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Bamboo Cabinetry--Your Exciting Choice for Green, Beautiful Storage

by Susanne Clemenz

There are over 1,400 bamboo species worldwide, and did you know that they are grasses and not wood? All of these species share the same attributes:

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  • They achieve full height in a single season: Some grow 24 inches a day!
  • Harvested bamboo is 3-4 times more productive than unharvested bamboo.
  • Hollow stems are segmented by vascular bundles, creating a unique visual texture

Beautiful bamboo is often called "green steel" for its strength and durability. That means bamboo cabinetry will still be sturdy and handsome when lesser woods need replacing.

Bamboo Cabinetry Provides Unique Design Possibilities

Bamboo cabinets come in delicious spectres of colors, textures, and design options. They are sold by some custom cabinet shops or from national custom and semi-custom manufacturers such as AlterECO, DeWils Cabinets, and Green Tech Cabinetry.

Bamboo has a subtle or pronounced linear look, depending on the species and chosen finish color. You can use this feature creatively:

  • Run it horizontally or vertically to visually expand your kitchen.
  • Run it horizontally below counters, vertically above, for interest.
  • Make the door frames from a contrasting finish, texture, or grain direction from the door panel.
  • Some bamboo is very textural in appearance. Use it to add interest to the spare, unframed lines of contemporary or Euro-look cabinets.

What Do Bamboo Cabinets Cost?

Here are some rough cost comparisons to bamboo cabinetry for a B-30 (30" x 36") kitchen base cabinet:

  • Building supply store stock cabinet, natural hickory fronts, fiberboard case--$230.00
  • Diamond brand hickory cabinet, 5/8" fiberboard cabinet, dovetail wood drawers--$410.00
  • DeWils bamboo cabinet, 1/2" plywood case, dovetail drawers--$525.00

Bamboo cabinetry, a green housing industry favorite, is often free of allergy-free Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) making it an excellent choice for health-conscious or allergy-prone homeowners and their families. However, be sure to check each brand.

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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