January 3, 2023
Bamboo is not naturally wear-resistant, and unlike hardwoods, its properties must be enhanced via some manufacturing methods to produce excellent bamboo products like strand woven bamboo. Some of these manufacturing methods used to improve the properties and characteristics of bamboo include the strand weaving process, aluminum oxide finishes, and binding materials. The strand woven bamboo can be used for flooring and is more durable than horizontal and vertical bamboo flooring.
Strand woven bamboo is a modern form of bamboo produced via compression under extreme heat and pressure. Many strand woven bamboo floors features a Janka Hardness rating nearing around 3,000 Janka or more, meaning they are more durable than many hardwoods. Thus, they are excellent as floor coverings, especially for areas that experience heavy usage.
Evolution of Strand Woven Bamboo
The strand woven bamboo has been introduced fairly recently by Smith & Fong. In 1991, Smith & Fong, a San Francisco-based Company, introduced bamboo flooring to the market in the United States. After a decade, it also introduced a modern bamboo flooring referred to as “strand woven bamboo flooring,” calling it a new bamboo aesthetic. It is unlike traditional bamboo because it looks like hardwood.
You can use it not only as floorboards but also as plywood and other building materials. Smith & Fong has moved on to produce gym flooring, underlayment, trim, and other bamboo-based products. Other companies like Cali Bamboo and Teragren have also made and rolled out strand-woven bamboo flooring products.
Hardness Rating of Strand Woven Bamboo
You may be asking how hard the strand woven bamboo is. Well, it is considerably hard and heavy. Moreover, it is fifty percent more expensive than ordinary bamboo. Yet, it is worth buying because of its incredible hardness. Using strand-woven bamboo flooring is perfect for areas with heavy foot traffic. Its hardness rating ranges anywhere between 3,000 to 4,000 Janka, which is higher than many other hardwoods.
For example, Brazilian Walnut (Ipe) has a 3,680 Janka rating, while the Bolivian Cherry has around 3,650 Janka. These two hardwoods, of course, are the hardest of hardwoods. Yet, their Janka ratings pale compared to the Strand woven bamboo.
As shown by testing many strand woven bamboo products, these products mostly show a Hardness rating anywhere from 3,000 to 4,500. It means that strand woven bamboo flooring is around three times more durable than ordinary vertical and horizontal bamboo flooring. Thus, it is a perfect flooring choice for heavily used areas.
How Do They Manufacture Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring?
Manufacturers produce strand-woven bamboo flooring through the compression of bamboo fibers under extreme pressure and heat. This process provides this product with extreme strength and high durability. The process involves harvesting the bamboo and cutting, stripping down, and shredding its fiber before these fibers are woven together.
The fibers are left in their natural state if the desired result is natural strand-woven bamboo. However, if the desired result is a carbonized strand woven bamboo flooring, the fibers are smoked to render the end products a warm coffee.
The next stage in the production process is the addition of resin to the bamboo fibers. Afterward, it is compressed under intense pressure and heat, forming a block of solid strand woven bamboo. Then, the block is machined, creating them into flooring planks. Afterward, manufacturers add a layer of lacquer. Then, the tongue and groove profile gets added to fit the planks easily.
Characteristics and Properties of Strand Woven Bamboo
The various manufacturing methods employed in producing strand-woven bamboo flooring alter the bamboo’s appearance. Besides, you will no longer see the nodes and segments of bamboo. Instead, the product is almost marbled, like Cherry or Walnut.
Furthermore, the natural sugars of bamboo got caramelized or darkened due to extreme pressure and heat. Besides, you will find various shades of laminated bamboo because of this carbonization process.
Strand woven bamboo flooring also has a top coating that seals the wood, ensuring the floor is waterproof. In some instances, you can sand the floors multiple times because of their thicker coating, allowing you to refinish this strand-woven bamboo flooring again and again.
Advantages of Strand Woven Bamboo
Aside from knowing the properties and characteristics of strand woven bamboo, it will help likewise to know the following advantages of its use before opting for it:
Remarkable Strength and Durability
Bamboo, in its natural state, is not wear-resistant. Thus, it will wear over time without the necessary treatment. However, strand-woven bamboo can resist wear and tear due to the manufacturing methods employed to enhance its properties.
As mentioned above, manufacturing methods like strand weaving, binding materials, and tough aluminum oxide finishes render bamboo solid and durable. Thus, you will find strand woven bamboo more durable and stronger than the horizontal and vertical bamboo flooring.
