Bamboo describes a whole variety of species which each have their own slight differences. Listed below are some of the more commonly used species for creating flooring.
Names and Scientific Names:
Chinese Timber Bamboo (Phyllostachys vivax)
Chinese Thorny Bamboo (Bambusa sinospinosa)
Japanese Timber Bamboo (Phyllostachys bambusoides)
Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens)
Snakeskin Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)
Sweet Shoot Bamboo (Phyllostachys dulcis)
Predominately throughout Asia
Natural bamboo is pale yellow in color, while the carbonized variety of bamboo is more brownish-yellow in color. As a service to our customers, we can obtain a wide variety of other colored bamboo flooring as well. The species has a very linear grain and is fairly smooth in texture.
Bamboo is a renewable resource due to its short growth time requirement. It only takes about four years from planting to harvest time to prepare it for flooring applications. This flooring also has the added benefit of being highly resistant to moisture absorbtion. Therefore if humidity is an issue, bamboo flooring offers a material which will remain true in shape.
The numbers can vary somewhat due to the process and chemicals used to produce the optional carmelized or carbonized coloring in some bamboo flooring. Another factor is the particular species of bamboo used in the flooring. As a point of reference, one species is described here. When left with a natural finish, bamboo has a janka rating of 1380. If carbonized to produce a darker color, bamboo's hardness drops to 1180.
Bamboo plants are harvested and then the narrow strips (or slats as they are sometimes referred to as) of the flattened plant are laminated together to produce boards. Because it is such a dense product, bamboo does not respond to staining. This is why the manufacturer of bamboo flooring provides a carbonized variety of the product. The process involves pressure steaming the bamboo to produce a darker variety similar to the lighter stains found on most of the other varieties of hardwood flooring.
Bamboo's uses include flooring, housing, chopsticks, hats, and basic construction.