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Bamboo Living Room Floor Considerations
Bamboo is a popular living room, den, and family room flooring material due to its versatility, its Eco-friendly nature, and the fact that is is relatively durable and easy to maintain. It is available in a variety of shades and stains, as well as several different manufactured styles, all of which maintain a natural beauty that shows through the unique characteristics found in its surface.
Whether bamboo is right for your living room, and the type of bamboo that you will need, will be based on the type of environment it is to be installed in and what kind of use that area will receive. As hard if not harder than most natural wood plank floors, bamboo is durable enough to withstand moderate traffic patterns. However maintenance may be a concern if you entertain frequently or are prone to throwing large parties on a regular basis.
In the above image, dark bamboo sets the tone for the entire room, giving it a dramatic quality that is offset by the use of lighter white and off white furnishings throughout.Continue to 2 of 7 below.
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Bamboo Flooring Quality
The living room is one of the highest traffic locations in your home so you want to make sure that your flooring can withstand that kind of treatment. Unfortunately bamboo flooring does not currently have an independent grading system which you can use to determine the quality of any particular material.
In some cases you may see first and second rate lots from retailers, but those are just arbitrary distinctions made by them. That is why it is so important that you purchase bamboo floor materials from a reputable dealer that you can trust, rather than relying on a fly by night bargain basement vendor.
One thing that you can be sure of is that the darker the bamboo, the softer and more prone to damage it is going to be. That is because natural bamboo is a light, yellow white color. In order to darken it, manufactures use a process known as carbonization which exposes the bamboo to heat and pressure. This weakens the floor making it more likely to scratch when a guest slides a chair or stomps through wearing high heals.
In the above image, a rich red tinted bamboo floor is paired with magenta walls and is offset against white furnishings to create an interplay of hues.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
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Maintaining a Bamboo Living Room Floor
Caring for bamboo living room floors is similar to cleaning and caring for hardwood surfaces. The most important thing to do is to keep the floor clear of small dirt and debris pieces that can scratch the surface of the material like grits on a piece of sandpaper.
This is especially important in a living room which tends to be a transitional space in the home. You can support your cleaning efforts by placing mats or throw rugs at all of the entrances and exits to the room. These will help to catch some of the small particle debris before it is tracked into the actual room.
In the above image, a light vertical bamboo flooring installation with distinctive lines matches with hardwood features, and is set against a white backdrop to create a light, airy feeling.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
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Bamboo Living Room Design Considerations
In its natural state bamboo is a light colored material with characteristic variations that strongly resembles several types of hardwood flooring. This material can be darkened during the manufacturing process to the point where it is almost black. It can also be stained much like hardwood, allowing you to tint it with a variety of intriguing hues.
Because of this bamboo flooring will be appropriate in a variety of environments. In its lighter natural state this material seems to recede somewhat, becoming a subdued backdrop against which bolder colors and furnishings can pop. On the other hand darker tones will tend to dominate the den, catching the eye and casting a sophisticated stately pallor across the entire room. This can then be paired with lighter colored furnishings to create a shabby chic, or classic style interior.
In the above image, the living room has rich bamboo flooring set against brick wall features with leather and thatch accessories, creating a smoky, cozy atmosphere.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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One of the best things about bamboo flooring is that it is ecologically friendly. Manufactured from a type of grass, bamboo plants can regrow every 3 to 5 years, compared to hardwood trees that can take 20 years or more to be replenished. Bamboo is also recyclable and completely biodegradable allowing it to break down into the natural environment at the end of its life cycle.
However, there are some concerns that are surfacing about bamboo floors and their impact on the interior of a living room. Depending on how it was manufactured, the adhesives used to bind the fibers into planks may end up releasing trace amounts of Volatile Organic Chemicals into the air after installation. There are also some concerns about the role of bamboo farms in deforestation, as well as issues with the amount of carbon that it takes to transport this material.
In the above image, distressed bamboo manufactured from recycled flooring pieces creates a distinctive. It can then be set against matched, solid pieces, and multicolored furnishings.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
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The Life Cycle of A Bamboo Living Room Floor
If well maintained and properly cared for, a bamboo living room floor can last for decades without needing to be replaced. Depending on the thickness of the material used, you may be able to sand down the surface of the floor and refinish it every few years in order to make it look like new and extend the life of the product even further.
Most qualified bamboo flooring retailers will offer some kind of warranty on the material. This is most commonly a 10 to 25 year warranty on structural integrity, and or a 5-10 year warranty on the finish. These numbers may vary based on the type of bamboo being purchased and the individual policies of the store selling it to you. However, the warranty can give you a decent idea of how long your living room floor will ultimately last.
In the above image, natural vertical bamboo flooring creates a subdued backdrop against which elegant furnishings and subtle rugs.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
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Bamboo Structural Choices Available
There are three major types of bamboo that you can purchase for your living room, and they each have their own distinct appearance. Horizontal bamboo has the most features and will give you the most 'classic' bamboo look. Vertical planks have fewer natural characteristics but have a more striated, straight line appearance. Strand woven bamboo has the fewest features, and the most solid and consistent look across the entire floor.
In the above image, rich dark bamboo flooring makes a powerful statement while paired against lighter colored pieces. Be cautious when doing this. Darker tones denote weaker bamboo, and this may lead to early degradation in a high traffic living room.