A Kitchen Cabinet Comparison Part 1: Bamboo

The modern homeowner has more decorating options than ever before. Just among cabinet varieties alone there is a staggering array of choices. If you are remodeling your kitchen, how do you find an affordable, long-lasting and eco-friendly option that will also complement your decor scheme? To save you some time, we’ve put together some pros and cons of several cabinet materials that have recently gained a lot of popularity among interior decorators and designers. The first part of our series will tackle one of the fastest growing new options on the market: bamboo.
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Why Bamboo?

Bamboo, a member of the grass family, is known for its remarkably fast growth and sustainability as a renewable resource. Bamboo planks are created by slicing stalks into strips which are then laminated together, resulting in an incredibly tough wood-like board that can be fashioned into cabinetry, flooring, etc. Bamboo’s characteristic layered pattern gives it a unique visual appeal that sets it apart from traditional materials.

Pros: 

    • Bamboo stalks, known as culms, mature in about 7 years, as opposed to hardwoods which may take decades to reach maturity. Additionally, bamboo plants grow back after culms are harvested, just as a mown lawn continues to grow back, removing the need to replant after every harvest.
    • Well-made bamboo planks have the durability of hardwood, which makes them family friendly and economical in the long run. By contrast to wood, however, bamboo is low-maintenance, requiring only soap and water rather than a special wood cleaner or oil. Bamboo is also more dimensionally stable than wood, meaning it does not expand or contract as much as wood does. Thus, humidity will not cause doors and drawers to stick as easily.
  • Bamboo fits almost any decor scheme, be it modern or classic. Depending on the grain orientation and stain chosen, bamboo can resemble traditional wood or show off its own unique layered pattern to contribute modern elegance to the kitchen or bath.

Cons:

  • The adhesives used in the bamboo laminating process, as well as the finish on the cabinets, can affect indoor air quality. Make sure to select low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) finishes and materials with low or no added formaldehyde.
  • Bamboo cabinets can show scratches just as hardwoods do. A certain degree of care is necessary to protect this investment.
    • Most bamboo is sourced in Asia, which means higher import and shipping costs and a negative impact on the environment due to transportation methods used.
  • Increased demand for bamboo, combined with bad management of resources, is threatening the quality and sustainability of bamboo. In addition, harvesting bamboo too early results in lower quality and reduced durability of the product. Buyers should check with their cabinet providers to be sure the source of their materials is reputable and environmentally responsible.

For more information on all things home improvement related, feel free to contact us!
info@crawfordhomeimprovements.net

Sources:

Daniel, S. “Bamboo Vs. Metal.” Ezine Articles. Domain Cabinets Direct, 19 Aug. 2016. Web. 7 Feb. 2017.

“Choosing Bamboo Cabinets.” HomeStyleChoices.com. Home Style Choices LLC, n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.