5 Things You Can Do with Plyboo Bamboo Plywood

January 12, 2012 in FAQ series

Ever wonder how people dream up so many amazing products using Plyboo’s bamboo plywood? Check out this quick list of things you can do with bamboo in your home, office, and many more environments.

1.)Bamboo Cabinets

Plyboo bamboo plywood can be used to create beautiful bamboo cabinetry for your kitchen or bathroom space. Smith & Fong Co.’s Plyboo brand bamboo plywood is made of 100% rapidly renewable bamboo. This bamboo plywood can be cut and sanded using conventional woodworking equipment and offers excellent dimensional stability. The natural beauty of bamboo cabinetry adds a luxurious touch to your home while providing you with a clean, green alternative to other products.

There is a diverse range of bamboo options for your cabinetry needs. Each one as durable and versatile as the other. Plyboo’s architectural grade plywood is fully customizable and can be fashioned into any look that is desired. Whatever your family’s needs, there is a bamboo plywood appropriate product in stock.

Plyboo’s bamboo plywood passes the California Section 01350 emissions test (the most stringent test for emissions currently administered), is CARB compatible and is also available as PlybooPure (a Urea-Formaldehyde Free product), SCS Indoor Advantage Gold, and FSC Pure (100% of the product comes from an FSC Certified Forrest).

2.)Bamboo Kitchens

Renovate your kitchen with bamboo cabinets made with Plyboo’s architectural grade bamboo plywood. Plyboo bamboo plywood is 100% rapidly renewable bamboo that can be custom crafted or designed into the cabinets that will complete your dream kitchen. Your builder or fabricator can easily cut and sand bamboo plywood using conventional woodworking equipment.

In addition to its ease of use, Plyboo’s bamboo plywood has a beautiful edge that can be left exposed or finished with our edge banding. Plyboo’s bamboo plywood passes the California Section 01350 emissions test (the most stringent test currently administered), is CARB compatible and is also available PlybooPure (Urea-Formaldehyde Free), SCS Indoor Advantage Gold, and FSC Pure (100% of the product comes from an FSC Certified Forest).

3.)Bamboo Furnishings

Complete your project with architectural grade bamboo, perfect for furniture and custom furnishings. Plyboo bamboo plywood is a popular choice for hobbyists, builders, and furniture designers alike. Use Plyboo bamboo plywood in your custom furniture designs for its versatility in design applications, durability, and ease of use. Plyboo makes the highest quality bamboo plywood that is compatible with all of your woodworking equipment. Our bamboo plywood is an open grained material that takes stains and finishes exceptionally well.

Plyboo bamboo plywood has been used to make bamboo bikes, beds, cutting boards, light fixtures, ipad covers and so much more. Whatever your project, Plyboo bamboo plywood will have the right green building option for you.

Smith & Fong Co.’s Plyboo brand bamboo plywood passes the California Section 01350 emissions test (the most stringent test currently administered), is CARB compatible and is also available PlybooPure (Urea-Formaldehyde Free), SCS Indoor Advantage Gold, and FSC Pure (100% of the product comes from an FSC Certified Forrest).

4.)Bamboo Accessories

Plyboo has several bamboo flooring accessories to complete the look of your newly installed bamboo floor. These accessories offer a smooth transition to another room as well as protect the walls, reduce the space underneath doorways, and complete the decorative look of Plyboo’s bamboo flooring up a stairwell. Plyboo’s bamboo accessories include: stair nosing, reducers, t-molding, baseboards, base shoes, thresholds, and stair steps in all of the offered bamboo surfaces.

5.)Bamboo Stairs

There are many sustainable, yet aesthetically appealing possibilities with bamboo for your stairway. Each offers a great deal of versatility and there is a solution for every price range. Whether you’re using existing bamboo flooring with our bamboo stair nosing, purchasing a bamboo stair step for one easy install, or custom building a staircase out of Plyboo bamboo plywood. Like all of Plyboo’s products, the options for cleaner air quality, responsible forestry, and rapidly renewable materials are abundant. Work with your fabricator to design the bamboo staircase you desire.

