In Maryland Bamboo is a Smart Flooring Alternative – and Growing!!

There are few improvements that can change the entire look of a Maryland home like flooring. With so many options, selecting the most practical in terms of beauty, cost, and durability has become priority. Bamboo exhibits these traits and more, putting it at the top of the list of flooring alternatives.

Value
Like any home product, different grades of bamboo exist, from the processed engineered floor to the solid bamboo floor. With price-points from $3 to $9 a square foot, the cost is less than solid hardwood, making it a smart option for today’s consumer. In fact, with today’s economy, many homeowners are hanging on to their property investments, making small but noticeable improvements that will have long term value when the housing market turns around. In Maryland, where Long & Foster reports a decrease in available housing inventory, homes that go up for sale move relatively quickly, with a three to four month turnaround. Simple updates, like the modern, clean lines of bamboo, can offer widespread appeal, ensuring a house moves quickly once it hits the market.

Durability
Bamboo is one of the most durable types of flooring on the market today. Denser than oak, a solid bamboo floor creates a stronger floor for a more reasonable price. Even engineered bamboo with a minimum quarter inch top layer can stand significant wear. The moisture and insect resistance of bamboo makes it a great choice for any room in the home, particularly in bathroom and kitchen areas where moisture is ever present. This makes it a logical choice for the Chesapeake Bay area, where hot humid summers are commonplace. Choosing a brand of flooring with a strong warranty makes it an even smarter buy.

Installation
Along with making home improvements that have long term returns, many homeowners are opting to save even more cash by becoming “Do-it-Yourselfers”. Because bamboo is easy to install, even those with basic carpentry skills will find installation simple and rewarding. Interlocking bamboo planks make for the easiest installation, and can be installed over any subfloor with an accompanying underlayment. Nail down installation is recommended for wood subfloors, while glue down installation can be used on concrete or plywood subfloors.

Green
Bamboo flooring is an eco-friendly choice for any home renovation. Because bamboo matures faster than hardwood, it is a better option when seeking renewable resourced products. While traditional hardwoods take up to 40 to 100 years to mature, bamboo matures in 3 to 5 years. When harvested, bamboo’s root system is left intact, minimizing soil disturbance and eliminating the need to replant. Consumers are looking for evidence of healthy and eco-friendly materials in their purchases. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources initiated the Green Builders Network (GBN) to encourage the design and construction of buildings that utilize sustainable materials. In partnership with the Green Building institute, the GBN offers professionals and the general public the chance to meet, share, and spotlight successful green built projects.

Durable and strong, with several options to meet any skill-level, pocketbook, or décor, bamboo is a shining star in the world of home renovations. Not only does its application throughout a home unite many interior features, it also reflects on the property owner’s preference for long term, practical and eco-friendly choices that improve aesthetic and investment appeal.

More Maryland Flooring Information

One Very Popular Kitchen Remodeling Trend in Maryland

One of the hottest new trends in kitchen remodeling in Maryland is actually taking place outdoors. Many homeowners in Maryland are opting to build fully functioning outdoor kitchens. Outdoor kitchens, you may say, are nothing new. Build a campfire. Make a hanging food pantry to discourage hungry bears. Line a cardboard box with foil and hot coals to make a reflector oven. No big deal.

Sure, that has worked for eons in the great outdoors. However, could you, or would you even want to have such a setup permanently in your back yard?

Probably not. Unless you (a) Live in the country and (b) frequently invite Boy Scouts over to prepare dinner.

But what about a more modern outdoor kitchen? One as simple as a grill and countertop, maybe? Or one equipped with those basics, plus a seating area, sink, rotisserie, refrigerator and smoker?

Granted, those more elaborate setups aren’t commonplace in Maryland. The closest the majority of us come to having an outdoor kitchen is a grill and picnic table outside the back door. Nevertheless, they’re beginning to become more and more popular in Maryland. For those with the means, an outdoor kitchen offers up a great way to expand ones entertaining space while taking advantage of the great weather during much of the year.

Often times, homeowners and designers strive to tie an outdoor kitchen in with the general décor of the house, while at the same time doing something fun with the kitchen and seating area. To that end, outdoor countertops and tile floors are often made from same material as found on their indoor counterparts, creating a seamless transition from inside to out.

When dealing with outdoor environments, care must be taken when selecting materials for appliances and various finishes. Stainless steel is usually selected for outdoor grills because it won’t rust. Likewise, redwood cabinets are protected from the weather and the elements.

If rain does happen to be falling, many outdoor kitchens are designed so that guests can eat on tables that – like the kitchen itself – are fully covered. Sometimes homeowners put an additional kitchen inside their poolside cabanas where the cooking and eating areas are also completely enclosed.

Either way, an outdoor kitchen doesn’t come cheap. Many outdoor kitchen designs start at around $25,000. More elaborate, open-air constructions can cost the homeowner about $100,000 for the structure, appliances, bathroom and outdoor fireplace.

Not surprisingly, price is probably the No. 1 reason more people don’t have an outdoor kitchen.  Plus, with weather in Maryland, an outdoor kitchen can only be used about half the year.

Still, an outdoor kitchen could be built less expensively. For example, it could be built on an existing patio. The
grill wouldn’t have to be so fancy. (Whichever kind you decide on, make sure it’s placed so smoke blows away from the eating area). Moreover, while a grill and countertop are necessities, a sink and refrigerator aren’t. (But they sure come in handy).

For more information on Maryland kitchen remodeling, go here: http://www.bizzibid.com/md/kitchen/