How to Make Bamboo Wood Floors

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Bamboo flooring is eco-friendly.
Bamboo flooring is eco-friendly. (Image: bamboo image by fotografiche.eu from Fotolia.com)

Bamboo flooring is beautiful, durable and much more water resistant than any other wood floor on the market. It is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. due to its many benefits. Bamboo is imported mainly from China where the shoots mature in only five to seven years. As a comparison, traditional hardwoods take 20 to 60 years to reach harvesting age. Replanting after harvesting is not required since bamboo is a type of grass. Mature bamboo plants have a large root system that will continue to send up new shoots for decades. No other wood material even comes close to these benefits.

Harvest the bamboo shoots once mature. Bamboo reaches maturity in five to seven years, and the same plant can be harvested many times.

Put the harvested shoots through a splitting and sizing machine. This insures the shoots are crosscut to identical lengths.

Remove the outer knots and peel away the skin of each plank.

Boil the bamboo planks in water rich with preservatives. This removes grime, insects, sugars and prevents future decay.

Allow the bamboo planks to air dry, and then kiln dry to an eight to 14 percent moisture level. According to Bamboo-Flooring-Facts.com, this takes approximately five days, and is a crucial step in the manufacturing process.

Place each bamboo plank on top of a veneer plank, and laminate them together. A two-dimensional hot press machine is required for this step.

Expose the bamboo to extreme heat, called carbonization, in order to darken planks to the desired color. According to Bamboo-Flooring-Facts.com, this process can weaken the bamboo, so bleaching and staining are two alternatives to obtain the desired color.

Cut the bamboo planks to the desired length and width using a wood sawing machine.

Sand the bamboo planks to make the surfaces smooth and level.

After inspection, the bamboo floors are ready for packaging and shipping to the consumer.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, bamboo strips can be sealed with chemicals containing formaldehyde. These particular floors can let off low grade fumes, of which the dangers have not been identified. Therefore, homeowners should investigate the source of the bamboo, and make their own decision regarding bamboo's pros and cons.

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