How to avoid denting your bamboo floor

October 25, 2011 in Bamboo Flooring, Maintenance Series

If you have kids, dogs, a kitchen, or an active lifestyle, then you may have experience with how well high activity melds with flooring surfaces… NOT VERY!  However, don’t despair; there’s no need to wait patiently on those empty nest days to save your floor. With a few considerations, your floor can be well maintained for years to come.

If you’re building new or remodeling, there are so many options to consider when bamboo floor shopping.  Is bamboo flooring “green?” How hard is bamboo flooring? Is bamboo flooring sustainable? The most important question however may be: Which bamboo floor is right for me?  Honestly answering this question could save you lots of time and extend the useful life of your flooring choice.

Situation 1: The neighborhood coffee shop

The neighborhood coffee shop is pretty popular. There are several regular and new customers coming in and out daily. Since it’s a business, it’s unlikely they’ll leave their shoes at the door, so dirt and grit gets regularly tracked in.  The best flooring choice in this higher traffic situation would be a strand bamboo floor, such as PlybooStrand or Havana or Neopolitan.

Adding a PlybooFit or PlybooQuiet underlayment pad system could help absorb some of the impact of dropped items as well as the tired feeling from standing on a hard surface all day.  Instituting a regular cleaning schedule would be appropriate for this situation and will add life to the product and prevent additional scratching and indentation from hard debris left on the surface.

Situation 2: The Nuclear Family

Throw two hard-working adults, a kid or two and a dog and you’ve got one floor that had better deliver.  This is a situation ripe for a darker tone strand bamboo floor with great durability.

In the kitchen, simply putting a mat down by the oven and by the sink would spare these “drop zones” from the constant pummeling of dropped kitchenware. Also, putting a mat near the entrance would lesson the likelihood of scratching from accumulated debris from outdoors.

For families with an upstairs, installing a padded underlayment, like PlybooFit or PlybooQuiet will lessen the noise of tender feet over head.

Situation 3: The Quiet Couple

If there is only one or two adults living in a residence, without children, pets, or a constant barrage of guests, then most flooring choices will would be ideal. Limiting the use of shoes indoors and a regular cleaning regiment will help things stay looking good and performing well.

Of course, using the same precautions as the nuclear family, plan for the worst, hope for the best, for both the kitchen and entryways, is the best plan for your well loved and hard-working friend-under-foot, your floor.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How hard is bamboo flooring?

July 26, 2011 in FAQ series

There are several types of bamboo flooring offerings available, each with winning aesthetic attributes and varying hardnesses.  The hardness of bamboo flooring, hardwood flooring, and plank flooring of other categories is determined by the Janka Hardness Test.  This test is most commonly used to decide a species’ average hardness for flooring use.

The Janka Hardness Test uses a steel ball to measure the resistance of the bamboo or wood flooring surface to denting and wear.  The test measures the force required to embed the ball halfway into the surface in pounds-force (United States), kilograms-force (Europe), or in Newtons (Australia). This entry will refer to the pounds-force measurements for the United States.

The pounds-force measurements are listed as PSI, or pounds per square inch. When reading hardness measurements, for example, you’d likely encounter something like “natural bamboo flooring: 1800 psi.” This means that it takes 1800 pounds of force per square inch to wedge a steel ball into our natural flat grain bamboo flooring.

Many people assume that hardwood floors are the strongest, however, this isn’t always the case. The chart below shows how Plyboo’s bamboo flooring product line stacks up against traditional wood flooring.

This chart illustrates the PSI or Janka Hardness results of various flooring surfaces.

As you can see, bamboo flooring made by Plyboo is quite tough, especially the strand bamboo flooring.  PlybooStrand bamboo flooring is 3000psi and is much harder than oak birch,  or maple wood flooring.   Plyboo Edge Grain and Flat Grain bamboo flooring, both in natural, are considerably strong as well at 1700psi and 1800psi, respectively.

Aside from the important aesthetic considerations of your flooring choice, it is important to consider your durability requirements as well.

Whether commercial or residential, high or low traffic the hardness of your flooring product will be an important decision in your choice of flooring product. If you’d like to discuss the specifics of your next flooring project, Smith & Fong’s knowledgeable staff is ready to help. Please contact at – sales@plyboo.com or call 866-835-9859.

FSC Certified Bamboo Flooring

July 19, 2011 in FAQ series, How Green is Bamboo?

