Is Bamboo a Wood? Exploring This Versatile Material

Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on this planet. It’s been recorded growing as much as 2.91 feet per day, or 1.5 inches per hour! But is it wood? And in what sort of building projects does bamboo work best?

In this post, we dive into the world of bamboo species, exploring the unique properties that set it apart from traditional wood. We’ll discuss the benefits of using bamboo as an alternative to domestic hardwoods, the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating it in your home, and the best ways to maximize its longevity.

What is Bamboo?

Bamboo is a grassy plant with immense strength and longevity, belonging to the bamboo species that contains over 1200 varieties throughout the world – from tropical forests to cold, mountainous areas. The most common variety used for construction purposes is the giant bamboo.

Unlike traditional wood species like oak or maple, which come from trees, bamboo is a grass. It grows incredibly fast (sometimes up to 3 feet per day!) This makes it a great renewable resource and more sustainable than domestic hardwoods.

Types of Bamboo

Bamboo comes in various forms that suit a variety of applications. There are two main types of bamboo: solid and strand woven. Both types come from the same bamboo species, but they differ in manufacturing processes and their mechanical properties.

Solid bamboo:

Solid bamboo is made from the entire stalk, which is cut into thin strips, boiled to remove any impurities, and then glued together under high pressure. This process results in a durable product with an appearance similar to traditional domestic hardwoods like oak or maple.

Strand woven bamboo:

In contrast to solid bamboo, strand woven bamboo involves weaving thin strips of the plant together before compressing them under extreme extreme heat and pressure. This creates a material even stronger than solid bamboo with greater resistance against moisture – making it deal for use in areas prone to water exposure like kitchens and bathrooms.

Various other bamboo species – such as black or red bamboo – offer unique aesthetics while maintaining the benefits of this eco-friendly material. With various types of bamboo to choose from, there are endless possibilities when considering how to use this wood-like material in your living space.

What are some of the key properties associated with bamboo that make it different from wood?

Bamboo Properties

Mechanical properties: 

Bamboo has impressive mechanical properties that make it suitable for various building materials. Its tensile strength rivals steel and surpasses many types of concrete.


Since bamboo grows rapidly and reaches maturity within just 3-5 years (compared to decades for hardwood trees), it’s considered an eco-friendly alternative in construction and design.

Bamboo forests:

In addition to being a valuable resource, bamboo forests also provide essential habitats for wildlife and help prevent soil erosion with their extensive root systems. Given the current concerns about deforestation caused by logging, bamboo is increasingly sought after as an alternative timber source.

Benefits of Bamboo

Bamboo is an eco-friendly, renewable resource that offers numerous advantages over traditional wood species and other building materials.


Unlike many domestic hardwoods, bamboo forests can regenerate in just a few years after being harvested. This makes it one of the most sustainable options available for home construction and renovation projects. 


Bamboo’s natural resistance to moisture and insects makes it ideal for use in areas prone to dampness or humidity. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior applications.


The attractive aesthetic and tactile qualities of bamboo bring versatility to both indoor and outdoor projects – from flooring and wall paneling to furniture.

Ease of maintenance:

Keeping bamboo looking its best is easy with regular dusting and cleaning. Simply use a damp cloth and mild detergent to remove any debris and allow time to dry.

In addition to these practical benefits, using bamboo as a building material also has positive environmental impacts. For example, since bamboo is a type of grass rather than a tree, it grows much faster than traditional wood sources like oak or maple trees. This means that incorporating this versatile plant into your home design not only adds beauty but also contributes positively towards global efforts against climate change.

Bamboo provides a multitude of advantages, rendering it an ideal selection for any residence or workspace. With its various types and styles, you can find the perfect option to suit your needs. Here’s a few popular uses for home improvement projects.

Uses for Bamboo

Bamboo's unique mechanical properties and eco-friendly nature make it a suitable material for many applications in the home or office. Some common uses of bamboo include:


With its high strength and durability, bamboo makes an excellent choice for flooring. It’s available in different styles and colors to suit your design aesthetic.


From chairs to tables, bamboo furniture adds a touch of elegance to any living space – without the cost of sustainability.


As an alternative to traditional wood species like oak or maple, bamboo cabinetry offers a modern look with the added benefit of being environmentally friendly.


Those looking for something unique in their kitchen or bathroom space might want to consider installing a durable and stylish bamboo countertop. Bamboo adds a modern charm to kitchens, and is a great choice for areas where moisture is present.

Wall Paneling:

Bamboo planks are an excellent option if you’re looking to create a unique look for your walls. To create stunning accent walls without the hassle of typical wood planks, Stikwood bamboo planks are a great option.

In addition to indoor applications, you can also use bamboo for outdoor projects such as decks and fencing. Bamboo's natural moisture-resistance makes it a great option for outdoor projects like decks and fences, guaranteeing an enduring, attractive addition to your abode.

Bamboo is a highly versatile material, suitable for many projects due to its numerous advantages. Its advantages make it an ideal choice for many projects around the home or office. Subsequently, the advantages of bamboo when compared to other woods will be examined.

Advantages of Bamboo

Bamboo is a versatile building material that offers several advantages over traditional wood species and other domestic hardwoods.


