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/

Plyboo Bamboo Flooring Video

July 19, 2011 in Installations

Here is a video to explore the many uses and types of bamboo flooring offered by Plyboo.  The video introduces it’s easy to install fitness flooring appropriately named PlybooFit.  All of the bamboo flooring featured in the video is appropriate for residential and commercial use.  To learn more about which type of palm or bamboo floor will work best for your space, contact us: 866-835-0577.

Bamboo Flooring in Action

July 7, 2011 in Installations, Uncategorized

This video was posted by Kaiser Permanente and it is of their recently opened Center for Total Health – User Experience Tour. Not only is this an incredible effort at improving the health of individuals and encouraging walking, it’s also truly incredible to see what effort went into the design and how strand bamboo flooring is incorporated so effortlessly. It’s great how they’ve incorporated the touchscreen video into the user experience of the tour. Be sure to check it out if you’re in the D.C. area.

Thank you Kaiser Permanente for sharing such an informative video!

For more info about the Center for Total Health in Washington D.C. visit the website at: http://www.centerfortotalhealth.org/ .

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?”