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Bamboo Counter Tops Pros & Cons


Bamboo countertops might not be considered the most common form of kitchen work top material but that's not the result of any gross deficiencies with bamboo. Bamboo countertops have a lot of great features but like any material there are highs and not-so-highs that you should think about. Here's a list of pros and cons to consider:

The Pros . . .

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•    A Green, Eco-Friendly Material
Bamboo is a renewable, sustainable natural resource that regenerates quickly. If you're looking for some green options for your kitchen upgrade, bamboo ranks up there as one of the top choices.
•    Hard & Durable
The right type of bamboo (typically "Moso") that's harvested at the right time is a very hard material. In some cases, it's harder than oak and maple. That makes for a good countertop choice because with countertops, the more durable the better.
•    Moderate Price Point
Bamboo won't be the cheapest countertop you can buy but certain styles and brands can be very competitive or flat-out beat the cost of stone, quartz or solid surface tops.
•    It's A Renewable Surface
Bamboo, like wood, is renewable. That means if it gets scratched it can be sanded and re-sealed. Try that with quartz or laminate countertops.
•    Unique & Attractive Appearance
Obviously everyone's tastes are different but it's hard to deny the fact that bamboo has a unique and attractive appearance and one that's not really replicated in any other type of countertop material. It's available in several different styles (grain orientations) to suit your style and usability needs.

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. . . and the Cons
•    Yes It's Hard But Not Indestructible
OK, so bamboo is hard -- that doesn't mean your bamboo countertops will never dent, scratch or chip. Think about what the edge of a heavy can of soup would do if accidentally dropped on the countertop. You also can't put hot pans on the surface because the heat can damage the finish, the bamboo surface, the glues holding it together or all three.
•    Takes More Care Particularly In Wet Areas
Bamboo is a lot like wood in that it needs sufficient protection from water. If you install bamboo around wet areas like a sink you'll need to ensure it's well protected/sealed.
•    It's A Glued Structure
The fact that a bamboo countertop is a glued structure isn't bad in and of itself. However we are talking about a countertop surface (as opposed to a floor) so you'll want to make sure that the glues that are used are both food-safe and formaldehyde-free. Manufacturers of bamboo countertops and plywood should have this information readily available.
•    Limited Number Of Styles & Shades
Compared to other countertop surfaces bamboo has a limited range of "looks". The grain orientations provide a few style options and you can get a carbonized bamboo that's darker than the typical blond color of bamboo. You run out of options beyond that however. Staining bamboo might be a
•    possibility but be aware that results may be variable as explained in the 'color choices' section above.

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