Bamboo Countertops

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bamboo-butcherblockIn a previous post, I wrote about the pros and cons of bamboo used as a flooring option.  The pros seem to outweigh the cons, as bamboo is a durable surface material not only for flooring, cabinetry and wall panels, but also for countertops.  When using this fast-growing grass (yes, it’s a grass) for an island countertop surface, there are some other considerations:  food safety, durability, bacteria-resistance, style, and color choices, to name a few.


  • The natural look (a light blonde hue) is a classic, but if you’re looking for something more dramatic, a carmelized color is possible, even without the use of stains or dyes.  The bamboo culms or slats are pressure-heated to “brown” the sugar compounds naturally present in the plant, yielding a warm, amber appearance.


  • Traditional parquet butcher-block (pictured here, courtesy of Teragren) provides a timeless look in any kitchen.
  • More sleek-looking options include the use of vertical grain or strand bamboo.

Food Safety and Bacteria-resistance:

  • Bamboo is naturally resistant to bacteria, making it an ideal choice in the kitchen.
  • Look for bamboo countertops manufactured with food-safe, formaldehyde-free adhesives.
  • To keep cleaning easy and improve stain- and water-resistance, choose natural finishes such as mineral oil, tung oil, linseed oil or beeswax finishes.


  • Bamboo is much harder than maple or oak as long as it is allowed to mature to 5 or 6 years before being harvested.  Moso bamboo is grown in ideal climatic conditions and is a smart choice.

Tag(s): Green Furnishings, Kitchens And Baths


One Response to “Bamboo Countertops”

  1. Linda on August 6th, 2010 10:21 am

    I like the idea of Bamboo countertops. It sounds much more sustainable and is naturally resistant to bacteria which is a plus in the kitchen and even harder than maple or oak.

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