Besides that part of the light spectrum between blue and yellow, “green” has many diverse meanings. For example, one less fortunate might be “green with envy,” where one with payments due might need to “make some green,” and one who plays golf might be “on the green in one” – though highly unlikely. But no meaning of “green” could be more important than its most recent application: “green products.” No, that does not mean their color or their level of maturity. It means that they are environmentally-friendly.
Over the past decade, there has been a growing trend toward designing and building with green products. In fact, some of the larger design firms have received green-design requests from many of their corporate clients. According to author Susan E. Haberle, companies like Starbucks, Nike, Guess and Donna Karan have already completed design projects utilizing green products. Haberle’s article on the American Society of Interior Designers website states that these internationally-established corporations have chosen bamboo as the green product for their floors. But big business is not the only driving force behind the green trend.
Every day, more and more retail consumers are jumping on the conservation bandwagon. They are demanding homebuilding and remodeling products that are not only aesthetically pleasing, durable and safe, but also made from materials that will not unbalance the ecosystem. Thus, as with the companies already mentioned, bamboo flooring has become the consumers’ green alternative to hardwood.
In order for a product to qualify as green, it must have certain characteristics, and bamboo flooring qualifies with more than one. But certainly its most important characteristic is that it is resource efficient. Bamboo is a sustainable material – and rapidly so. It replenishes itself up to twenty times faster than some hardwood trees, repeatedly sprouting from the same plant to maturity in just 4 to 6 years.
Another green characteristic of bamboo is its durability. Species harvested for flooring are actually harder than Red Oak and Hard Maple, and that means reduced maintenance and replacement costs. Additionally, because bamboo grows in tropical climates, it is naturally resistant to moisture and thus to stains. It is also less likely to gap, cup, or warp because of its laminated construction.
With all these positive attributes and green characteristics, it is no wonder that bamboo flooring has become such a hot, growing trend – one with no end in sight.