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Stranded Versus Traditional Bamboo

Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010

Traditional versus Stranded

Bamboo has been used as a building material in Eastern cultures for years, but it's been relatively recently that this side of the world has caught on to its benefits, including its status as a tremendously environmentally friendly product. Typical bamboo flooring has established its foothold as a forerunner for residential projects, but a product called stranded or stranded-woven bamboo is making its mark and expanding bamboo's uses.

Most people know that bamboo grows super fast, which is why it is a great choice for a widely-used building product. Most hardwood trees take decades, if not over a hundred years, to fully mature, but bamboo is ready to roll in four to six years, with new growth right on its heels. If there were a double-sustainability award, stranded bamboo would be a major competitor because not only is its base production material naturally sustainable, but in the weaving process, manufacturers are able to use the scraps from the production of regular bamboo directly in the weaving process, so every "blade" of this remarkable grass can be used.

The main difference between residential bamboo and stranded bamboo flooring is its strength. Regular bamboo floor planks are made from cutting the bamboo shafts (bamboo is actually a grass, not a tree) into strips and then gluing them together under an extreme amount of pressure, after the process of boiling and cleaning is done.

This provides a very strong product itself, but with stranded bamboo, the strips of Moso bamboo are actually woven together and then pressure glued and flattened. The result is an even stronger, more durable product that is suitable for high traffic and even commercial floors that take punishment on a daily basis, which traditional bamboo flooring is not recommended for.

It's the weaving process that takes the strength of the final product to that next level. The planks that are produced are similar to hardwood planking and can be installed in different ways, including a snap-locking floating system, being glued directly to the subfloor, or being nailed down. This versatility means that no matter where the floor is going or what subfloor you are working with, there's a way to get it down and start enjoying your beautiful, tough-as-nails floor.