Boatbuilding Blog

November 11, 2006

Bamboo Sole?

Filed under: Building - Considerations — tomlarkin @ 3:03 am


I was looking for teak prices on the Crosscut Hardwood site and noticed that they sell bamboo plywood for flooring. A quick Google search for ‘bamboo flooring boat cabin sole’ returned some interesting hits:

Marquis Yachts 55: “The bamboo sole becomes a design centerpiece for this highly trafficked area. Bamboo is an exotic hardwood with a textured look, and it’s very resistant to wear.”

Alden Yachts Brenton Reef 40:”[T]he cabin sole is pale yellowish white bamboo with teak edging. (No, I’d never heard of bamboo used this way, either, but it works very well: hard as maple and very moisture-resistant.)”

Rybovitch Express 42: “The Hawaiian koa joinery and bamboo sole aboard Buffett’s Margaritavich are unique.”

The light color, hardness, and varied texture of bamboo sounds like it might work well as a sole. I know it’s used in kitchens a lot. I’m concerned about the laminating glue and possible slipperiness when it’s wet.

It looks like vertical grain would be best:

A natural bamboo stock is hollow and the walls of the plant are fairly thin. Strips of bamboo are therefore laminated together to make our 5/8” flooring. The terms “horizontal” and “vertical” refer to the manner in which bamboo strips are laminated together. In the horizontal style, the strips are laid flat so the top surface shows the bamboo’s natural growth rings, or “knuckles.” In the vertical style, the strips are turned on their sides and laminated together in long, slender rows creating a different appearance.


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