05 Mar, 2024
3 mins read

Bamboo Flooring: The Amazing Growth, Manufacture and History of Bamboo

Bamboo flooring, widely in use from ancient times, is now making a dramatic comeback around the world and particularly in Melbourne. For the Chinese, bamboo has been an important part of their culture for many thousands of years. It was, and still is, used for a wide range of applications including: Houses, floors, kitchen utensils, furniture, paper, construction, weapons and even the shoots are eaten as a delicacy.
Modern bamboo flooring is made differently from its ancient cousin. It is refined, treated, pressed and polished for long life as well as great looks. This is essential for modern-day practicality and appearance which means that modern pre-finished bamboo flooring is extremely fast to install, long-lasting and beautiful!
Bamboo is actually a grass and there are many varieties of bamboo around the world. It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and can grow up to 100 cm in a day. It is literally possible to see a bamboo shoot grow! Bamboo essentially consists of a stem with a hollow tube-like structure, interspersed at intervals with vascular bundles in the cross section.
There are about 1450 species of bamboo in the world. They occur in Northern Australia, the Asian continent, sub-Saharan Africa and in the Americas. Europe is more or less the only place which does not have a native bamboo species.
Bamboo grows to its full height and girth in the space of 3 to 4 months. Initially there are no branches but as the bamboo grows older, the culm or “stem” hardens and begins to sprout branches. It is considered fully matured in its third year and ready for harvest within 3 to 7 years.
Bamboo, as a flooring material, has caught the imagination of many people as when laid, looks unique and has a beautiful, long grain signature. Most bamboo floors are made from the bamboo commonly known as Moso which is largely manufactured in China. It has characteristics similar to hardwood timber flooring which means it is strong and durable. It also has powerful resistance to insects and if manufactured correctly, is very resistant to moisture. Over and above all this it is considered very eco-friendly due in large part to the huge amount of carbon it absorbs during its rapid growth.
There are different techniques used in manufacturing bamboo flooring and this largely depends on local preferences, availability of bamboo and viability. In lower-end markets it is mainly cut, treated and then nailed to beams or larger bamboo pieces. With bamboo flooring Melbourne, the flooring is far-more sophisticated as it is highly processed and refined to appeal to modern customers.
The bamboo manufacturing process that is normally used is as follows: Firstly, the culms have their outer skin and nodes removed. They are then cut into equal sized lengths which are then sliced into strips of the desired width. The strips are then boiled in a solution of boric acid to remove the starch and sugars present in the bamboo which if not removed …