Carbonized bamboo floors are darker floors. Carbonized shades of bamboo may look elegant but they are not hard nor are they long-lasting.
A lot of people like the look of a dark floor. Some hardwood floors are naturally dark, like ebony. Sometimes hardwood floors can be stained to achieve a darker color. When you stain a hardwood floor with a dark color, it generally doesn’t change the integrity or the strength of the wood.
Varieties of Carbonized Bamboo Flooring
There are two varieties of carbonized bamboo flooring; vertical carbonized bamboo flooring and horizontal bamboo flooring. The difference in these two varieties is their alignment. It is important to note that carbonized bamboo flooring is not designed for high traffic areas like shopping centers or office buildings. These floors are suited only for residential use.
The Bamboo Carbonization Process
Bamboo flooring is different than hardwood flooring (besides being a grass floor!). When bamboo floors are dark, they are usually not stained with a dark stain. These floors go through a chemical process to achieve their dark pigment.
Carbonized bamboo is a flooring that has a carbonized finish. It has a dark, amber color. It is produced through a process called carbonization. The longer this process takes, the darker and softer the product will turn out. The traditional way to change the color of bamboo is with heat (carbonization). The sugar content in the fiber causes the bamboo to darken when they are pressure heated.
It is important to note that pressure heating weakens the bamboo significantly. If you want long-lasting floors, carbonized bamboo is definitely not your answer!
Drawbacks to Carbonized Bamboo Floors
Many people know that carbonized bamboo flooring is not very durable but they still want dark bamboo. A lot of floor manufacturers are coming out with a stained natural bamboo floor variety that is darker. The only reason consumers ever choose carbonized bamboo flooring is for its darker color. The majority of contractors (who are honest!) will advise against carbonized bamboo flooring simply because it is not strong and it will not last very long.
If you love the look of a dark floor, bamboo is probably not the right choice for you. When you get a carbonized bamboo floor, it is not going to last you anywhere near what a dark stained hardwood would last you. If you want a dark wood floor, go with a hardwood. It will cost you more upfront but in the long-run it will cost you less because it will be durable and won’t need to be replaced, it will just need periodic refinishings just like any other hardwood floor.
Be aware of other carbonized bamboo products. It is most commonly used in flooring but if you see furniture made from it, the same rule applies. It may look good now but it won’t last very long. Even if it is strand carbonized flooring (sometimes called stranded flooring), which is a better variety, the carbonized bamboo will not be long lasting. The word “solid” should not be a selling feature. Solid carbonized bamboo is not strong either. Manufacturers will use all kinds of fancy words and techniques to make you think that this stuff is great but it really isn’t worth your money.
If you decide to get a bamboo floor, it is wise to go with a natural shade of “wood”.