By: Joe Truini
I’m writing a new book on flooring, which is plodding along at glacial speed, and I recently installed a product I had never worked with before, or even ever seen for that matter: prefinished planks of solid bamboo flooring.
The 5/8” thick tongue-and-groove planks are about 3¾” wide x 6’ long, and are installed similarly to traditional hardwood strip floors; they can be glued, nailed or stapled down. For this installation, I glued and stapled the planks to the plywood subfloor.
The interesting thing about solid bamboo flooring is that while it is 100% bamboo, the planks aren’t milled from individual bamboo boards. Instead, each plank is composed of 15 thin bamboo strips laminated together. The result is a floor that’s very dimensionally stable, so it’s not likely to crack or splinter, and very hard.
In fact, tests have shown that bamboo is denser than oak or maple, which is pretty amazing when you consider that bamboo is a grass. And because bamboo is a grass, it grows incredibly fast and can be harvested in about four years. By comparison, hardwood trees reach maturity somewhere between 30 and 60 years.
More information about bamboo flooring is available at Sustainable Flooring: Bamboo and Cork.