As one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, bamboo can be harvested every 3-5 years without causing damage to its root system or surrounding environment. This makes it an excellent renewable resource compared to some of the slower-growing trees more commonly used for lumber.


Bamboo is stronger than most hardwoods and some giant bamboo species have a tensile strength even greater than steel.


Bamboo withstands wear and wear much better than many softwoods. It’s natural resistance to moisture also means that it performs well in wet areas or when exposed to weather.


Caring for your bamboo planks is relatively simple. Regular dusting or wiping down with a damp cloth will keep them looking their best.

Pro-tip: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners when maintaining your bamboo surfaces. This could damage the integrity of your planks.

In addition to these practical benefits, bamboo has aesthetic appeal thanks to its unique appearance and texture. The distinct grain patterns found in different bamboo species create a visually interesting look when used for wall paneling like those featured on

If you're considering incorporating more eco-friendly materials into your home design plans, exploring various types of bamboo species may be worth your while. From solid planks perfect for floors and countertops to strand woven options ideal for cabinetry and outdoor applications like decks and fencing - there's sure to be a suitable option available for your project.

Bamboo boasts numerous benefits that make it an ideal option for home decoration. Still, it's important to contemplate potential drawbacks before settling on bamboo for a home decor project. Keep the following points in mind if you’re thinking about investing in bamboo.

Disadvantages of Bamboo

While bamboo has many advantages, there are some drawbacks to consider when choosing this material for your home.

Cost of bamboo:

Bamboo can be pricier than other kinds of domestic hardwoods, making it a not-so-cost-effective selection for those working with a limited budget. Yet, for many homeowners, the advantages of employing an eco-friendly and sustainable resource outweighs the initial expenditure.

Structural Integrity

While bamboo is an incredibly strong material, it won’t match the structural integrity of some hardwoods. This means that bamboo might not be suitable for certain applications – like staircases, support beams, and heavy furniture. It’s essential to research and understand the limitations of bamboo before incorporating it into such projects.

That being said: Bamboo is still one of the most versatile building materials. Here are a few tips to combat the few downsides of bamboo:

Evaluate your budget:

Determine if you’re willing to invest in a higher-priced product like bamboo, and if its environmental benefits and aesthetic are worth the cost.

Select appropriate applications: 

Choose areas in your home where the durability of bamboo will suffice, such as wall paneling or cabinetry – rather than high-traffic flooring or load-bearing structures.

Mix materials:

Combine a variety of building materials in your project by using both traditional hardwoods alongside sustainable options like bamboo. 

When considering bamboo for home decor, it’s important to consider a few potential drawbacks before investing. With proper care and maintenance, however, bamboo will remain an attractive addition to any space.

Care & Maintenance Tips for Bamboo

Bamboo is known for its durability and resistance to moisture, so it’s a great choice for home improvement projects. However, proper care and maintenance are essential to keep your bamboo planks looking their best. Here are some helpful tips:

Regular cleaning:

To remove a buildup of dirt and debris, dust or wipe down your bamboo surfaces with a damp cloth. This simple routine is the best way to maintain the appearance of your bamboo.

Avoid harsh chemicals:

When cleaning your bamboo, avoid using abrasive cleaners or strong chemical agents that could damage the surface over time. Instead, opt for mild soap solutions or specially formulated cleaners made for bamboo.

Maintain humidity levels:

Bamboo is naturally resistant to moisture, but keeping humidity levels at a reasonable level will add to the longevity of your planks.

Incorporate protective measures:

Prevent scratches on floors by placing felt pads under furniture legs or using area rugs in high-traffic areas like hallways or entryways.

Treat stains promptly:

If you notice any spills on your bamboo surfaces, clean them up immediately using a soft cloth dampened with water. Timing is key!

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can ensure that your beautiful bamboo products remain durable, functional, and visually appealing throughout their lifetime. 

Bamboo FAQs

Is bamboo considered wood?

Bamboo is technically classified as a grass, not a wood. However, due to its woody stem and similar properties to hardwoods, it’s often referred to as “bamboo wood” in the context of building materials and home projects.

Is bamboo a good choice?

Although it’s not actually a wood, bamboo has many qualities that make it an excellent material for various applications. Bamboo is strong, durable, eco-friendly, and versatile. Common uses include wall paneling, cabinetry, and countertops.

Why don’t we replace all wood with bamboo?

While bamboo offers several advantages, it cannot completely replace traditional woods. Regional availability, structural integrity, and aesthetics all come into play when deciding which wood is the right choice for a particular project.

What are three interesting facts about bamboo?

1. Bamboo grows rapidly - Some species can grow up to 3 feet per day.

2. Bamboo and oxygen - Bamboo produces around 30% more oxygen compared to most tree species.

3. Naturally antibacterial - Natural antibacterial properties make bamboo a nice choice for kitchenware items like cutting boards.


Bamboo is a grass that grows quicker than any other plant on the planet, is used in various construction projects throughout the world, and adds a level of charm other woods can’t compete with. For a DIY approach, offers caramelized bamboo planks with a golden finish that are sure to beautify your home.