Comparison between strand woven bamboo flooring and reclaimed hardwood flooring

Strand woven bamboo flooring is a type of sustainable flooring because it is made from the renewable resource. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is not made from a renewable resource, but instead from a ‘recycled’ resource. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is not made from recycled wood  – namely wood that is pulped and compressed into blocks. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is made from hardwood that has been rescued from demolished buildings, refurbishing jobs, park waste, fences, abandoned outhouses, barns, mine shafts and even from the bottom of rivers and lakes.

One of the key advantages that reclaimed hardwood has is that it is a product with a very low carbon footprint. It can be sourced, made and sold locally to cut down on carbon costs connected to transport. And furthermore, to make reclaimed hardwood flooring is not a carbon intensive process – the reclaimed wood is kiln dried and then it is cut into flooring planks.

In contrast strand woven bamboo flooring has a much higher carbon footprint. It is made by an industrial process where it is cut into strips then boiled to remove sugars and finally compressed under heat with a low VOC adhesive. To add to the carbon footprint of strand woven bamboo flooring is then shipped to the main markets for flooring in Europe  and America.

Although reclaimed hardwood flooring comes in a variety of forms (depending on the hardwood that has been reclaimed) it is often full of nail holes, dents and other marks. This is called the ‘rustic’ look. Some people find it breathtaking in its originality and charm, for others blemishes are deficiencies.

In terms of price, reclaimed hardwood flooring is normally more expensive than strand woven bamboo flooring. It is also more costly to install as most people pay for professional installation instead of going the DIY route. In contrast lots of people manage to install strand woven bamboo flooring themselves.

Both strand woven bamboo flooring and reclaimed hardwood flooring are anti allergenic because they provide no place for dust mites to breed. Bamboo flooring is also antimicrobial. This is a characteristic that no hardwood has.

While there is plenty of hardwood to reclaim, reclaimed hardwood is an excellent choice of sustainable flooring. The biggest problem for strand woven bamboo flooring is that it has a much larger carbon footprint. However, this is somewhat mitigated by the long lifetime of the flooring.

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Aluminum Oxide Finish for Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring

The industry standard for hard wearing finish for strand woven bamboo flooring is 6 or more coatings of aluminum oxide. The preferred supplier is Friedrich Klumpp Gmbh who have been making flooring products since 1919. It is not possible to buy Klumpp finish independently for those interested in re-finishing their floor. However, ‘Trek Plus’ by Absolute Coatings is the next best thing.

There is, however, a lot of anecdotal content on the internet to be found about the dangers of aluminum oxide. People complain that it is a toxic heavy metal and others point to the 1960s research that links aluminum with Alzheimer’s disease.

Firstly, a large part of the Earth’s crust is composed of aluminum oxide so obviously some exposure to aluminum is not only inevitable but also in the case of most people quite benign.

Secondly, since those 1960s experiments scientists have failed to re-create the results which link aluminum to the cause of Alzheimer’s. Alz.org categorically discredits the results of the 1960s experiments and points out also that aluminum is in our drinking water, beer, tea and baked products. It is impossible to measure the amount of lifetime exposure to aluminum and so it is also impossible to study exactly the effect if any of aluminum on our health.

For those wishing to be cautious, water based finishes are getting better and better and perhaps doing a bit more re-finishing is a small price to pay for keeping a small (if unproven) danger out of the house. You can now buy Bona Naturale Industrial mat lacquer that does a good job on strand woven bamboo flooring.

Not Just Great Flooring

Bamboo is not just for making strand woven bamboo flooring – it is also a great material for making a wide variety of products for the home, garden and office. The benefits of bamboo are numerous. Because bamboo is strong, durable, water resistant, anti-fungal, antimicrobial and looks like wood it can be used to make a number of home items. Often these items are alternatives to hardwood products. And as such, buying bamboo products for the home, office and garden is a way of helping to conserve the forests of the world.

Here is a short list of bamboo products you can buy on Amazon for the home, garden and office. Bamboo makes a great green gift because it is a renewable resource.

  • Bamboo charcoal as an air freshener
  • Bamboo chopping board
  • Bamboo place mats
  • Bamboo salad serving spoons
  • Bamboo blinds and shades
  • Bamboo chest of drawers
  • Bamboo mat with non-slip backing for the bathroom
  • Bamboo fencing
  • Bamboo seeds for the garden
  • Bamboo waste paper container
  • Laptop computer with bamboo casing
  • Lucky bamboo for the office

To find all of these items and more check out the bamboo shop

Bamboo Blinds and Shades

bamboo blinds

It is not only for flooring that bamboo can be used. In Japan and China they have been using bamboo for centuries to make wall coverings, blinds and shades. In Japan bamboo blinds are still made by hand by artisans. They are made using traditional techniques and tools.

