Bamboo Bathroom Flooring; A Design with Style
In Southern Asia bamboo bathroom flooring is made of bamboos cut as flat as possible and nailed onto wooden beams with small spaces in between. In the hot climate this promotes air circulation. In other parts of the world, such as USA, the bamboo is split up and the flat pieces are laminated and glued under high pressure rather like plywood, then cut into planks.
What is Bamboo?
Bamboo is an amazing plant. It is actually a grass. It is the fastest growing plant in the world. In the right conditions it can grow up to 3 feet in a day. Trees like oak, cherry and teak take about 50 years to mature, then when the tree is cut down for timber that is the end of it.
Bamboo, on the other hand grows in about 4 years to full maturity. Its mature stem is harder than most hard woods, up to 5 inches in diameter, and when it is cut, the rhizomes, or roots, remain alive and send up more shoots to replace the ones that have been cut down. In fact it grows so easily that in some places it can become invasive.
There are 92 genera and 5000 species of bamboo. Not every type is used. The kind that the panda bears need to eat is not cut down for timber. So, in every way, using bamboo for timber is the really eco-friendly way to go. The kind usually used for commercial timber flooring is ‘Moso’. As bamboo bathroom flooring it is resistant to insects, fire and moisture, as well as being durable.
The main colors are a natural light or blond wood, or a heat process is used, which darkens the wood to a rich reddish brown.
Installing your Bamboo Bathroom Flooring
The easiest form of bamboo bathroom flooring is the interlocking kind. Each plank is machined to click into place with the next plank.
Strip your bathroom of any old flooring, and remove the skirting boards until you have finished laying your floor, then replace them.
Remove any old adhesives, paint, oil, wax, moisture, or any dirt or grit from your bathroom floor. Then vacuum the area, check that it is clean and level.
Unpack your planks and lay them out on the floor space to make sure that your bamboo bathroom flooring is going to look as good as possible.
Lay the full length of your first board, clicking it into place with the next board in that row, and with the next, so you have 1 full length in your bathroom.
The first plank in the next row should be cut about 1/3 shorter than the next one, and then click the rest into place for that row. Your 3rd row should start off with the first plank 2/3 shorter, and the 4th row back to full length.
This pattern is going to give you a pleasing staggered effect to your bamboo bathroom flooring. At the same time you can sort out the slight variations in grain and color until the overall pattern appeals to your taste.
Many people recommend that you roll out a layer of foam flooring under layer beneath your bamboo bathroom flooring. There are at least 2 reasons for this. Firstly it protects the laminated boards from any slight unevenness in the underfloor. Secondly it prevents the excess glue dripping from the joints of the boards and causing the boards to adhere to the underfloor. This would interfere with the normal expansion and contraction of the floor once it is laid.
Now you can unclick the planks and set them permanently using a waterproof uthethane adhesive, and leaving a 3/8 inch gap around the walls to allow for expansion.
When caring for your bamboo bathroom flooring find out the right cleaners to use. Don’t use any cleaners or polishes, as many advise that you should not use anything containing wax. Most advocate cleaning with a damp mop or cloth (don’t leave puddles of water, but mop them up immediately) and try to keep the floor sand and grit free as this can cause scratches over time. You should avoid dragging heavy articles over the surface for the same reason.
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