Bamboo is an eco-friendly, sustainable building material that can be used for a wide range of projects both indoors and outside. Along with being versatile, bamboo offers some unique benefits when compared to other building materials.
Durability and Application
Bamboo is a natural product, just like hardwood, that can be used for walls, flooring and other construction inside the home. Bamboo is approximately the same hardness as oak, making comparable to hardwood. For instance, bamboo flooring is comparable to traditional hardwood floors in terms of durability and longevity.
Bamboo products are installed in the same manner as wood products, and both wood and bamboo materials should be allowed to acclimate to the environment before the installation. For instance, most manufacturers recommend allowing the material to acclimate in the room where the material is installed for at least 24 hours. This allows the wood to adjust to the moisture content and temperature of the room.
Colors and Styles
Natural wood is available in a wide selection of styles and colors, while bamboo is typically available in either flat or vertically grained pieces that feature a natural honey color. Natural bamboo poles can be sanded and painted, stained or treated with a waterproofing agent, such as clear polyurethane.
Adding polyurethane is necessary when using bamboo outdoors, as the material is susceptible to moisture damage after two years. Some wood, such as pressure treated lumber, does not require additional treatment when used outdoors, as the process of pressure treating the wood helps reduce water damage.
With proper treatment, bamboo can last for many years outdoors, and can be used in any project that normally requires the use of wood. For instance, bamboo can be used in roofing, to build fences and as rafters inside the home.
Bamboo poles and other bamboo products are comparable to wood in cost, and in some causes bamboo is more affordable than wood. Typically, the cost for high quality, treated bamboo products is four dollars per square foot, but untreated bamboo slats and poles are very affordable. After adding clear polyurethane, bamboo products become just as durable as wood, but are often more affordable.