When shopping for bamboo floors, you might automatically assume that the floor you’re looking at is environmentally friendly because it’s made from bamboo. But there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that you need to be aware of before purchasing a bamboo floor.
As we know, bamboo is one of the greenest construction materials in the world. It grows very fast, is readily available and gives us a hardness that exceeds most hardwoods. Add that it’s beautiful and stylish, and you have floor that’s a great alternative to hardwood floors, laminate floors, ceramic floors and even tile floors.
Many choose bamboo simply because it’s green flooring, but not all bamboo floors are made the right way. A good step in determining if a bamboo floor has been manufactured correctly is if the raw material has been obtained from a reputable source. And the only way to know for sure if that’s the case if the bamboo is FSC certified.
The Forest Stewardship Council is not-for-profit agency that polices the logging industry, so to speak. To become an FSC Certified forest, the management of that forest must meet a specific set of criteria that includes a variety of factors. First and foremost is that all materials are harvested responsibly and without damage to the environment. Other things that are taken into consideration are worker conditions, economic impact on the surrounding region and long-term effects on all of the above.
A manufacturer doesn’t have to purchase FSC Certified materials, but what does it tell you? Well, it tells you that the raw materials were less expensive and while maybe from a reputable source, it’s not guaranteed. It’s an easy corner to cut that saves time and money, which might spill into other areas of the manufacturing process, such as the quality of chemicals used, how those chemicals are disposed and a variety of other ways that can reduce costs to achieve a competitive price. When a bamboo is FSC Certified, you know for a fact that the manufacturer shows a commitment to the environment and the use of the highest quality raw materials.
If you’re unsure if a bamboo is FSC certified, just ask. If they don’t know, then it’s likely not and not a great sign. Some retailers only sell FSC Certified bamboo flooring and if that’s the case, you can bet they’re well aware of some of the inferior products offered out there and are making it a point to stay away.
It used to be you could only find solid bamboo floors, but consumer demand has driven the advance of this type of flooring and now you can find engineered bamboo, durable stranded bamboo and even click bamboo in both styles. Bamboo is everywhere, and part of its appeal and popularity is its being environmentally friendly. But if it isn’t made in an environmentally friendly way, then the point is moot. Before you purchase bamboo flooring, do your part to support those in keeping this earth friendly floor friendly to the earth.