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Bamboo Trends in 2021

by Madelein
Bamboo Trends in 2021

Bamboo flooring is a popular favourite among “green” decorators and designers due to it being such a sustainable material. Although more expensive than laminate, there are several green reasons to invest in bamboo flooring.

What is bamboo flooring?

In a nutshell, it’s a natural surface covering material that’s produced from bamboo, which is a type of grass. It is a wonderful alternative to traditional hardwood floors.

Bamboo flooring has grown more popular over the years. In 2021, there has already been a rise in demand for of the bamboo parquet block, while grey and textured bamboo floors also remain popular. Bamboo is a great flooring choice for anyone who cares about sustainability but still wants a natural and durable floor. Year upon year the range of styles and colours of bamboo flooring grows, bringing a wider choice of options and applications.

1. Parquet block bamboo
Parquet block flooring can really elevate the appearance of a space. Bamboo parquet block is available in four different colours and can be installed in various ways. The most popular pattern of installation is herringbone, but there are also great options when using the basket weave and brick bond styles.

2. Strand woven bamboo
Strand woven bamboo flooring remains a popular choice. It is a strong a durable floor that looks amazing, is easy to maintain and extremely versatile. This material can be used in almost any room in a home, in commercial properties, with underfloor heating, on a staircase and even in an entertainment space. The styles and colour choices are vast, so there is sure to be something that catches the eye.

3. Grey bamboo
Grey bamboo flooring has been on trend for years now. It really suits a modern and minimalist space, giving a fresh and clean appearance. Stone grey is a medium tone that will add character and charm, with Pebble bamboo being a paler shade of grey that gives a crisp and contemporary feel. Both are available in plank style and parquet block.

4. Bamboo on a staircase
Having bamboo flooring on a staircase is a popular option to create an instant focal point. Recently these designs have been elevated by some amazing and stunning staircases using bamboo flooring with either a matching or contrasting colour of bamboo stair nosing.

5. Distressed bamboo flooring
Distressed or textured bamboo flooring continues to be a trend in 2021. Gone are the years of high gloss, shiny bamboo or wooden floors. A more textured and natural appearance is now more on trend. The range of different bamboo surface finishes can instantly add character and charm whether in search of a modern interior or a rustic style.

A closer look at bamboo flooring: the pros & cons

Bamboo floors have become more popular in recent years because of their similarity to hardwood flooring. Bamboo flooring has a chic, exotic look but is still relatively inexpensive, which makes it a highly appealing flooring option. However, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of any type of flooring before installation is critical in order to ensure that the particular flooring works with one’s lifestyle.

ADVANTAGES

Durable
Bamboo flooring that is of high quality will wear as well and last about as long as traditional hardwood floors. (Of course, as is the case in every industry, the “high quality” characteristic is key.) In particular, un-carbonised bamboo can be as strong, hard and durable as red oak, and certain strand-woven bamboo can be even harder.

A stylish flooring option
For those drawn to a clean modern aesthetic, bamboo flooring lends itself to that style perfectly. The trendy flooring option is elegant and, although similar to hardwood, unique. The differences can be subtle yet undeniable.

Variety
One benefit of bamboo flooring is that it is available in a variety of styles and colours. (Note: It’s important to research what those various colours represent because the darker colours typically result from a heat treatment that softens the bamboo.)

Eco-friendly
As a fast-growing grass (full maturity and hardness is reached in five to seven years), bamboo is seen by many people as much more sustainable than traditional hardwood.

A natural material
Because the use of natural materials is currently hot in construction, bamboo flooring is a solid choice for many ecologically conscious people. What’s more, the subtle differences between bamboo and hardwood provide homes with bamboo flooring a sense of individual personality.

Easy to maintain
Bamboo flooring is fairly low maintenance, as it can be easily cleaned with mild soap and a mop. (No special treatments are necessary.) This is a huge pro to many time-crunched homeowners.

Can be refinished
Because bamboo floors can become discoloured, dented or scratched over time, it’s comforting to know that they can be refinished as needed. Typically, a bamboo flooring installation involves many layers of finishing coats to protect the bamboo itself. But if necessary, sanding down the surface and then reapplying finishing coats will achieve the look of new bamboo flooring.

Somewhat water resistant
When compared to traditional hardwood flooring, bamboo comes out slightly ahead as being more resistant to water damage, stains and warping. This doesn’t mean bamboo is exempt from damage, however.

DISADVANTAGES

Prone to scratches
Lower quality bamboo dents or scratches fairly easily, although any type of bamboo flooring is impossible to keep completely smooth if used regularly. Furniture, pets and even pointy heeled shoes can damage the surface of bamboo floors over time, as can sand or the tiny particles of everyday life.

Potential for water damage
Bamboo is somewhat more resistant to water damage than typical hardwood floors. However, because bamboo is still a natural, organic material, too much moisture will cause warping, discoloration or even mould growth.

Questionable harvesting practices
While bamboo is touted as being a highly eco-friendly option, sometimes the forestry practices can be irresponsible and environmentally unfriendly (e.g. clear-cutting natural forests for bamboo or using fertilisers and pesticides unnecessarily). So, although bamboo is in some ways “green”, it’s also environmentally ambiguous in other ways.

Sensitivity to humidity
Depending on the size of bamboo planks used, splitting can occur in very dry or very wet environments. If, for example, the bamboo flooring is installed in a humid area, the planks will plump up (expand). The opposite is true (shrinking planks) in dry regions. Either way, the bamboo will likely crack.

Potential for softness
If bamboo isn’t allowed to mature and harden before being harvested (in some cases, as early as three months!), the flooring will look great at first but will be soft and non-durable. Typically, un-carbonised and strand-woven bamboo flooring is harder and more durable, while darker bamboo represents a weakened structure and general softness.

Possible toxin emissions
Certain bamboo flooring from China potentially contains high levels of toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde-based glues and finishes. This is because the bamboo must be sliced or shredded initially, then adhered together again to form the planks that make up flooring. Sometimes, the adhesive used can release VOCs into the air over time, which makes the bamboo unhealthy for people and the environment.

Acknowledgement and thanks go to The Bamboo Flooring Company and homedit for the information in this article.

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