Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants which has been used in Asian culture for millennia. It has long been used for just about everything from food and medicine to tools and housing. With modern technology, bamboo has experienced a renewed revolution. Zhejiang Province, the wealthiest province in China, owes much of its wealth to the renewed utilisation of its bamboo resources – forests of bamboo which have been growing in this region for hundreds of years. Anji County, in Zhejiang, is the capital of bamboo in the world. It has over 70 large, modern, state-of-the-art equipped bamboo factories employing highly skilled, educated workers.
What Makes Bamboo Special?
Bamboo is one of the strongest, longest and straightest natural fibres and has a tensile strength approaching that of mild steel, (at a fraction of its weight). It is also very fast growing, requires no pesticides and can be selectively harvested annually, with indefinite yields far in excess of normal forests. With worldwide forest resources depleting, bamboo is already widely recognized as the sustainable (and in most cases superior) alternative. Bamboo products have been developed with results that are nothing short of staggering to laypersons.
Floor boards and timber obviously cannot be sawn from bamboo in the usual fashion. Two main ways are used to effectively use this amazing resource as timber.
Top quality: Fibrestrand Woven Bamboo Flooring
Adapting technology developed in South Australia in the nineties, bamboo is crushed and broken down to long fibres, a bit like straw. These are then coated with the most modern German resins and pressed together under heat with 2800kg of pressure per square centimetre to produce a block. This is then sawn into boards, machined to form tongue-and-grooves or the interlocking “Click System” sides, and coated with a superior German “KLUMMP” polyurethane film finish. The finish is the most scratch-resistant, long-lasting, pre-finished floor with high impact resistance and hardness superior to most hardwood floors. Two colours in the fibrestrand woven bamboo flooring range are available, “natural” and “coffee” (or carbonised). Carbonising is done by controlled heating of the fibres (not unlike baking bread in an oven) before coating with resin and pressing. Carbonising increases the hardness slightly without affecting strength.
The cheaper option: Regular Laminated Bamboo Flooring
The bamboo culms are split and accurately machined into “slats” of uniform width and thickness (generally about 20mm x 5mm). These slats are then laminated together, using the highest quality German resins, to build timber (a little like conventional, structural beams and bearers are made from strips of conventional timber). This lamination can be done laying the slats horizontally or vertically, giving rise to the terms “horizontal” and “vertical” bamboo flooring. Boards are machined to form tongue and grooves and coated with high quality finish. Hardness and wearability compare very favourably with the best quality hardwoods and the aesthetic appeal is pleasing and special. Regular Laminated Bamboo Flooring is available in a very blonde “natural” or more honey-coloured, carbonised, “coffee”.
Quality, Style and Eco-Friendly
Due to its superior quality, style and eco-sustainability, Bamboo Flooring has become a leading choice for discerning home owners. It is beautiful, durable, easy to care for and eco-friendly. You choose !