Bamboo Countertops

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Bamboo Countertops

Bamboo countertops are a great, eco friendly option. Learn how they are made, who they are good for, and what they cost.

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Bamboo countertops can be a great choice for anyone who is interested in replacing their current counters with a new, eco friendly option.  There are lots of great reasons to consider bamboo, we'll go over them all here.

What Makes Bamboo Countertops Green

Bamboo has emerged in recent years as a great green option in many different applications. Currently, bamboo is being used for flooring, counters, cabinets, furniture, clothing, and bedding.

It's green because it is extremely renewable. Bamboo grows very, very rapidly - some strands grow up to a foot a day!  When you compare that with any kind of tree, you realize that's extremely fast.  Because bamboo grows so quickly, the idea is that using it for building applications is more eco friendly, than using wood.

Bamboo is Very Green

Bamboo Countertops - Bamboo is Very Green

Bamboo Countertops - Bamboo is Recyclable Too

Contrary to popular belief, bamboo is actually a strong building material. It's considered to be at least as strong as most hardwoods, and stronger than many others.

This means that you can expect your bamboo countertops for many, many years. Products that last longer are far more eco friendly than those that need to be replaced within a few years.

Bamboo is also recyclable. Products that can be recycled are greener than those that must be thrown into a landfill at the end of their useful life.

Sustainable Wood Counters

Bamboo Countertops - Parquet Pattern

How Bamboo Countertops Are Made

There are actually a few ways to make bamboo countertops. Which you ultimately decide on will depend mostly on your personal preference.

The first type of bamboo countertops are actually a form of laminate. One of the most popular makers of this type of countertop is All Totally Bamboo. To create their eco friendly product, they start by making cross-brand laminates that they call multilam.

Small strips of bamboo were glued together to create the planks. Once the planks are complete, they are put together with an adhesive that is non-toxic and formaldehyde-free.

These countertops are typically delivered with no finish - which means that they'll need to have a sealer applied once they have been installed. To keep a project green, it's important to apply an eco-friendly, low-VOC sealer.

Endgrain Bamboo Counters

Endgrain Bamboo Countertops

End Grain Bamboo Countertops

Another type of bamboo countertops are typically called end-grain bamboo. Just like the planks, they are glued together. However, instead of creating long planks, the companies that make counters out of end-grain do so by taking rectangular pieces of the end-grain. They're glued together and a sealer is added.

Bamboo Countertops - What Do They Cost?

When compared with popular choices like granite, bamboo countertops are downright cheap. The plank-type counters start at about $35 per square foot, uninstalled and the end-grain types of counters cost right around $22 per square foot, again uninstalled.

Unless you are extremely handy, it's wise to hire a professional to install counters. Because specialized cuts need to be made, it's a job that's usually best left to professionals.

Caring For Bamboo Countertops

Cleaning these green counters is quite simple. You can keep them clean with warm water and a mild soap. Because they have a finish applied, it's important not to place hot items directly on your bamboo counte tops.

Even though bamboo is a strong material, it's also important not to cut directly on the counter. Both the counter and the finish can be damaged with a knife.

We love bamboo because of it's green properties and its reasonable cost. If you like the look of wood, be sure to check out bamboo as you choose new countertops!

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Bamboo Can Qualify For LEED Credits

Bamboo Countertops Can Qualify For LEED Credits

LEED Certification

Bamboo Countertops can contribute to certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Rating System™ MR Credit 6: Rapidly Renewable Materials. They also may qualify under LEED EQ Credit 4.4.

Check out our extensive sections on Green Home Design and LEED Home Design for additional information.

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