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Species – Bamboo

Species Information - Bamboo

Species Information

Although considered a hardwood, bamboo is actually a flowering perennial evergreen plant in the Poaceae grass family. Bamboos are some of the fastest growing plants on the planet, with certain species being able to grow as much as 35 inches in one 24-hour period. Bamboo has been used in construction for centuries (including for suspension bridges) and continues to be used for scaffolding in large cities like Hong Kong.

The term “bamboo” represents a variety of species (around 1,450), each with their own characteristics. Bamboo can be found anywhere from cold mountaintops to hot, tropical regions. Four lineages of bamboo are currently recognized: temperate woody, paleotropical woody, neotropical woody and herbaceous.

Bamboo has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete (compressive strength meaning the ability to withstand loads) and a fairly impressive tensile strength (the level of stress a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled without breaking).

Scientific Names

Origin

Bamboo is predominantly found in Asia; however, some species of the plant can be found in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Americas (from the mid-Atlantic United States to Argentina and Chile). Europe is not known to have any native species of bamboo.

Crossover Names

N/A

Janka Rating

Because of the number of species made available, as well as the effects of certain types of chemicals and processes used, the Janka rating for bamboo can vary. Natural bamboo will typically have a Janka rating of 1380, while carbonized bamboo (which produces a darker color) has a hardness average of 1180. Newer manufacturing techniques (such as strand-woven bamboo) can increase the hardness to anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000, making it one of the hardest flooring options available.

Bamboo Janka Scale Rating 3,000-5,000

*The Janka rating measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. Click Here for more info.

Appearance

Bamboo comes in a variety of shadings. Natural bamboo is a pale yellow color (and offers a 1380 Janka rating). However, newer techniques allow for consumers to enjoy a wider variety of colorings and shades, through the use of carbonization, which offers a darker color (though a lower Janka hardness rating).

Tiger bamboo is made when strips of natural and carbonized bamboo are pressed together, causing a contrast of colors, and a tiger-like appearance.

There are typically three types of grain patterns in bamboo flooring, including:

Workability

The fast-growing bamboo plants are harvested, and the slats (narrow strips) are laminated together to produce boards. Bamboo is an extremely dense product, and does not respond well to staining, which is why carbonization was introduced to provide coloring variations for consumers. Carbonization involves pressure-steaming bamboo to produce darker hues. The longer the bamboo is pressure steamed, the darker it will become.

CLICK HERE to view all of our Bamboo flooring.

Click below for a detailed discription of the different species of hardwood.

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