lacking in the sustainability department by a few points. Why, because hardwood takes many more years to come to the point of growth to where they are ready to be harvested for flooring, whereas bamboo is incredibly sustainable. Bamboo can grow up to 3 feet per day, topping at 125 feet high by 2 feet in diameter. And the best part is once it reaches its growth limit it begins to spread its roots and start new plants. So this is a self propagating plant. So if you cut it down it will grow back, and if you don’t it will grow and spread anyway. Amazing!

Bamboo Forest 2 Christopher Stewart resized 600Coloring

There are 2 different types of colors and patterns when bamboo is concerned. With color, you have natural and carbonized. Natural has a very distinct yellowing – to cream color, while carbonized has been treated with heat allowing the grass to darken in varying shades, kind of like a caramel candy tone.


The pattern formations are a simple characteristic due to the manufacturing process. Horizontal and vertical are basically the pattern choices, and they represent how the bamboo has been attached together. Simple enough, vertical bamboo is stacked together vertically in thin long strips, and horizontal is stacked horizontally and consist of wider and shorter pieces of bamboo.

Bamboo Forest 3 Christopher Stewart resized 600There is technically one more pattern but it is more like an engineered bamboo flooring, it is called strand woven. In this process the individual pieces of bamboo are shredded and then glued back together in small dense fibers. They are typically heavier and stronger.

Care and maintenance tips for bamboo floors:

  • Carry furniture across the floor to prevent scraping and damaging.
  • Put felt tabs under furniture legs.
  • Lay rugs or doormats at all entry points from outside.
  • Take off your shoes inside.
  • Keep pet claws trimmed and bath regularly as an animal’s natural oils can Bamboo Forest 4 Christopher Stewart resized 600damage the floor.
  • Regularly clean floors by sweeping and occasionally mopping with a damp mop.
  • Never wax, oil soap, or use common household cleaners on your bamboo floor.
  • Clean up excess water or spills immediately to prevent damage.

I hope you enjoyed this look into bamboo flooring and I would like to thank Christopher Stewart at Junipers Fare for providing the pictures in today’s blog. If you are ever in Waterbury, VT be sure to stop for bite to eat at his family’s amazing restaurant. Until next time, Happy Flooring!


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