Homeowners are often looking for home improvement options that strike the right balance between affordability, functionality, aesthetics and eco-friendliness. Bamboo has been marketed as something of a panacea—a kind of wonder wood that checks all the boxes. Designers, contractors and consumers have all taken note, as bamboo has made its way into homes as flooring, walls, window treatments, furniture and more. Here are the properties that are making this popular material a go-to green choice for interior design materials.
Bamboo is a readily available wood…except for the fact that it isn't a wood at all, but a grass! Therein lies the secret to bamboo's ascendant success as a housing material: It grows like a weed because it essentially is one. At a maximum of three feet per day, it is, in fact, the fastest growing plant on Earth.
Just the one word "bamboo" doesn't do justice to the range of looks the material offers. It can vary greatly in shades and textures, making it a versatile option for decorators and designers.
Whether natural or manmade, few materials can match bamboo's physical properties pound for pound. Because bamboo grows in wet, tropical climates, it is well-suited to resisting rain and wind. In fact, this unassuming reed beats out hardwood, brick and concrete alike in terms of compressive strength, while rivaling steel in tensile strength.
As a growing number of homeowners look for eco-friendly materials in their decor, perhaps no single factor has contributed to bamboo's modern vogue in interior design more than its sustainability. As it is a grass rather than a tree, it can grow to a harvestable size (often over 100 feet) in a matter of months. This is in stark contrast to the years of water, fertilizer and in some cases, pesticide, required by timber woods.