12 October 2008

An Environment Friendly Floor Material

Choosing a new floor material is not as easy as it sounds—especially for a kitchen. The floor must look good, be low maintenance and stand the test of time.

Today's choices range from traditional hardwoods to laminate to stone to ceramic tile. But another popular choice among homeowners is bamboo.

Bamboo Flooring is certainly one of the upcoming materials in today's floor market. With many many advantages over traditional hardwood flooring it has certainly been a kind of shooting star amongst the different new floor types used. Amongst many its durability and hardness make bamboo very resistant.

With a very short rejuvenating cycle of about 5 years bamboo can be harvested much faster than most softwoods. Softwoods usually have a 20 to 30 year harvest cycle. But keep in mind that bamboo is better compared in a review to hardwood than any softwood or pine flooring.

Installing bamboo flooring over a wood sub-floor is no more difficult that installing other wood flooring, and many homeowners find self-installation to be a great way to save money. However, installation over concrete takes more skill and expertise, and may not be worth the money you'd save by installing it yourself. Before you begin the project, it's important to assess your capability and motivation to do the job yourself.

Once you've committed to installing your bamboo floor, make sure to order an additional 7-9 percent flooring to allow for waste and cuts. Also, carefully examine the bamboo flooring for consistent color, finish, quality, and damage before you begin. As with all projects, read and have a thorough understanding the manufacturer's installation instructions, policies and warranties because the time spent in these early stages can greatly improve the quality of your finished product.

The basic concepts for installing bamboo flooring are the same as for installing other hardwood flooring. The sub-floor must be flat, smooth, clean and preferably dry -- especially if installing onto a concrete surface (and you probably should consider laying a vapor barrier between the sub-floor and bamboo. Most bamboo floors are not covered under warranty if installed in a bathroom, washroom, saunas, or other similar wet locations -- but check with the manufacturer you want to choose to make sure. Remember, bamboo flooring is a natural product that will warp or swell with extended exposure to moisture, and shrink with extended exposure to heat.