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​​What You Need to Know Before Installing Bamboo Countertops

Updated January 6, 2022

Sustainable 9

Bamboo countertops offer plenty of advantages to the modern kitchen. They’re sustainable, long-lasting, and cost-effective. While they may not be the first choice on your list, you should definitely consider taking a look at bamboo countertops for your kitchen.

At Sustainable 9, we love innovating and trying new products; so today we’re breaking down some of the pros and cons of installing bamboo countertops in your home. .

What Are Bamboo Countertops? And How Are They Manufactured? 

Bamboo is a natural resource that has been used for centuries in Asia. The bamboo plant grows quickly and regenerates easily, making it an environmentally friendly building material. It might often be referred to as wood. Bamboo is technically a form of large grass. This makes it slightly less durable and, in some ways, weaker than hardwood or softwood.

Thanks to modern engineering the bamboo can be fashioned into several different patterns and uses, including countertops. You’ll find that bamboo countertops are built to withstand a lot of what you might throw at them during a day in the kitchen.

Bamboo Countertop Patterns

One of bamboo’s most appealing traits is its ability to be made into different patterns. When the countertops are fused together and manufactured, different patterns appear due to the different colors of each piece. The darks and lights blend together to make a beautiful design.

Colors of Bamboo Countertops

The bamboo countertop colors can be either light or dark, depending on the stain and treatment used. The bamboo will also have a slightly different color if sealed with a polyurethane sealant vs. being left unsealed.

When you’re choosing the right countertops for your home, dark or light options will be available but be sure to consider how the color can lighten over time.

If you want your home to have an earthy feel, bamboo countertops with their natural color are great for just that. Natural wood has a lot to offer your home and can make for a beautiful addition to your kitchen.

bamboo countertops with dark stain

Bamboo Countertop Sealing

It’s important to seal bamboo countertops because they are a natural product. After you purchase and have the counter installed, regular sealing will be important to keep the counters in good condition. If you neglect taking the time to seal your new countertop every 4-6 months, it can dry out and eventually crack.

Sealing bamboo countertops with a polyurethane sealant will help protect them from moisture and scratches over extended periods of time but will take away the natural finish.

Bamboo Countertop Durability

While bamboo isn’t nearly as durable as other hard or soft woods, they do offer a substantial amount of durability for someone active in their kitchen. If you’re willing to properly maintain the countertop and not expose it to extreme heat or wear then, it can last for decades.

Unfortunately, if you’re cutting on it often or using it to hold hot pans, it can burn and scratch easily. But, thankfully, they’re very affordable, and you’ll be able to purchase a new one to replace it for a small cost.

Man cutting spring onions on chopping board on bamboo countertops

Bamboo Countertop Cost

The cost of bamboo countertops can vary depending on the quality of bamboo that is used, as well as the manufacturing process. Generally speaking, bamboo countertops are more affordable than other natural stone or solid surface materials.

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The average cost of a bamboo countertop is between $40 and $100 per square foot. These prices range drastically and don’t include installation or treatment of the wood in most cases. Be sure to check out many different options and retailers before you choose to purchase.

Types of Bamboo Countertops

Some of the different bamboo countertops available on the market include engineered bamboo, solid bamboo, and everything in between. Let’s break each of these down a bit.

Engineered Bamboo

Engineered bamboo countertops are the most common type of bamboo on the market, by taking individual strands of bamboo and molding them together into one solid piece of countertop. This can be a good way to get a more “customized” pattern and color. These products are much cheaper because they can be made from smaller pieces or scraps.

Solid Bamboo

While no one piece of bamboo will be large enough to make up a countertop, solid bamboo counters are made from solid pieces of bamboo that are molded together carefully.

These bamboo counters will take on the appearance of bamboo that’s been glued together, making them much more natural-looking. but, one of the downsides is the cost associated with these specific products.

kitchen with bamboo counter tops and white sink with brick background

Pros of Choosing Bamboo ✅

Now for the advantages of choosing bamboo for your home. Of course, there are a lot of different options out there. But when it comes to bamboo countertops as a product, there are some specific advantages that you’ll be able to enjoy. Here they are!

  • Inexpensive and very cost-effective
  • Environmentally friendly and very sustainable
  • Aesthetically pleasing and looks great in any home
  • Antibacterial making it perfect for kitchens

While a natural wood or bamboo countertop isn’t for everyone, we think these benefits far outweigh the downsides of choosing bamboo.

bamboo countertops in white kitchen

Cons of Choosing Bamboo ❌

We can’t round out this blog without being honest about some of the downsides that keep people from choosing bamboo for their homes.

  • Easily stains from excess water, food, and burns
  • It’s not heat resistant
  • Seams are often very visible in the finished product
  • Some color options are available but much fewer than other materials
  • It can easily dent and chip if you’re not careful
  • Maintenance is needed to keep the bamboo in good shape over time

Having bamboo in your home might take a little work, as we mentioned before. And, if you’re someone that wants to set hot pans on the counter or just wipe the counters off once every few days, these products probably aren’t for you.

At Sustainable 9, we’re always looking for unique and interesting ways to include sustainable products in the homes we build. If you’re interested in learning more about some of the products and solutions we love, check out our blog.

If you’re looking to build a new kitchen, we’d love to help. Reach out today and talk to one of our team members!

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