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Date Created: 12/20/15
Bamboo Flooring for a greener environment Bamboo flooring is one of the many options to choose from to participate in the ‘Green Revolution’ that has taken the world by storm. There is a growing consciousness among every one of us to save our planet and our forests and improve the quality of the environment that we live in. Several policies have been promulgated to make sure that all of us change into environment friendly and responsible citizens. How is bamboo flooring going to help in the march towards a greener environment? Most of the houses used hard wood previously to do up their floors; of course, this is a good option since hard woods like oak and maple last for a long time and if the floors get scratched or dented with frequent use, this wood can be sanded and refinished. But if you consider the number of years it will take for the tree to be replenished and grown to its full maturity you will be stunned to know that it takes almost 15 to 25 years! This is a lot of time indeed! This ultimately leads to thinning of forests and deforestation that is very unhealthy for the environment. This is where the humble Bamboo flooring steps in; bamboo being a grass grows at a very fast rate and reaches maturity in just about 5 to 7 years; this can be replenished in no time and helps to balance our ecology. Several homeowners are now considering bamboo flooring as an excellent alternative to hard wood flooring. Architects and builders too are leaning towards bamboo floorings to acquire the ‘green builders’ certificate for using greener construction methods. Bamboo flooring apart from being an eco friendly option for floors, enhances the look of the floors and adds elegance to the house. As a result most people are selecting this material for their floors and are happy that they have done their bit in this green endeavor and they are being encouraged by the builders and architects to move in this direction. Are there any disadvantages to bamboo flooring? Yes, unfortunately, bamboo flooring has its own inherent problems that surface after some time. These floorings are not as durable as the other flooring options; bamboo wears out faster than hard wood due to scratches and dents. Despite having a better Janka hardness test rating than woods like oak, bamboo is more susceptible to getting worn out soon and requires faster replacement since the bamboo fibers separate easily weakening the surrounding area. And faster replacement is not a good thing for saving our environment! The other disadvantage in bamboo floors is that they cannot be refinished like the other wood, so it is not recyclable. Bamboo Decking are made up of a lot of bamboo strips that are laminated and hence difficult to sand and refinish these floors. Toxic chemicals are employed in the process of laying a bamboo floor, which are harmful and further pollute the environment, and this is disheartening indeed! Though bamboo flooring has its own drawbacks it is still viewed as a greener option since it is considered a rapidly renewable resource thus minimizing deforestation.
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