Bamboo countertops anyone?

rmiriamAugust 19, 2013

I am thinking of putting bamboo counters on my perimeter cabinets, but can't find many real-world experiences with them. Has anyone here seen/used bamboo for their counters? The bamboo countertop guys in town assure me that they seal them really well on both sides and that undermount sinks won't be a problem.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts or experiences!

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Frazestart

No experience here but ,according to Consumer Reports, "Though bamboo may be eco-friendly, it isn't user-friendly. In fact, it is the worst-performing countertop material we've ever tested..."

Here is a link that might be useful: Consumer Reports on bamboo counters

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:02AM
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clg7067

I can't get into that link, but any wood-type (yes I know it's a grass) countertop is not going to be as durable as stone, man-made quartz or laminate. Like butcherblock it will need some care. I have ordered samples of bamboo plywood from plyboo and they seem very durable. That is what most bamboo counters are made off. I was considering these myself, but decided to go with hot-rolled steel.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:45AM
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Frazestart

I don't know what's wrong with the link, when I click on it, it takes me directly to the non-subscriber version of the article. Here's some more on bamboo from that page: "Bamboo finishes last.Bamboo is available in several styles. We tested one that had long, horizontal strips and another that used end grains to produce a parquet effect. They looked wonderful when they were new but were easily stained, sliced, scraped, and dented, despite the several coats of beeswax we applied, as the manufacturer recommends. And our hot pot left an unsightly and permanent scorch mark."

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:20PM
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rmiriam

Hmm...that's not good. Frazestart, do you know if they tested any other wood tops? I didn't see a mention in the link. Maybe I'll just have to go with a nice white quartz...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 2:03PM
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Frazestart

If you click on "Stains that make a lasting impression" on that same page, it will take you to another cryptic page, with the following: " Many things stained bamboo�"no surprise given its dismal overall score. Almost as many stained limestone and butcher block with an oil-rubbed finish. "

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 2:28PM
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clg7067

They looked wonderful when they were new but were easily stained, sliced, scraped, and dented, despite the several coats of beeswax we applied, as the manufacturer recommends. And our hot pot left an unsightly and permanent scorch mark."

I would expect the scorching, and cutting. I don't understand why beeswax was used to seal it. That doesn't seem like it would be very effective.

I have only had a sample, so I can't say anything about daily use, but maybe another material would be a better choice.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:23PM
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clg7067

Here is another take on it.

"After years of research and months of kitchen testing, Totally Bamboo proudly unveils its latest line -- solid bamboo countertop sheets. 16% harder than maple, bamboo is clearly the best choice for durable countertop surfaces, as well as construction stock for bookcases, table legs, architectural accents, etc.

The experience gained from crafting over one million cutting boards, has resulted in perfecting the manufacturing process of thick, stable sheets that are incredibly beautiful and a green alternative to traditional wood counter tops."

And fromTeragren
http://www.teragren.com/products_countertops.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo countertops

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:27PM
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rmiriam

I can tell I'm going to stew about this until they're in. clg, you're right - I would expect that knives and hot pots would leave marks, so that's not a huge surprise. Seeing it in black and white does make me pause, though. As does the fact that no one on this board of kitchen researchers has them.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 5:12PM
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jellytoast

I have a small butcher block utility cart and if the surface becomes marred, it can be sanded down and re-oiled. I have done that and it looked brand new afterwards. I don't think that can be done to bamboo.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 7:28PM
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kalindi615

I have not had a countertop, but we did install bamboo floors in our last place. I can say that I will never again put bamboo in my house and certainly not on a counter. It is truly a hard surface, however there is something about the grain structure of the wood (maybe because of grows so fast), it is so porous under the surface that if anything falls on it, it dents way more easily than a wood that is "hard" should. We hadn't even finished the install when my clumsy hubby dropped his water glass on the floor. It hit at just the right angle to dent the floor right in the entry way. Other hardwood would be just a dent, but when bamboo does this it is more like the wood compresses.

Also, no matter how clean, it showed every speck of dirt. This could be the lighter color, but you could even see barefoot prints if people didn't wear socks.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Mistman

I know personally that is a terrible flooring material. I have a friend who put it all through his new construction and even before moving in it was dinged and dented. 3 years later he can't wait to replace it all and is extremely dissapointed that he bought the green line. While it may be a sustainable product it doesn't make a durable surface. I would imagine it wouldn't fare well as a countertop, I have a bamboo serving tray, I like it, but that's about as far as I will go with bamboo.
From all the hype about it a few years ago I was looking forward to giving it a shot but quickly shifted my focus to a 'known' and more traditional material, soapstone for the counters and hard rock maple floors. While no wood surface is going to forgive everything, I think the 5 yo twins living in my house would have turned the bamboo into scrap rather quickly. The maple is holding up wonderfully but it's not blemish free, nor is the soapstone but that was expected and not out of our expectations.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:35PM
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