First the bamboo is cut into thin strips then the outer skin is removed and the strips are whittled down to size. The size of slats vary from matchstick thickness to much thicker slats. The slats are held together with cords which are attached to the roll up mechanism.

According to the weave style and the thickness of the slats privacy is created. With lighter bamboo shades a beautiful dappled effect is created in a room.

It is also possible to buy Roman bamboo blinds that instead of rolling up fold up and hang in loose folds from the top of the window.

Bamboo blinds and shades come in all sizes to fit any window. They also come in a variety of colors to fit different interior decors. Bamboo blinds add a touch of the orient to a room.

Finally, like all bamboo products, bamboo blinds are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. They are a useful addition to people wanting to create safe indoor air and avoid materials that harbor dust mites and other allergen triggers.

Why Consumers Should Consider Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring

Strand woven bamboo flooring is not just for vegetarians and tree huggers. Buying strand woven bamboo flooring is a smart consumer move for a number of reasons.

Firstly, strand woven bamboo flooring is normally cheaper than traditional hardwood flooring, sometimes as much as 50% cheaper, and it is also cheaper than other types of sustainable flooring. There is an abundance of bamboo in the world and on the market that keeps bamboo products competitively priced.

Secondly, you are not sacrificing quality when you buy strand woven bamboo flooring instead of hardwood flooring. It lasts a life time with proper maintenance and is just as hard and strong as hardwood flooring. Indeed with a Janka Hardness of over 2,500 pounds force it is harder than oak, ash, cherry and other hardwood floors.

And the appearance of strand woven bamboo is not disappointing. It has a gentle grain and a natural appearance. It comes in a lighter natural shade, a darker ‘carbonized’ brown, or in a distinctive combination of natural and carbonized that is often called Tiger Stripe.

Furthermore, strand woven bamboo flooring is ideal for those people suffering from allergies and asthma. Not only does it prevent dust mites, but it is also antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal. Only cork flooring can claim to be as healthy as strand woven bamboo flooring.

Lastly, if the world became hot enough to melt the ice caps and the air became so full of carbon that life was cut short and all the future drugs were lost because there wasn’t enough forest cover in the world then consumers would be badly affected. That is to say the least. The greatest consumer benefit of strand woven bamboo flooring and all bamboo products is that it offers a renewable alternative to hardwood products. The popularity of bamboo is helping to keep the world’s eco-system healthy enough for consumers to enjoy their bought products and services.

Allergies and Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring

A recent study has shown that 55% of Americans suffer from one or more allergies.  That is incredible. Of these allergy sufferers only 2% have food allergies. This means the majority of people suffer from hay fever symptoms of a runny nose, sneezing and irritated eyes caused by three main causes: pollen, dust mite excretion, animal danders and mold.

For many years people wrongly believed that allergic reactions were primarily caused by pollen in the spring and summer. Two facts contradict this theory. One, people in developing countries that are often subjected to higher pollen counts have only a fraction of the allergy sufferers per capita that developed countries have. And two, people in the developed world spend 90% of life indoors.

This points to the fact that mold, animal danders and dust mite excretion are vital to the well being of allergy sufferers and also people who suffer from asthma. As for animal danders the simple solution is to not have a pet. Even if you do not have a pet it might be the case with rented accommodation that the last tenants did. In which case you should consider bringing in professional cleaners to remove all danders.

As for dust mites, they thrive in furniture, bedding and carpets. You can’t really do without bedding or furniture but you can certainly rip up your carpet. The perfect solution is strand woven bamboo flooring. Strand woven bamboo flooring is dust mite free. There is no place for dust mites to live. All you have to do is clean your strand woven bamboo floor twice a week with a dust mop or vacuum with soft brush attachment to remove any dust build up.

Further more strand woven bamboo flooring is mold resistant. Not having mold spores in the air reduces the likelihood of an allergy attack.

Thus, for all those millions of people out there who suffer from hay fever, asthma and allergies should consider installing strand woven bamboo flooring to reduce the number of allergy triggers in their indoor environment.

Buying Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring

Buying strand woven bamboo flooring is not difficult. Unlike with uPVC windows where you invariably get a salesman coming to your house trying to grossly inflate the price to increase his commission, you can easily get a quotation for strand woven bamboo flooring.

You can search online or you can visit a high street retailer in flooring products. There are a few tips you should keep in mind before you commit, however, to a purchase. These tips are as follows:

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