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Bamboo. Bamboo? Bamboo!

by Becky Shankle last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:57 AM
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by Becky Shankle last modified Jul 18, 2008

Yesterday, for the second time in a couple of months, someone chuckled at my suggestion to use bamboo as a countertop or flooring material. It dawned on me that the image coming to their mind is something out of Gilligan’s Island - something that conjures up tiki themed parties and knick-knacks (of which I’m [...]




 

 

Yesterday, for the second time in a couple of months, someone chuckled at my suggestion to use bamboo as a countertop or flooring material. It dawned on me that the image coming to their mind is something out of Gilligan’s Island - something that conjures up tiki themed parties and knick-knacks (of which I’m guilty of owning a few).

The bamboo surface *I’m* talking about is created in a way that’s smooth, so it’s more like plywood than rough terrain. It can also have interesting variation in grain and pattern, depending on which way it’s cut through the stalk. Bamboo building products are made by laminating strips of bamboo together with low VOC adhesives and a hot press. So a whole bunch of strips put together make a large piece to work with just like you would with plywood.

One company that makes bamboo construction products is Plyboo. My sample box came the other day, and it includes several tongue-and-groove, horizontal and vertical grain, butcher block parquet, and panel and veneer samples. They all look great, whether naturally finished (similar to beech) or caramel finish (similar to oak). I wouldn’t use the darker finish in a small space, though. Bamboo has the same warmth of more commonly used hardwoods like oak, and is basically the same to work with, construction-wise. Bamboo is harder than maple and lighter than oak, and requires the same maintenance as hardwoods. More on bamboo at Wikipedia.

What makes bamboo green is that it’s rapidly sustainable - it replaces itself in 5 years. And Plyboo uses water based, low VOC solvents and finishes. And it’s beautiful! I can’t wait to do some countertops with this stuff.

In the Triangle area, you can get Plyboo products at Caragreen, which is located at 109A Brewer Lane in Carrboro.

bamboo kitchen examples

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