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How to make a bamboo floor mat

Bamboo use in China has extended for at least 4000 years. Bamboo has been used to make mats, book, and as building materials. Bamboo is so plentiful that China has been called "the Kingdom of Bamboo." In fact, more there are four hundred species of bamboo which grow in this country. Bamboo mats have been used in houses for centuries. Making bamboo mats takes some tools and a bit of brawn.

Choose the right bamboo

The bamboo that works best for making bamboo floor matting are the poles that are not more than four years old. Cut the bamboo to the length that you need.

Prepare the bamboo

Use a hatchet to pierce the nodes on the bamboo culm. These are the ridges that encircle the width of the bamboo at intervals along its length. Use the blade of a spade to make a vertical cut in the bamboo pole along its length. Make sure that you pierce the nodes entirely through. When you put the blade of the shovel in the incision, move the handle back and forth, widening the crack. Pull the crack wider by hand. Force the bamboo open as widely as you can and use a mallet to pound the bamboo pole flat. Scrape the interior of the bamboo with the blade of the shovel, scraping away the white inner lining. Make sure that the inner lining is completely clean before continuing. Failure to do so can risk the infestation of insects.

Cure the bamboo

Fill a tank with water and add borax and boric acid. Mix the contents thoroughly together. Wear rubber gloves if necessary. Place the flattened bamboo in the water mixture and submerge it. Leave the bamboo in the water for two days or more.

Dry the mat

Remove the bamboo from the water mixture and stand it on end. Let the bamboo floor mats dry for up to two months. Make sure that the bamboo has plenty of air circulating around it so that it dries completely. Failure to do so could compromise the integrity of the bamboo mat. Keep the bamboo dry during this process. If the bamboo is drying where it could get wet, store it beneath a roof where air can continue to circulate around it.

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