I have been in homes with hardwood floors all my life so when the first house we bought was wall to wall carpet, the first renovation we planned on making was to strip the carpet and lay down either hardwood floors or something that looks and feels like hardwood, like laminate. Ideally, bamboo harvests begin in the fall or winter, as this is when the moisture level is lower. The green outer hull of the bamboo is removed and the stalk is cut into long strips called fillets. Milling the bamboo along the outer sides creates a flat strip more suitable for future flooring. This termite resistance makes bamboo flooring even more desirable in areas with high termite populations. By gluing the wider surfaces together, facing up, horizontal bamboo flooring is created.
Secondly, boiling the bamboo makes it less likely to suffer expansion and contraction than hardwood floors in humid climates. After the boiling and drying are completed it is then possible to darken the bamboo through a process of carbonization, if a color more similar to hardwood flooring is required. Changing the color- Bamboo does not absorb traditional floor stains very well at all.
Increasingly, however, consumers are choosing bamboo flooring that has the natural coloring, either stained to retain its natural color or stained to the color of their choice. During the milling stage of the bamboo processing, the strands that remain are trimmed from the long bamboo fillets. The finished horizontal flooring randomly displays the knuckles, or growth rings, of the stalk.
The use of a byproduct of processing, or what would be considered a waste product from another type of wood, is part of what makes bamboo flooring so environmentally friendly. Intricate patterns are created by weaving the thin strands together and compressing them with a resin to create beautiful flooring. The strand-woven flooring is strong, durable, scratch resistant, UV resistant, moisture resistant, and is about twice as hard as other forms of bamboo flooring. The finished product has a smooth uniform look, much like traditional hardwood flooring.
The narrow edges of several strips of bamboo are glued together to create the vertical bamboo flooring. With all three types of bamboo flooring, vertical grain, horizontal grain, and strand-woven grain, the final stage involves milling the boards to refine the flooring. The popular tongue and groove system traditionally used in wood flooring is used with bamboo as well. This ensures a smooth surface and snug fit, and creates a product that is comparable in style with hardwood flooring. The finish on the flooring should be coated evenly with a smooth and uniform texture.