Ease of Maintenance
Strand woven bamboo flooring is known for its ease of maintenance. It is easy to care for and doesn’t require specific or unique treatment. You can use non-wax and non-alkaline cleaners to clean it. You can also simply use a damp mop to clean it.
Disadvantages of Strand Woven Bamboo
Your knowledge of strand-woven bamboo flooring will never be complete if you only know its advantages. Thus, it will also help if you are familiar with the following downsides of its use:
Strand woven bamboo flooring might absorb moisture more readily than other floor materials. The reason is its source material is considered grass than solid wood. Thus, if you live in areas with extreme weather changes or high humidity levels, strand-woven bamboo might become susceptible to damage after installation.
You need to take extra care to clean any water spills on the floor to prevent the floor from expanding. Despite adding resin to make the bamboo resilient, strand woven bamboo still maintains its natural properties even after undergoing the manufacturing methods.
Might Emit VOCs
The use of strand-woven bamboo flooring is eco-friendly and sustainable. The reason is that bamboo grows fast, allowing for the sustainability of its use. However, the manufacturing process and the methods employed might be detrimental to the environment.
The compressing process, along with the resins, might be productive of harmful VOCs. Resins, of course, might contain VOCs that could be emitted during manufacturing. Besides, after installation, the strand woven bamboo might continue to emit VOCs over time.
Offers Limited Tonal Shades
You can choose from several shades and tones when buying strand woven bamboo. Yet, the choices might be limited. So, your interior design will be limited by the available shades and colors of strand woven bamboo flooring in the market.
Of course, you might get a hand to strand woven bamboo floorings resembling oak, hickory, or maple. Yet, the original tonal characteristics of these hardwoods are hard to replicate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from knowing the properties, characteristics, and pros and cons of the use of strand-woven bamboo flooring, it will also help to familiarize yourself with the FAQs about strand-woven bamboo, for they might also be the questions playing on in your mind:
Is Strand-woven Bamboo Sustainable?
Yes, the use of strand-woven bamboo is sustainable. Remember that the fastest-growing plant, for the record, is a species of bamboo that grows a maximum of 35 inches daily. Thus, when it comes to bamboo cultivation, you don’t need to worry that bamboo will become endangered or scarce.
Bamboo can grow up to 130 feet high. Thus, there is no danger of running out of bamboo sources for making strand-woven bamboo flooring. The only problem is that some farmers are clearing forested lands to create bamboo farms. Furthermore, it only takes three to five years to achieve the hardness desired for making strand-woven bamboo flooring.
Strand Woven Bamboo Vs Laminated Bamboo: Which is Better?
When shopping around for woven bamboo, you might come face to face with laminated and strand woven bamboo. You might also get confused about which of these two to select. These two bamboo products, of course, underwent the same pressing process. Yet, the difference lies in how the fibers got compressed.
Laminated bamboo, for example, utilize solid bamboo strips that run parallel to each other, while strand-woven bamboo presses together shredded fibers that run in various directions during the compression process.
Laminated bamboo, of course, is quite an innovation in manufacturing bamboo products. It usually involves harvesting bamboo, specifically the Chinese Moso Bamboo. Afterward, the fibers are layered together to create planks and sheets of bamboo, characterized by a smooth and regular surface.
Laminated bamboo is perfect for flooring, and it exudes an attractive and clean appearance. You will often find it used in many offices, boutiques, homes, and other structures. It indeed exudes elegance and beauty when used as flooring.
On the other hand, strand woven bamboo flooring also employs the same manufacturing principle and methods. Harvested bamboo is then reduced to smaller strips, then pressed together to form strand-woven bamboo planks.
The process, however, doesn’t only involve laminating the bamboo fibers but crushing and compressing them under extreme heat and pressure. The result is a bamboo product with about fifty percent bamboo material proportion for every volume of material.
Strand woven bamboo is a modern innovation brought about by improved manufacturing methods for enhancing the qualities and properties of bamboo. These methods allow manufacturers to develop more durable and stronger bamboo products. These bamboo products expand consumers’ options when selecting materials for their home construction and innovation.
Strand woven bamboo, of course, is remarkable for its strength and durability. Nevertheless, the technology behind the production of this bamboo product is still in its nascent stage. We can still expect better and more improved strand woven bamboo products in the future.
Liam is a 37-year-old woodworker and interior designer who loves to make every furniture project an art piece. He is very experienced in furniture design and woodworking project planning.