The Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring

We’re often asked “how can I make sure my floor is environmentally-friendly?” And although there have been plenty of measures put in place to protect our forests etc many people are still reluctant when it comes to buying solid wood floor. With this in mind it often comes as a shock when we recommend Solid Bamboo Flooring, but in our mind it’s one of, if not the most eco-friendly options on the market! So lets go into a little more detail as to why we love it so much..

What is bamboo?

Bamboo is probably best known as being a pandas favourite food as oppose to a flooring material. What you may not know is that bamboo isn’t actually wood, instead it comes from the grass family. Although it isn’t your stereotypical grass that is found in gardens across the world, in fact it’s of a much superior grade! So how is it that a type of grass is strong enough to be made into flooring? Well, once the bamboo is fully mature it acquires characteristics that strongly resemble those of hardwoods. It becomes really durable and can even offer better stability than most real wood floors! The main type of bamboo that can be used for flooring grows in China, it is known as ‘Moso Bamboo’ and is the most suitable species of bamboo when it comes to flooring. Many people are concerned about the potential damage that the flooring industry could do the pandas’ habitat, but the truth is that due to the quick growth-rate of the bamboo there is no real threat and the pandas will remain well fed!

How is bamboo flooring made?

Okay, so it’s a pretty tricky process but the end result is impressive. First of all the bamboo needs harvesting, this step alone has it’s implications as everything must be kept at the right temperature etc. Once harvested the bamboo is then split into strips that are boiled, this helps to get rid of any remaining bugs and dirt that may have remained on the bamboo. After they’ve been boiled the strips are heated up which carbonises them. Next it’s time to weave the strips together before they are stacked and left to dry for as long as necessary. The strips are then pressed under an extremely heavy weight and dried using intense heat, what this does is fuses the raw materials together resulting in planks! This is when the bamboo starts to resemble hardwood flooring, in fact, you’d struggle to remember it merely started as grass. All that’s left to do now is mill the tongue and grooves on to the planks (these are what help you to install the floor), before applying the UV protection, along with the finish and a moisture seal treatment. Once all of the above are done the pieces of bamboo are boxed up and shipped out to some lucky folk!

What makes them so eco-friendly?

First of all, because bamboo is a grass and not a tree it’s automatically much more renewable than other flooring materials. For example, instead of having to wait for 25 years for a tree to reach full maturity, bamboo is fully mature and ready to be harvested in about 5 years. What’s more is that due to it’s regenerating properties, bamboo doesn’t need to be replanted once it has been harvested, instead it simply grows back on its own accord. Pretty impressive eh? As stated earlier, bamboo is mainly harvested in China and this is also where it is manufactured, by harvesting and manufacturing the product in the same area it is helping to reduce the carbon foot print. To ensure that the bamboo flooring you buy is really eco-friendly then it’s important to check that the company you’re purchasing it from have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate for the flooring itself. The FSC is a global organisation who are dedicated to the responsible management of various forests across the world, their aim being to ensure that the harvest of both bamboo and timber allows the population of the said material to be maintained. If you see that a company has this certificate then you can be assured that every company involved in the production of your floor has adhered to the standards as issued by the FSC.

bamboo, board, book

[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

The pros and cons:

Pros Cons
Durability – Due to the way that they are manufactured Bamboo floors are often harder and denser than the likes of solid wood floors. What this means is that they are ideal for homes with children and pets as they shouldn’t look too worn or scratched after a few years use. No ‘Grades’ – Unlike solid wood flooring where there are a range of different grades for the wood, this isn’t the case for bamboo flooring. This means that because there is no independent grading system for bamboo flooring retailers may post their own ‘reviews’ of the product but these would not reflect an independent assessment.
Affordability – If you’re working towards a budget then bamboo flooring could be a great option for you. The great thing about bamboo flooring is it bears a strong resemblance to solid wood flooring but comes at a margin of the price! Refinishing – Although it’s doubtful that your bamboo flooring will need to be refinished it’s worth noting that they can’t be re-stained. So if you do intend on sanding the boards after a certain amount of time then it’s likely that you’ll have to make do with the colour of the exposed board and a clear coat for the top of it.
Eco-Friendly – Possibly the main reason that bamboo flooring is so popular, as explained above.
Maintenance – Bamboo floors are just as easy to maintain and clean as any wood floor. As they are already pre-finished it’s usually fine to give them a quick sweep on a daily basis and perhaps vacuum once a week? If you’d prefer a deeper clean then using a lightly damp mop will do the trick!
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Keeping Your Garden Special To You

With the summer in full swing, being able to go out and enjoy the garden is an expected luxury. Your plants are green and flowering aplenty, and your apple tree is dropping fruit by the minute. But how easy is it to keep a garden in this condition? Even moreso, what’s with all the hot new trends on the horizon about garden styling? Whether your garden is big or small, or just consists of a few plants next to the window, here are a couple of tips on keeping it special to you.

agriculture, backyard, blur

[Photo courtesy of Lukas/pexels.com]

Plant the flowers you want to see

It’s good to have a conundrum of colour amongst the greenery of leaves. In your garden, be sure to buy and plant the seeds of flowers you found interesting and pleasing to the eye, instead of based on reviews. If you don’t know what the flower is or the logistical side of mixing it with other species, you can do a little research and then design your garden around your own choices.

Sunflowers are a staple of the good garden dream and everyone loves the sight of them. They’ll also grow to humongous heights which is always a pleasure to see! Bring back a little of that childhood magic by including a couple of sunflowers next to your shed or at the back of the foliage.

Similarly, planting a few marigolds here and there is an easy task to accomplish. The rich golds and reds you’ll be greeted with when you step outside is both rewarding and warming.

