A lot of the mixed reviews can be attributed to the huge variety in quality of bamboo flooring and the lack of a real, standardized rating system for the manufacturing of bamboo flooring.
Another issue with bamboo is that people are expecting their bamboo floors to behave like hardwood, when these two materials are fundamentally different.
Now, along comes strand woven bamboo to help! Strand woven bamboo addresses many of the concerns people have had with the pressed, composite bamboo planks, but is still made from the highly renewable, beautiful bamboo that has become so desired.
What Is Strand Woven Bamboo And How Is It Made?
The most important thing to understand about bamboo is that it is not wood. Bamboo is actually a grass. So, although bamboo is all the rage because of its natural strength, botanically speaking, the parts of the plant that bind the individual strands together (the lingins) are weaker than that of a hardwood. So how did bamboo gain the reputation of being so tough? The fibers of the plant, the strands bound together by these weaker lingins, are strong enough to rival steel.
The easiest way to picture this is to imagine a banana peel: ripping the peel in half width-wise is more difficult; but peeling a banana, pulling it apart between the strands, is very easy. What this means in terms of bamboo flooring is that trying to break bamboo in half would be very difficult. However, strike a bamboo plank with something hard like the sole of a high heel or a dropped knife, and it will result in larger and more significant dents than with oak or maple, because you are causing damage to the part that holds the bamboo strands together.