Archive for November, 2011

Green Home Revisited – Bamboo Flooring

November 7, 2011

This is the first of several blogs we’ll be doing to check in on the ‘green’ home – to see what features have worked well, and maybe a few  that could have been re-thought.

For this first blog, we  went back and looked at how the bamboo floor was holding up.

Bamboo is one of the darlings of the sustainable  construction world.  It is very much  like wood but actually it is a grass; a very fast growing grass.  It is this rapid growth that defines it as  sustainable.  It can be harvested in 5-7  years; versus 60-70 years for most hardwoods. It is moisture resistant and  insect resistant. In general, it is harder than oak, although it is available  in a wide range of hardness’s. As for installation, it can be nailed, glued, or  floated just like a conventional wood floor.

During the design phase of the home, we had planned for cork  flooring, another sustainable option. However, the homeowner decided to use Bamboo simply for it’s aesthetics.  Premium  Green Bamboo, Hand Scraped, Vintage Collection, Jacobean flooring was chosen and it looked fabulous when it was first installed.

It appears that not all bamboo flooring is equal.  A Google search will reveal a wide range of experiences with bamboo flooring – from very satisfied to very unsatisfied. The 2 major complaints seem to be softness (showing scratches) and color fading. Our LEED home, however, has had neither of these issues. As you can see from the photos, after 18 months of use, the floor still looks fantastic. The owner pointed out one dent where he had dropped an electric drill.  Otherwise it looks as good as the day it was installed. It has even held up to high heels and dog traffic.

So far,  for this home and this home-owner, bamboo flooring has proved to be a great sustainable choice.

Photo taken January, 2010

Photo taken October, 2011

Photo taken January, 2010

Photo taken October, 2011

Advertisements