How to Bamboo (Pro’s, Con’s, Sealing & Maintenance)

If you have me on snapchat (steequinn) or insta (sticksandspit) you’ve seen my raving about the current love of my life, my new bamboo countertops!

 

When I started looking into countertops, all I knew for sure was that I definitely didnt want your standard laminate kind.  In search of a unique and aesthetically pleasing alternative I learned 3 things:

1. My dream countertop is solid Calacatta Marble and costs more than my 2 year college education
2. Said education isn’t making me enough money to afford said countertop
3. Maybe tuition would have been better spent on dream countertop

After taking a long, hard look at my questionable post-secondary decisions, I pinterested across a “concrete countertop for less than $200” tutorial.  Concrete countertops look AMAZING! I love the look… but I don’t love the weight.  What the tutorial doesn’t tell you is that they are HEAVY!  I would’ve had to reinforce my brand new beautiful cabinets & further delay work and I was not down for that.

So it was purely by chance that one day whilst perusing my local Rona, I came across some gorgeous bamboo planks for non-specific use. Perfect! When I bough them all I knew was that they were going to look great.  I didn’t understand their true value until i did some research.

Pro’s
Eco-friendly:  bamboo is a natural resource that is renewable and sustainable.
Durable: harder than oak or maple. Like wood it can be sanded and resealed if it gets           damaged.
Moderately priced: definitely cheaper than marble, My bamboo cost me just over $400 (not including tung oil or extras)

Cons
Limited: not as many variations in colour or style
Expands & contracts: like wood, it responds to temp and humidity, so there are more factors to account for and extra care to be taken when installing
Glued structure: Bamboo is more like a plant than a wood.  Bamboo planks are strips of the plant’s “trunk” glued and compressed together.  The glue makes it more sensitive to water (even if sealed) and heat (like hot pots or pans) than your average countertop.  Also be sure to check that the glue used is food-safe.

Sealing Bamboo
Bamboo an be sealed with just Tung oil (this is what i did).  It can also be stained, finished with polyurethane, varnish, mineral oil or butcher’s block oil. As long as you use a couple coats of tung oil first to ensure even colour and absorption.
*Tung oil is derived from nuts, and may cause allergic reactions in people allergic to nuts*

Maintenance
You can pretty much use & clean this surface as you normally would, as long as you go easy on the ammonia based products (like Lysol and Windex).  If you didnt polyurethane seal it, you can re-oil it every few weeks, or when it looks dull or gets dry. Or don’t. It’s all good.

Can you see why I’m so in love with the darn things?

How to Bamboo (Pro’s, Con’s, Sealing & Maintenance)