Now that we know the answer to “how green is bamboo flooring,” there’s room to explore the merits of what FSC® Certification means and why you should buy FSC®Pure bamboo flooring from Plyboo. Smith & Fong has always been committed to sustainable forestry practices. In 2008, Smith & Fong Co. received FSC® Certification for its bamboo resource marking a significant change in the industry. FSC® is the acronym for the Forest Stewardship Council™, an organization established to set standards for socially and environmentally responsible forestry.

The FSC® was formed in 1993 and has been setting the global standard for responsible forestry for 20 years, with criteria that span economic, social, and environmental concerns, and require annual audits to ensure compliance. Almost 60 countries around the world abide by FSC® forestry standards. Also all certified products are linked to a chain-of-custody (COC) number representing an FSC® Certified third-party that ensures product compliance to FSC® standards.

Smith & Fong Co. is committed to responsible forestry, and this is something to remember when looking for socially responsible bamboo flooring. “We have been working with the bamboo forests and telling our story for more than a decade now, and we’re grateful to both FSC® and IMO for validating our efforts.” Smith & Fong president and founder Dan Smith said. Smith & Fong’s certified Plyboo products qualify for the FSC® Pure designation, as they are 100-percent FSC material from an FSC®-certified forest and have been sold and/or processed by an FSC® chain-of-custody certified company. The company’s sources use no irrigation, pesticides or fertilizers in growing the bamboo. “This is not only a success for the forests and the farmers who grow our bamboo,” says Smith. “It’s a victory for everyone who believes in an environmentally responsible future.”

Plyboo brand FSC® Certified bamboo flooring, bamboo plywood, and bamboo veneers are available worldwide. Contact the company directly for details if you’d like to know how to get Plyboo in your country (sales@plyboo.com). You can also buy FSC® Certified bamboo flooring directly from Plyboo at www.plyboo.com/plyboodirect/

How Green is Bamboo Flooring?

June 30, 2011 in Bamboo Forestry Series, FAQ series, How Green is Bamboo?

To understand why bamboo flooring is a “green” choice, one must first understand a bit about the bamboo from which it is made.  Smith&Fong Co. makes its bamboo flooring, plywood, and veneers from Moso bamboo (Pyllostachys hedrocycla pubescens).

There are well over a thousand species of bamboo.  Each of varying heights, thicknesses, and applicable uses.  Out of all of the types of bamboo, bamboo flooring, veneers, and plywood are all made out of Moso.  It’s thickness in diameter, overall hardness, widespread availability and extreme height make it one of the most commercially viable species for construction. Moso bamboo, didn’t get the nickname “timber bamboo” without reason!

Interesting fact – bamboo isn’t actually a wood, it’s a grass.

Moso is an excellent candidate for building materials.  It grows quickly (as in 70 feet in 3 months!), and is fully mature and ready to harvest in 5 years.  Compare that to 20 to 120 years for various hardwoods.* Moso bamboo, when at maturity is incredibly strong.  Because it is such a hefty species – very tall, hard, and quite thick, it is, hands down, a great choice for flooring.

Because Moso grows so quickly, 20% of the bamboo forest canopy can be harvested annually leaving behind 80%.  Over a five year period, 100% of the forest can be sustainably harvested. An added assurance that the canopy will be left intact — only mature bamboo culms (poles) are heavy enough to get a good price at market.  It isn’t advantageous to cut too often or too young, which benefits the farmer and the environment. An extra advantage to this system is that bamboo does not need to be replanted once harvested.  It regenerates annually.

So we know that Moso bamboo is rapidly renewable and super strong, let’s consider other factors that make this a superb choice as your current or future floor.

In its native environment, Moso bamboo doesn’t need irrigation or fertilizers. Since this particular species (and so many others) is naturally resistant to pests, it doesn’t need pesticides.  That means no pesticide run off or other chemicals are involved in the growth process.

Interesting fact – According to the World Wildlife Fund, Bamboo can sequester up to 70% more carbon per year than a hardwood forest.

Rapidly renewable bamboo is one of many reasons Smith&Fong Co.’s Plyboo brand bamboo flooring is a great choice for your home.  Check back next time to learn about FSC® Certified flooring and why Formaldehyde Free matters as we continue the exploration about “How green is bamboo flooring?”