by Staff Writer
A popular and eco-friendly furniture material is carbonized bamboo. Carbonized bamboo is comparable to many types of hardwood. You can purchase chairs, tables and other types of furniture made from it. However, before purchasing carbonized bamboo furniture, take a moment to learn about why this product is such a smart choice.
Why is bamboo considered eco-friendly?
Bamboo is actually a type of grass that grows in very thick stalks, although many people refer to it as a type of tree wood. Most types of trees take decades to re-grow after they are harvested, and forests often can't grow fast enough to keep up with demand even though wood is considered a renewable resource. This also means that it takes decades for a thriving forest habitat to return once an area has been cleared. Bamboo, on the other hand, grows at a rapid pace. Farmers can continuously harvest this product since it grows back so quickly, continuously renewing itself.
How is bamboo carbonized?
Bamboo furniture comes in two different finishes: natural and carbonized. Most people are used to the light, almost white color of natural bamboo wood. While this is a beautiful shade, it is also possible to darken bamboo wood through steaming. Bamboo carries a lot of sugar, so when manufacturers cook the bamboo stalks in a steam bath, the sugar to breaks down and darkens just like regular sugar does when heated for a recipe. The end result is bamboo the color of caramel.
What are the pros and cons of carbonized bamboo?
The main reason people opt for carbonized bamboo over typical bamboo is the color. Natural bamboo has a very light finish, while carbonized bamboo is much darker. The biggest disadvantage, however, is that the carbonizing process slightly weakens bamboo, making it a somewhat softer wood that is more prone to scratches, dings, and wear. Your carbonized bamboo furniture will still last you a long time if you take care of it.
If I buy one piece of carbonized bamboo furniture for a room, do I need to match the wood in all of my furniture?
While a room full of bamboo furniture would be beautiful, you can coordinate it with other woods and still achieve a harmonious look. For the best results, keep woods in similar tones -- all light or all dark.