Our friend Tai Shan, the native son of D.C. also known as Butterstick to us D.C. folks loves to eat bamboo.
But I would not have him eat this bamboo.
Bamboo is a great hardwood alternative for flooring. It is technically a grass. Like other grasses, it grows fast, in fact it’s been reported to grow 39 inches in a 24 hour period. It grows to full height within 3-4 month then it spends the next 5 years to harden and mature. Bamboo used for construction is typically harvested between 4-7 years.
We love bamboo for several reasons:
1. Sustainability: With its speedy growth rate, bamboo forests can be regrown every few years unlike trees
2. Its looks: We like the natural patterns and lines of bamboo flooring
3. It’s hardness: Typical bamboo flooring, provided it is not harvested too early, is comparable in hardness with red oak.
Many flooring contractors complain about how easy it is to scratch bamboo or that it feels soft. I think people just don’t really go and scratch other hardwood floors to see how easy it is to scratch those too.
However, I believe hardness will not be an issue here.
The hardness of a wood species is scored by Janka units. The Bamboo we purchased from Cali Bamboo today registered 5103 on the Janka rating which beats out every hardwood out there. It is a “stranded” bamboo, which means instead of gluing strips of bamboo together, they glue and press together much smaller, thinner pieces of bamboo together creating a bamboo floor that is extremely dense and hard….and super heavy too. (We moved some ourselves but quickly gave up). Prior to ordering, we did a scratch test, with a regular bamboo or a regular hardwood floor, it really isn’t too hard to scratch with your finger nail if you press hard enough. We really could not scratch this stuff! So, Butterstick, don’t eat this stuff!