Bamboo in the Bathroom has countless benefits in comparison to other materials like hardwood, steel or plastic. Here are some questions to consider when choosing the material for your bathroom.
IS BAMBOO GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
Bamboo is more environmentally friendly than hardwood. Compared to an equivalent tree mass, Bamboo produces 35% more oxygen and in research has shown that Bamboo can absorb as much as 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide per ten thousand square metres per year.
Growing and harvesting Bamboo is very sustainable as the plant often grows rapidly and it doesn't require and chemical pesticides or fertilisers to help grow.
Manufacturing raw Bamboo into accessories and furniture isn't very energy intensive and doesn't involve chemicals compared to some wood based furniture manufacturing.
Compared to woods, Bamboo is a much lighter material; meaning it will have a smaller carbon footprint in logistics and transport (I can imagine this may only make a difference when in large quantities).
If treated correctly, Bamboo products can last a lifetime due to its strength and resillience to water and other environmental factors. This is good for the environment as you don't have to keep purchasing replacements. When it finally reaches its end-of-life, Bamboo can be recylced to create a carbon-negative footprint. You can also compost and bio-degrade Bamboo. When it finally decomposes it can help out the growth of plants as it has a high silica content, which it releases into the soil when it breaks down. Silica can help plants become more drought-resistant, increase crop yields, and generally improve crop quality as the soil becomes nutrient-rich. In addition, silica strengthens cell walls and protects against fungal diseases like mildew.
Overall, the whole process of growing, manufacturing and disposing of Bamboo is sustainable and at times carbon-negative. Bamboo could even "save the world" as spoken about by Pablo van der Lugt, he described Bamboo as the solution to replace commonly used building products that may be depleted within a century or so.
In the Bathroom, other products made out of materials like plastic and acrylic are very common and have terrible effects on the environment. Acrylic baths often end up in landfills as they contain materials not able to be re-used or melted down. Using a steel bath or shower tray can be a huge step in making your house more eco-friendly.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Bamboo stands up to water, mildew and is shrink-resistant. Bamboo has a natural water-resistant silica layer on it that protects it, but it is not waterproof. If you are looking to put your Bamboo in an area that will be exposed to water for long periods of time, this may weaken the Bamboo and it's lifespan. It is possible to make your bamboo furniture completely waterproof with a little work and this is highly recommended if you want to bring your bamboo furniture in a shower area or outside. Some products can last up to 50 years if kept well but the average lifespan is between 5-15 years. Please read our care guide on how to maintain or waterproof your Bamboo.
ARE BAMBOO BATHROOM PRODUCTS STRONG?
To cut the question short, Yes, Bamboo is a strong and durable material whilst being extremely light. Bamboo fiber is typically 2-3 times stronger than timber and it is actually stronger than all traditional hardwoods including Oak (measured by the Janka hardness test). The tensile strength of Bamboo is actually stronger than that of Steel (28,000 per square inch to 23,000). Due to its strength, this makes Bamboo the perfect material for furniture, accessories, flooring and for use in commercial grade construction. This helps in the bathroom for products like shower stools and cabinets as you often rely on them being strong and able to hold weight. Bamboo is often more hardwearing and scratchproof than wood, steel or ceramic which makes it a perfect choice in households with messy little fingers.
If you find this hard to believe, try breaking a Bamboo cane in two.
CAN YOU STAIN BAMBOO?
Bamboo can be easily stained to suit any decor. Its relatively easy to stain, however you must follow instructions when doing so to get the best result. There are plenty of tutorials out there on the internet on how to stain Bamboo and you could always consult a specialist for instructions and the best products to use. We'd always recommend sealing after any sort of stain work, especially before entering any zones exposed to weather or water.
Natural Bamboo is generally a yellow, creamy colour but you often see different species of Bamboo coming in slightly different colours. Whether you want to match two species of Bamboo furniture or if you'd like to darken it to match the aesthetic of your home, its easy to do and relatively low cost.
DOES IT LOOK GOOD?
Bamboo furniture in the Bathroom will naturally give your room a brightness boost whilst creating that spa-like atmosphere. The colour of most Bamboo furniture is associated with saunas and spas as it gives you a warm organic, relaxed feeling. Having a zen, calming feeling in the morning and at night is perfect for the bathroom. If you were to only add a bamboo bath mat, this can stand out against darker furniture and complete your bathroom. However it is not just Bamboo that gives this affect, a lot of wood furniture can also give this benefit. I've included a couple of pictures below of subtle Bamboo features which really helps the room take shape.
ARE THERE ANY DISADVANTAGES?
As much as Bamboo may seem like the perfect material for everything, ever, there are a few things to consider.
The cost of certain Bamboo products can be higher than other materials like wood, steel or ceramic as these are typically more mass produced / manufactured and it feels as if the world is just discovering Bamboo as the next best thing.
This also may mean that there isn't as much variety and choice when it comes to furniture and accessories compared to other materials made from plastic, wood or steel. Plastic materials may often come cheaper but the impact on the environment is much worse and our Bamboo products may last much longer.
There is no grading system for Bamboo furniture. Many other material items are rated according to their grades. Grading bamboo is impossible. This way, you may purchase low-quality furniture due to lack of knowledge. This makes it hard to determine which are the best items to purchase. The way to get around this is to buy from a reputable manufacturer or retailer; like us. If this is something you'e concerned about, feel free to get in touch and we'll be able to point you in the right direction.
Bamboo is also not completely waterproof naturally. It has water resistant qualities but if you wish to use it in a shower or humid area, it is recommended to seal it using a quality sealant.
WHERE TO BUY BAMBOO BATHROOM PRODUCTS?
From us, obviously. We sell a range of different brands that practice sustainability and quality that don't come at a fortune. We sell Bamboo Bathroom Accessories, Mirrors, Mirror Cabinets, Storage, Sanitaryware and plenty of other items. We ship all stocked items out same or next day for delivery to you in a maximum of 5 working days. You can shop our whole collection here.
In conclusion, Bamboo in the Bathroom is a fantastic choice, both aesthetically and environmentally. Bamboo is often sustainable in every step of its production and manufacturing all the way to your front door. It lasts a lifetime, is stronger than its competing materials and most importantly, it looks great!
If you need any inspiration or need any ideas on what Bamboo bathroom products are currently trending or products we love, we have wrote an article about this which you're able to read here.