While admiring my friend’s kitchen in her apartment over the weekend, I gushed about her butcher block countertop. She politely corrected me that her counter was, in fact, bamboo.
One company that is spot-on with the bamboo trend is Teragren. They offer an alternative to traditional butcher blocks checkerboard patterns of bamboo tops. Their end-grain butcher block is made with a formaldehyde-free and food-safe adhesive. They’re available unfinished or pre-finished with a food-safe mineral oil/beeswax finish.
The only downside I’ve heard about bamboo counters is that they can crack in stressful environments. Unlike hardwood, it doesn’t have the means to expand and contract.
Teragren’s standard bamboo products are kiln dried and manufactured to achieve a moisture content of 6% to 8%. Bamboo, like hardwood, will undergo dimensional changes when exposed to high or low relative humidity.
What are your thoughts on using bamboo? Have you had success in your own home with it?
Teragren reached out to us and wanted to respond to the downside of bamboo countertops that we’d heard.
It does in fact, like hardwood, expand and contract, and therefore needs to have this designed into the installation to be successful. Environmental changes will affect hardwood as well as bamboo. Avoidance of extremes in heat, cold and humidity is the golden rule for all hardwoods and bamboo.
Those finished with a mineral oil and beeswax, do need re-applications of the finish with use, to keep the moisture of the wood balanced, the same as with maple butcher blocks. If allowed to dry out, cracking may result ~ same with all woods.