There are many options you think of when considering a kitchen counter top – granite, marble, laminated, concrete and the like. And then, of course, there are new countertop ideas, such as mixed media which is a combination of granite and solid wood. But whatever you select, there are four criteria that you will always take into account: kitchen countertops need to be durable, beautiful, easy-to-clean and food safe.
Bamboo countertops are a great alternative to using concrete, granite or marble counter tops, as they add the warmth of a timber countertop to your kitchen while being gentle on your crockery.
Bamboo is food safe. This is the reason bamboo is so popular as a cutting board material. A kitchen countertop is a surface that needs to be suitable as a food preparation surface. Unlike most hard and soft woods, bamboo is hypo-allergenic.
Wood is considered to be the most eco-friendly option when it comes to choosing a kitchen countertop as wood is a renewable resource. Wooden countertops must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after contact with foods such as raw meat. Research by the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin has shown that wooden work surfaces are no more dangerous, and, in some cases, safer than plastic alternatives. They have shown that whilst bacteria does get absorbed by the wood, it does not multiply and eventually dies.
Eco-Logic Bamboo countertop boards are available in the standard bamboo colours; lighter Blonde (Natural) or the darker Coffee (Carbonised) colours, as well as in the vertical and horizontal surface construction formats.
Bamboo stains wonderfully, so whatever colour or finish (stain, paint, wax, oil, polyurethane, etc) you desire can be applied to your kitchen countertop board.
Bamboo has a “Class A” flammability rating. This is the same category that Asbestos-Cement is rated. This means that bamboo can withstand temperatures of up to 1000 ° Celsius for up to 20 minutes. Obviously, it would be recommended that you use a suitable material for placing hot pots on but, it is more likely that the top coat on the bamboo countertop will suffer damage before the bamboo itself is scorched. And if you do end up with a scorch mark, all you need to do is sand and refinish.
One special characteristic of bamboo countertops is their moisture tolerance. Bamboo is affected by moisture, but is a LOT more tolerant than many materials. In fact, the Eco-Logic team popped a few boards into a dish washer and ran them through two hot cycles consecutively. The result? After the bamboo boards had dried properly, they returned to their original dimensions.
Countertops cost varies based on the length and thickness required for your countertop. Bamboo countertops have a very high tensile strength – higher than cold pressed steel – so you don’t need the thickness (typically 30 mm or thicker) that you would need with many alternative counter tops. In most cases, you can comfortably use the thinner 20 mm thick bamboo countertops.
Eco-Logic Bamboo countertops are available from Oriental Bamboo and supplied through a number of timber merchants nationwide.
A special feature of Eco-Logic countertops is their structural composition. All their bamboo countertops are vertically cross laminated to provide additional rigidity and structural strength.
The superior technical characteristics of bamboo and the competitive price range make Eco-logic bamboo countertops (work tops) an obvious and “green” choice.
To summarise, bamboo countertops have all the properties of a timber countertop plus: