Hardwood floors have to be one of the most desirable flooring types out there. Bamboo, while technically a grass not wood, combines the durability and aesthetic of wood with the sustainability of a renewable resource. In short: it’s generally good for the environment and for the buyer! Here are some of the key benefits of using bamboo flooring:
1. No trees required: bamboo takes 3 years to grow to maturity, where a hardwood such as oak takes 120!
2. The popularity of bamboo means that it is becoming increasingly available
3. Wider adoption = lower cost
4. Bamboo looks and feels beautiful
There are some things to consider, as well:
1. Bamboo is not steel: it can and will scratch and dent
2. There is currently no FSC-certified, fair trade or formaldehyde-free version of this flooring
3. Questions remain about the farming of bamboo, and its effect on the environment, in China.
Bottom line: we’ve used bamboo flooring in an entryway in our previous home and it was wonderful. Ever single visitor noticed it (as it was the area where people took their shoes off), and marveled at its appearance. When we make any changes or additions to our 60-year old house, I’m definitely going to consider bamboo flooring above any off-the-shelf standard wood flooring. I’m also going to consider reclaimed wood or whatever our best sustainable option is at that time. Hopefully by then, the process will have simplified, and my choices are many!