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Green Flooring – Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo Flooring

Green Flooring - Bamboo

Bamboo floors are, as you'd expect, made primarily of bamboo, a unique member of the grass family. As a grass, bamboo can absorb both carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and is capable of producing more oxygen than a tree of the same size. Bamboo is an impressive plant that not only grows at a tremendous rate, but is also sustainable. This means that it can renew itself, so long as its underground root remains intact. Bamboo is also highly adaptable and can flourish in a wide variety of environments.

At present, bamboo forests cover approximately 100 million acres of land in various parts of the world, including Latin America, Africa, India and Asia. Studies show that a bamboo forest can produce up to 30% more oxygen than a hardwood forest of comparable size. This, plus bamboo's ability to prevent erosion with a widespread root system and canopy, makes bamboo a key player in reducing global warming and restoring degraded lands.

 

Pros

  • One of the fastest growing plants on the planet
  • Bamboo shoots can regenerate themselves, as long as the roots are not disturbed
  • Requires minimal pesticides in order to cultivate
  • Grows on almost every continent
  • A bamboo forest can produce up to 30% more oxygen than a hardwood forest of the same size
  • During growing season, some species can grow up to 4 feet in a day
  • Bamboo can have a tensile strength up to 52,000 pounds per square inch (some are stronger than steel)
  • Bamboo's root system helps prevent erosion
  • Bamboo does not require large quantities of water or sunlight to survive
  • Bamboo's extensive canopy and root system helps minimize rain run–off, which consequently prevents soil erosion
  • Bamboo is a natural carbon sink*
  • Some bamboo flooring is said to last 30 to 50 years. While installation could be more expensive than other floor types, it can be less expensive than the cost of replacing less durable flooring. This can help you save money while also reducing waste

*Carbon sinks help reduce global warming by accumulating and storing large amounts of carbon dioxide (in the case of bamboo, by means of photosynthesis).

Cons

  • Adhesives or glue used to make and/or install bamboo flooring may contain formaldehyde
  • Transporting bamboo could result in a large carbon output, depending on where it's being shipped from (e.g. Asia to the United States)

Green Flooring Tips – Bamboo

  • Look for bamboo flooring that is made with formaldehyde–free resins and/or adhesives. Most adhesives considered safe will meet E–1 Standards*
  • Choose bamboo flooring made from post–industrial bamboo waste, or that has a medium density fiberboard (MDF) which contains post–industrial wood fiber
  • Buy bamboo flooring that's manufactured and sourced locally
  • Install a floating bamboo floor rather than a glue–down floor (otherwise, use glues and adhesives with low VOC and formaldehyde emissions)

*E–1 Standards are a European regulation for formaldehyde content in materials and products.


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