A Guide to Bamboo Lumber
Bamboo lumber, fondly termed “lumboo,” is an everyday lumber created solely from bamboo. Bamboo actually is not a wood at all—it is technically a type of grass that grows in large pole-like stalks. Bamboo poles are actually hollow, which is why one might be startled to hear that lumber can be produced from this plant. It is widely grown in Asia, particularly Eastern and South Eastern areas. It also grows in Australia, India, North and South America, and parts of Africa.
A Wealth of Different Uses
Bamboo lumber can be used for a variety of constructions. It is extremely durable because the strength in this material lies in the straightness of each grain rather than the weight and firmness of the material itself. In fact, bamboo is an extremely lightweight grass. So, how does it create such a durable wood? Each bamboo stalk is composed of strips of dense fiber. These strips are cut from the bamboo and glued together to create either a straight and smooth pattern or layered on top of one another to create plywood. Either type of wood can be used to create a number of items such as cabinets, furniture, flooring, countertops, stairs and railings, and even moldings. It is pretty easy to work with from a carpenter’s point of view, but it also has a 50 percent less chance of expanding or warping due to moisture. No matter what you use bamboo lumber to build, the finish is undeniably smooth and impressive. This material looks like a much more expensive and unique piece of wood than it truly is—but who has to know, right? It is durable and cheap, which means that more people can have access to this type of wood for any construction purpose they desire!
From a Designer’s Point of View…
Bamboo “wood” is light in color but has a very unique grain. Bamboo lumber provides an undeniable exotic and soothing air to furniture, floors, walls, and anything else one might wish to build! Because bamboo grows so straight—straighter than any other species of tree out there—the overall appearance of lumboo is very even and almost cultured in a way. It is extremely versatile and is fairly easy on one’s wallet, which means that an entire furniture collection, flooring, cabinetry, or even fireplace could be constructed with ease and at a fraction of the cost of hardwood.
A “Green” Alternative to Hardwood
Hardwood takes many years to grow to the maturity that is desired for construction purposes. Not only does it take a long time to replace each hardwood tree that is cut down, but each chopped tree takes away from the earth’s oxygen supply as well as forces many species of animal to find homes in other areas. Bamboo, on the other hand, is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet with measured growth spurts of 39 inches in a 24 hour time span! Bamboo is also a fairly hardy plant which means that it can grow in many different areas with little specialized treatment. Bamboo is a much more sustainable and economical plant to grow and is at no threat of shortage.
Although bamboo lumber definitely has not made it up to the top of the list when it comes to being the most popular lumber, it certainly does have its own unique qualities that could suit a variety of tastes. If you fancy giving lumboo a try, do consider working with a contractor who has experience with this type of wood, as it does have certain weakness that must be catered to, particularly when it is being cut and assembled.