Laminate Bamboo Flooring

In spite of its popularity, there are still some people who have yet to be introduced to bamboo flooring. And if you're thinking about the somewhat provincial-looking bamboo mats that you see in Asian movies then you're in for a big surprise. A lot of people think that bamboo is a tree but the truth is, it is a grass. This plant is, in fact, a type of grass that falls into numerous different species. Bamboo is a viable source for construction materials as it is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. It is capable of growing up to 3 feet per day although the growth rate is dependent on the soil and climactic conditions of the area. Bamboo is commonly found in the regions of South Asia, South East Asia, and East Asia. The particular species used for laminate bamboo flooring would be the Moso and is typically ready for harvest after 3 to 5 years, which is when it reaches maturity. Bamboo that is used for flooring are cut as flat as possible and then cut to similar lengths. It will then be stained or varnished to the desired shade and can even be used as is.

From Grass to Flooring

Once the bamboo culms (also known as mature bamboo poles) are ready for harvest and be developed into laminate bamboo flooring, it undergoes a rather meticulous process. They start out by slicing the culms into strips and are then sliced crosscut according to the desired length and width. These strips are then dried and planed. The next step in the process will depend on the color or shade that you want the bamboo flooring to have. The colors available can be divided into two groups: natural and carbonized. The natural finish is lighter and won't need to undergo a carbonization process which darker colored laminate bamboo flooring will need to be subjected to. The carbonizing process involves steaming the bamboo strips under controlled heat and pressure, which in turn, also softens the bamboo. The lamination uses urea-formaldehyde adhesive in controlled amounts. After which, the panels are then heat-pressed to cure the adhesive. The boards will be sanded and afterwards, milled. The final step will be the application of curing lacquer to the boards.

Bamboo Flooring Aesthetic Value

Bamboo flooring planks come in either vertical or horizontal grain orientation. The vertical planks will have each of the pieces standing vertically on their narrowest edge and then press-laminated side to side which gives it a lined and almost uniform look. Horizontal planks, on the other hand, have individual slats that are arranged in a horizontal direction against the widest edge and then joined together side by side with adjacent pieces using a high-pressure laminate system. These interlocking planks can then be combined using different alignments and color to achieve a distinct look. Bamboo flooring is steadily gaining popularity because of its strength, durability, and resistance to insects and moisture. The hardness of the planks ranges from 1180 – 1380 according to the Janka hardness test.

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