Bamboo is sometimes described as a wonder material – for its strength, hardness and finishing quality as well as its eco-friendly attributes.
One of the main eco-advantages of bamboo is that it is fast-growing and is therefore a readily renewable resource. In managed forests in China, bamboo stems can be cut for use after five to six years’ growth and the same plant will shoot again to yield more bamboo. By comparison, pine trees take about twice the time to grow to a harvestable size and yield a relatively soft timber, and exotic hardwoods can take much longer before yielding usable timber. Furthermore, many of the indigenous African hardwoods available in South Africa are sourced from unmanaged forests on the continent.
Scanda manufactures and installs semi-solid and solid bamboo doors, using variants of the material to suit customers’ needs and preferences. Doors are customised to specifications and measurements and can be supplied in small or large quantities.
Panda Bamboo was one of the first companies to introduce bamboo into South Africa. With warehouses in Cape Town and Johannesburg, it supplies a range of solid and strandwoven bamboo boards, panels and veneers as well as flooring, cladding and other bamboo products, in various sizes and thicknesses, to flooring installers, kitchen fitment companies, furniture manufacturers and joinery companies around the country.
Solid bamboo and strandwoven bamboo boards and flooring are manufactured using different processes although both methods start with thin strips cut from the bamboo poles.
In solid bamboo the individual bamboo strips are accurately machined and then laminated together into boards or panels. The individual strips making up the panels are visible in regular, geometric patterns in the finished product.
In strandwoven bamboo the bamboo strips are partially crushed, coated with special glues, and then compressed under great pressure to form bamboo boards which are of greater density and hardness than solid bamboo boards. Strandwoven bamboo boards also differ from the solid bamboo boards in that they have a wavy, less regular grain pattern.
Both solid and strandwoven bamboo products are available in two basic colours: Natural – a blonde colour similar to pine, and Caramel – a mid-brown colour similar to oak. The colours in strandwoven bamboo are slightly darker due to the glues used. Products can also be stained to a darker colour if preferred.
Bamboo flooring, which is supplied in either solid or strandwoven bamboo, is available in various thicknesses, in tongue-and-groove and self-locking ‘quick-click’ formats.
Panda Bamboo is a member of the Green Building Council of SA, the Kitchen Specialists Association and the SA Wood and Laminate Flooring Association, and is registered with Ecospecifiers, an independent international certification and specification authority for environmentally friendly products.