What a dry and boring title, sounds like it’s from an academic journal.

Wait a minute, it is from an academic journal. Forest Products Journal, to be precise.

This was a scientific study to evaluate the properties of commercial bamboo flooring, like those made by Star Bamboo. You will need to pay to obtain the full report, but I gleaned some interesting facts from the abstract (my thoughts below each point):

1. Bamboo flooring was more dimensionally stable than red oak flooring.

No surprise, this is one of the main benefits of using bamboo flooring – it’s dimensionally more stable than many popular hardwoods.

2. The mean hardness of bamboo flooring was significantly greater than those of red oak flooring at 65 percent RH and a temperature of 21°C.

This is verified by the Janka hardness scale as well. Bamboo flooring has a Janka hardness rating of around 1500, which is about 10% higher than that of American red oak (~1350).

3. Exposure to 90 percent relative humidity (RH) and water submersion caused more hardness reduction in bamboo flooring than in red oak flooring.

Considering the high hardness of bamboo flooring, this result is surprising. It suggests that bamboo flooring is not suitable for extremely humid regions, or locations which are open to rain such as bathroom, garden and balconies.

Thankfully, there aren’t many regions with a constant RH of over 90%. I hail from hot and humid Singapore – it is impossible to get through a day without sweating.

Yet our RH is usually only around 50% to 70%. In fact, most indoor environments have a RH of only 30%, thanks to the ubiquitous air-conditioning.

Air con units everywhere in Singapore

So it’s safe to say that bamboo flooring is suitable for installation in almost every country.

In any case, we already advise our customers not to install in the bathroom or unsheltered areas (this is also the case for most wooden products).

It’s nice to have some scientific proof to back up what we say in our brochures, it’s not all just marketing talk you know. 🙂

p.s. If you’re curious as to how I found the above journal article, it’s thanks to a new Google feature called Google Scholar. I love Google!