The major concern when purchasing any flooring material for a kitchen is the fact that this can be a pretty tough environment. Frequently food and food ingredients will splatter, spill, and splash across the room, sending a variety of colorful staining agents raining down on your beautiful floors. If you don't have the right material installed this can be a disaster.
In its natural state, untreated bamboo doesn't have much of a chance in the kitchen.
Generally, bamboo sealing agents are comprised primarily of polyurethane. In some cases, wax can be used, but this is only recommended in commercial applications, as it will require periodic industrial buffing. Many bamboo materials come pre-sealed, and engineered flooring actually has a variably thick, invisible wear layer that protects its surface, making it nearly impervious to stains and moisture.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Bamboo
Ecological Impact of Bamboo Kitchen Floor
Bamboo is one of the most highly renewable natural resources available. Unlike trees which take upwards of 20 years to reach maturity, Bamboo can be fully ripe and ready for harvest in 3-5. It is also recyclable, and bio degradable. That means that as a material it has a very low impact on the environment.
However, there are some concerns about Bamboo manufacturing and practices. In some cases, bamboo fields are planted to the exclusion of more important crops and natural vegetation. You also have to consider the impact of CO2 gasses released in transporting bamboo from where it grows, in Southeast Asia, to the rest of the world.
Health Concerns: Solid and strand woven bamboo floor materials are made by adhering pieces of the stalk together into a dense whole using an adhesive. Depending on the adhesive used, there may be a potential for the off-gassing of Volatile Organic Chemicals from this adhesive.
Bamboo Basement Flooring Information
Bamboo Kitchen Floor Style
Bamboo looks much like hardwood flooring, and it can range in color from light tan all the way to burnt brown. You have to be careful, however, as darker colors are achieved through a carbonization process that makes the material less hard. You can also stain and paint bamboo in an endless variety of colors.
Because it is both harder, and more water resistant than wooden floors, bamboo is often a good alternative in a kitchen. However, you still have to be aware of moisture, flooding, and humidity damage that can occur.