Sunday, 12 September 2010

Comparison between Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring and Coconut Flooring

Coconut flooring and strand woven bamboo flooring share many similarities. Both are made from renewable resources and both are great alternatives to hardwood flooring. Both coconut flooring and strand woven bamboo flooring are examples of sustainable flooring.

Coconut palms grow in hot and humid areas. They cannot take frost so are mostly found in tropical climes. The biggest producers of coconuts are the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Brazil. The amazing thing about coconut palms is that they go from seed to maturity in only 6 years. After that a coconut palm produces coconuts for 60 or 70 years before it goes barren. Coconut palms that have finished producing coconuts are referred to as senile coconut palms. There are millions of senile palms in the world. It is a great resource that is so far under-exploited. Although coconut is not a tree but a palm, the timber from senile palms is strong and hard with a beautiful end grain. It is not difficult to chop down the coconut palm, dry it and cut it into flooring planks. Depending on how the coconut flooring is made you can produce horizontal, vertical and strand woven coconut flooring.

Bamboo grows in many places in the world. It is a more resilient plant than coconut. It is also faster growing. The bamboo is the fastest growing species on the planet. It can reach maturity in just 5 or 6 years. Bamboo can be grown without fertilizers or pesticides because it has a natural immunity to pests and pathogens. It is good for the soil and produces more oxygen than trees. Like coconut, bamboo is not a tree but is very hard and strong. Coconut flooring has a Janka Hardness of 1,600 pounds force. This makes coconut flooring harder than red oak and ash. However, strand woven bamboo flooring is incredibly hard. It has a Janka Hardness of 2,500 pounds force. This is harder than nearly all hardwoods except for a few exceptional trees such as Lignum Vitae, Brazilian Ebony and Bolivian Cherry. Clearly both coconut flooring and strand woven bamboo flooring are more than capable of standing up to high traffic situations and heavy furniture. Both types of flooring have a lifespan as long as traditional hardwood flooring.

In terms of appearance, both coconut flooring and strand woven bamboo flooring have a beautiful natural look with a grain. Both polish well and both are available in darker ‘carbonized’ colors.

From a health point of view the two types of flooring under discussion are anti-allergenic because they provide hard surfaces that are easy to dry mop clean and keep dust mites away. Strand woven bamboo flooring has the added advantage of being anti-microbial, making it one of the best flooring choices for those who suffer from allergies and asthma.

Finally, in terms of price both coconut flooring and strand woven bamboo flooring are cheaper than hardwood flooring. This is important. Not only is coconut flooring and strand woven bamboo flooring better for the environment because they are made from renewable resources, but also they are better value for money.

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