Bamboo-flooring sales have grown exponentially over the past few years, and it's easy to see why. Bamboo is attractive, affordable, durable, available in dozens of colors, and it's grown and harvested in an environmentally responsible manner.

Bamboo looks like wood, feels like wood, and cuts like wood. It even smells like wood. And it's much denser than most hardwoods, including maple and oak, so it's ideal for flooring. But bamboo isn't wood at all—it's grass. And because it's grass, bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Bamboo can be harvested after just four or five years. By comparison, it typically takes between 30 and 60 years before hardwood trees can be milled into flooring. Plus, bamboo regenerates after cutting, and the same plant can be harvested again just four or five years later. Try that with an oak tree.

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