We've been stocking Bamboo sheets for quite some time now and in that time we've received quite a few questions. We've put together this article to answer most of these questions. This should help you save time when considering a purchase.
This covers some general facts and also some more specific information. We will also cover the differences between side pressed and plain pressed sheets, as this is one of the most frequently asked questions. If you have any questions that aren't covered here, please leave a comment below or contact our customer services team who will be happy to assist.
We currently stock:
- Natural 5mm Bamboo Side Pressed 600 x 400mm sheet.
- Natural 5mm Bamboo Plain Pressed 600mm x 400mm Sheet.
- Caramel 5mm Bamboo Plain Pressed 600 x 400mm sheet.
- Caramel 5mm Bamboo Side Pressed, 600mm x 400mm sheet.
Download this guide as a PDF here.
Side Pressed and Plain Pressed Explained:
We currently have two types of bamboo sheet, side pressed and plain pressed. Both sheet types use the exact same strips as each other, it's their orientation when gluing them together that their respective names come from. There is a difference in look between the two, though both offer an equally pleasing finish.
After harvesting, the bamboo is cut into long strips. The strips are then worked until they are rectangular in shape and then sanded to a smooth finish. They are then glued together length ways before being cut into sheets/panels.
The above image illustrates how the bamboo is split into sections and also how the rectangular strip is arrived at. It then shows the two different ways in which the rectangular strips can be glued together.
Plain Pressed Bamboo Finish: The plain pressed sheets retain some of the look of the outside the bamboo. Including where the fibers bunch up at the nodules. After gluing the sheets are planed to the correct thickness and then sanded to a smooth finish.
Side Pressed Bamboo Finish: The side pressed sheets have more of a grain look and where the nodules maybe is much less obvious. After gluing the sheets are planed to the correct thickness and then sanded to a smooth finish.
The image below better highlights the contrast between the two finishes. To highlight this further one sheet is natural and the other is caramel. As you can see, both sheets look good. Despite being made from the same material, they have something unique to offer.
What Is Bamboo:
Bamboo is a versatile product that can be cut by hand or on the laser cutter. It is one of the fastest-growing, renewable resources in the world. We have specifically sourced these Bamboo sheets to offer our customers a greener alternative. Fully mature bamboo has hardwood like qualities insomuch that it is hard and durable. This means it can be used in place of hardwoods for things like flooring and wall tiles.
Although giant Bamboo is a grass and not a wood, the fully mature bamboo has hardwood like qualities. Specifically, in that it is hard and durable. This means it can be used as flooring, decking and as wall panels. Because the bamboo is in strips and also because of its natural properties it will shrink and swell less than most solid woods. This means that it is an incredibly stable material.
After 4-5 years, the stems are ready for harvest. This is very fast compared to hardwoods and one of the main reasons why bamboo is ecological. After harvesting, the stems are split lengthwise to strips and the bark is removed.
It reaches its final length of up to 20 meters within a couple of months (with a speed of up to 1 meter a day during the growing season!). It takes the stem around 4-5 years to mature and acquire its excellent hardwood like characteristics (hardness, strength, dimensional stability). This stands in stark contrast with hardwoods. These take over 50 years to mature, are increasingly scarce and often more expensive.
Sustainable & Green:
Bamboo is an endless resource. It grows faster than any other plant, up to 1 meter per day! Each year the 4-5 year stems are harvested, providing room for the younger shoots to grow to maturity.
During growth, bamboo absorbs more CO2 than is released during production. They are therefore CO2 neutral over the complete life-cycle.
One bamboo plant consists of several poles and new shoots will grow from the mother plant every year. Generally, 20-25% of the poles in a sustainable forest or plantation can be harvested each year. This happens without decreasing the number of poles per hectare! The plant does not die after harvesting (as with trees), so no deforestation. On the contrary, by harvesting the mature plants, the yield and quality of the plantation actually increase.
Bamboo is easily recycled, for example as a resource to make chipboard. Alternatively, it can be burnt in a biomass energy plant to create green electricity. In this way, the use of fossil fuels is reduced. The sustainability, safety and quality of bamboo products are independently proven by the most respected ecolabels and certification programs in the market. Certifications include; Leed & Breeam, Nordic Ecolabel Certification, Indoor emissions, LCA Carbon Footprint, CE Marking, Fire Safety Wall/floor/ceiling, EN 350 Durability.
A Healthy Option:
Bamboo products are also a healthy choice as they are anti-static, anti-allergic and have low emissions of volatile organic compounds.
Bamboo clearly has a lot going for it. It's green, it's durable, and it can make a great replacement for traditional hardwoods. Is it the right material for every job requiring a hardwood? Why not let us help you make that call. If you have any doubts or concerns about the suitability of this product for your needs, please contact our customer services team prior to ordering. For more online information, why not check out this wiki page.
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