It grows in popularity as an ecological alternative for traditional wood. On the internet we can find many information about its extreme endurance and cracking resistance what contradicts the common opinion that bamboo is soft and weak. We know that it’s hard to make a decision relying on contradicting information and that’s why we decided to check the opinions – which are true and which should be rejected.
Bamboo wood – what’s the price and where to buy?
First of all, we need to point out that there are 3 types of bamboo wood available on the market: vertical, horizontal and strand-woven. They differ in the hardness level and also their appearance. Horizontal bamboo is the softest kind. You can easily recognize it by its wide slats. Vertical one is a bit harder and in contrast to horizontal it has very narrow slats. Note that both softer types are still harder than average oak wood (which is considered as hard wood). The hardest type is strand-woven bamboo with even 109MPa level of hardness. It means that strand-woven is 2.5 times harder than oak wood. At first sight, it’s hard to find a difference between this type of bamboo and other kinds of wood – the characteristic for bamboo wood slats are almost invisible. This is because of the production method: this type of bamboo is produced by glueing many slats together and then compressing them under very high pressure. For the same reason it’s important to pay attention to the material used for strand-woven plywood: the worse the quality of bamboo slats, the worse features a plywood will have. Unfortunately, many stores have been selling low-quality products what unnecessarily has given this wonderful material a bad name.
5-ply panel, tiger color (strand-woven bamboo)
1-ply panel, natur color (strand-woven bamboo)
Bamboo wood features
Contrary to myths about its softness and fragility it is already known that bamboo is one of the best material on the market. The easiest way to prove that is to compare bamboo to well-known kinds of wood. E.g. the hardness of an oak tree plank is about 36 MPa (megapascals), a bamboo vertical plywood however is about 38 MPa. Remember: vertical type is the softer one! If you are looking for an extremely hard and durable type of wood, strand-woven is the best choice. This kind of wood is one of the hardest in the world and for sure it won’t let you down, even in place which are subject of intensive exploitation as floors, stairs or kitchen counters.
2. Environmental-friendly material
Bamboo is marked not only for its features and attractive price: it is also one of the most ecological material – it’s production has negative carbon footprint. It means that bamboo during its growth absorbs more carbon dioxide than it is produced during its whole production and transportation cycle! However, if you’re wondering where to buy bamboo wood suitable for your bathroom or other interior, always pay attention to choose certificated manufacturers. Only then you have guarantee that your product was produced within proper standards and it’s worth its price.
3. Creating diverse arrangements
Bamboo wood due to its exceptional features is perfect either for a bathroom, living room, kitchen or your garden. But it’s not everything! Many people resign from bamboo wood, because it usually brings to their mind only the most popular type of bamboo – the straw-coloured horizontal type, which of course isn’t the best solution for every design. But in fact furnituring market has gone far beyond such meager range of bamboo proposals. Today there are many various types of bamboo wood. Among them you can even find such which look as “standard” kinds of wood (they don’t have characteristic for bamboo visible slats). Moreover, they are available in many different colours, which aren’t an effect of chemical staining but a natural process of caramelization of sugar contained in the fibres. That’s why you can find bamboo not only in natural, straw colour, but also in caramel or “tigerish” colours.
Before you to decide to purchase a bamboo
Again, we would like to remind you that it’s important to purchase the wood from a producer with a proper certificate. In case of bamboo it is almost a rule: the lower price, the lower quality. Low price indicates that the plywood was produced from low-quality bamboo cane and worse resin, which glues the slats together in one piece of plywood. Moreover, the lower price may also suggest that the material used for plywood production isn’t certified and the plantation isn’t a controlled one. It’s good to note that wood certified with FSC doesn’t need to be ecological.