If you’re environmentally conscious, both of these plants are great for attracting to bees to your eco system! Just be sure to use seed varieties instead of pre-grown plants from garden centres if you’re worried about dangerous elements.

Get used to mowing the lawn

Mowing the lawn can seem an arduous task, and having your legs out whilst working on the grass means you’re in for quick sting with every strimmed blade. However, mowing the lawn allows you to take pride in your work and a heavier sense of satisfaction when you see how it looks at the end. You know you’ve grafted hard to enjoy what you have. Buying a lawn mower isn’t a hard task really either. Shopping at sites such as Beacon equipment ensures you have an easy way to make a return or exchange if you experience a fault. You want to know you’re getting bang for your buck and that your efforts will pay off, so get yourself a warranty and get that summer tan you’ve dreamed of at the same time.

Having a healthier grass condition means you won’t be seeing any of the dry and brown variety any time soon. It’s so much nicer to be outside when you’re not ashamed of the weeds you have cluttering your space, and will allow your hosting abilities to skyrocket.

Keep your garden special to you by keeping in mind a few practical elements of the care process.

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Headboards, Canopy Beds & More

The bedroom is the inner sanctum of a home, the place where you go to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Because a bedroom is not a common area which will be seen by family and friends, many people scrimp on decorating the bedroom and go with a simple Hollywood bed fame, skipping headboards or any other sort of ornamentation. They have the basics – a nightstand or two, a dresser and perhaps a chair.

When you think about it you spend almost a third of your life in bed – don’t you deserve to treat yourself at least as well as you might treat company? It does not cost much to outfit a bedroom in a style that is warm and welcoming; creating a bedroom that is a reflection of your personal style can be a rewarding effort that pays dividends for years to come.

bed, bedroom, blanket

[Photo courtesy of Burst/pexels.com]

If your mattress is a bit tired you can easily improve conditions by investing in a foam or feather mattress pad or mattress enhancer – these help to extend mattress life and provide a better sleeping surface. New bedding is a fast and easy way to change the look of a room and you don’t need to be a designer or interior decorator to create an amazing look. Most bedding ensembles include a bed skirt, quilt or comforter and one or two pillows shams, all of which have been selected to coordinate perfectly.

A net canopy enhances any bed – the simple mesh netting can be draped at the head or foot of the bed or gathered to one side as a swag; bed canopies add drama and romance to the look of a room and are easy to install in minutes. A bed throw is another way to add visual interest to a mundane bedroom.

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Why The Lawn Is The Be All & End All Of Your Garden

A huge mistake for any greenthumb to make is to ignore the importance of grass and its role in the garden. In fact, green grass and stretches of lawn have a massive role in society that might not be clear – it is certainly something that exists in the subconscious. In fact, there might not be a better representation of the ‘American Dream’ than a green grass lawn. There is so much to do to a garden to improve its use, looks and lifespan – so it can come as a surprise to learn that everything ends with how well the grass is kept. Grass in poor health? It’s bad and it brings down the garden. You might not have known just how important grass is.

Grass? It’s the biggest crop in the United States. There is no crop more pursued or cultivated than humble green grass – and that’s because there are a lot out there who realize the importance of the lawn and the role it plays in life. It plays a bigger role than you might know or understand. When kids get shouted off for playing on a lawn, there’s a big reason for that – and that’s because people pour so much into their lawns. Behind every neat lawn lies hours and hours of work and probably thousands in money. Becoming the owner of a great lawn is certainly something to be, it’s not easy though. Well, if you have the right equipment behind you, like a zero-turn mower which you can find here and a good foundation that you don’t have to rip up, you can get it done. Even then, you can get plenty of gardening help to get you going – and enough to help maintain it.

Lawn Mower, Hand Lawn Mower, Lawn Mowing, Mow, Meadow

[Photo courtesy of Counselling/pixabay.com]

The key to a good lawn is not just its health, it’s yours as well. The lawn chase has grown into an obsession that frankly isn’t healthy – and considering that lawn care is a laborious process, it can be a good hobby or a distraction, but as a daily pursuit it can be crushing. The Chicago Tribune described laws as a soul-crushing timesuck and said that most of us would be better off without them! A bit harsh – but the truth is there. If we are focusing all of our efforts onto a lawn, than anything else, that might be a bit of a worry. There are plenty of negatives as well – when it comes to obsessive lawn care and the use of fertilizer, there are environmental considerations to take into account. As always the best thing to do is find the middle ground. You do not want to be caring for your lawn day in and day out because it’s not healthy to do so. Obsession, in general, isn’t healthy!

However, because the lawn is the carpet of the garden, you do need to pay attention to its upkeep if you care about your garden. However, because the lawn is the carpet of the garden, you do need to pay attention to its upkeep if you care about your garden at all. This does mean regular mowing. In fact, if your grass is poor – you might need to consider ripping it up and starting again. That’s only if it is in terrible condition – because most lawns can be resurrected from the brink of death!

The lawn foots off our garden, so if we having things like flowers, trees or a water feature, then a poorly maintained can be a massive distraction from some of these features. Off-colour grass takes the eye away from flower patches, while taller grass can hide a lot of what we would want to look at. Think of the lawn as a bonus points multiplier in that it enhances everything else, but will also subtract from everything else that is good from your garden.

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[Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org]

The lawn is especially important because of we have brought the lawn to mean. It means social status, it means money, respect and hard work. It’s a lot wrapped up into a green grass lawn – we’re judged on how well our lawns are kept. It sounds silly, but hey – that is the truth of it all. We have made lawns into a big deal!

The thing is, if you’re going to go the whole hog and put lots of effort into making your garden look good, you cannot forget about the lawn. It might just be the be all and end all of your efforts, a bad lawn will take away all your hard work.

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