Bamboo isn’t typically the first choice in decking material—but if you’re shopping for a new deck surface, there are plenty of reasons to consider it, from aesthetics to environmental impact. In this article, we’ll dive into its key benefits and answer some of the most common questions we get about bamboo decking.
What is bamboo decking?
Bamboo decking is a decking substrate made from bamboo shoots and a binding material. Using bamboo for flooring is a practice that’s been around for a long time—in fact, people have been using bamboo to make all sorts of tools and materials (baskets, furniture, ropes, water pipes, etc.) for centuries due to its strength and wide availability.
Why you should consider bamboo decking
Traditionally, some decks are built using hardwood—especially exotic woods sourced from South America. Unlike most hardwoods (which must grow for 50 years or more before they can be harvested), bamboo is a fast-growing grass that can be harvested every five to seven years. Because of this rapid renewability, bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable building products available in the world.
How is dassoXTR fused bamboo decking made?
Early attempts to manufacture bamboo decking failed miserably—especially in the Pacific Northwest. Strips of bamboo were laminated together to form a board, but the boards didn’t stand up well to moisture, and the naturally occurring sugars in the bamboo were a great food source for insects.
One of the first products to solve this challenge was dassoXTR, which is manufactured by cooking the sugars out of the bamboo strands and injecting phenolic resins into the core of the strands—the same resins used to make bowling balls. (We all know how strong a bowling ball is.) DassoXTR is comprised of 87 percent bamboo and 13 percent resin—making for an extremely durable deck board that is also patented in the United States and many other countries.
The bamboo decking brand we trust
Dasso Group (the manufacturer of dassoXTR) is a world leader in the manufacturing of bamboo products both for interior and exterior applications. DassoXTR has been used worldwide since 1992, and over 70 million square feet have been sold and installed to date. Dasso Group’s outdoor bamboo products are designed for exterior use while retaining the eco-friendly qualities of bamboo, and dassoXTR’s patented fusion process creates an extremely durable, solid plank decking that exceeds ipe in the Janka hardness test.
In addition to being sustainable, dassoXTR bamboo decking has many features that outperform traditional decking materials. DassoXTR’s fused bamboo decking won’t attract mold or mildew, and each decking plank features a tongue-and-groove end-matching system for easy installation. These planks are dimensionally very stable so you don't have to worry about the shrinkage or expansion associated with some other decking products.
The planks are available in a uniform six-foot length. Because of its tremendous strength, the end-matched joints aren’t required to land on a deck joist. This flexibility speeds up the installation process by 35 percent or more. Due to the strength of the product, dassoXTR is a great choice when looking to resurface an existing deck with joists spaced 24" on the center. The maintenance is easy, too—the rich colors of dassoXTR bamboo decking are maintained by recoating the planks every 12-18 months (or as needed). Colors shown below: Classic Espresso (left), Epic Cognac (right).
If beauty, durability, and a non-traditional look appeal to you, then dassoXTR decking might be a product to consider.
Whether you’re putting together a brand new deck or rebuilding an existing one, dassoXTR fused bamboo decking is a choice worth considering. If you have any questions about dassoXTR decking, you can visit their website or stop by one of our decking showrooms to speak with a Dunn Lumber specialist.