Bamboo is a great material to consider for retail POP displays. In today’s blog we will discuss some of the key benefits of bamboo and review the various types of bamboo that are available.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth and is therefore extremely eco-friendly. Some species grow more than 4 ft. in a 24-hour period. In addition, bamboo is extremely strong and durable. It has higher tensile strength than many types of steel, higher compressive strength than many mixtures of concrete, and a higher strength-to-weight ratio than graphite. We tested its strength by putting the pickup truck shown on this Standee Desk which is made of 100% bamboo.
In addition to its strength and durability, bamboo is inherently attractive as a display material. It’s also an easy material to work with and can be laser engraved, silk screened, or stained to create different looks. The yoga mat display shown below is just one example of a bamboo display that incorporates silk screening on the sides and laser engraving on the front lip and header.
So what types of bamboo are available? There are two basic engineering constructions of bamboo plywood: flat grain (or horizontal) and edge grain (or vertical). Flat grain is shown below on the left. To make this type of bamboo plywood, the bamboo is cut into ¾” strips and glued together. The easiest way to identify flat grain bamboo is by the relatively wide strips of bamboo. Edge grain bamboo is shown on the right. Edge grain plywood is constructed by cutting bamboo strips into ¼” pieces and gluing them together. Both examples below are known as 3-ply construction since they have a bottom, middle, and top layer. While bamboo panels are also available in 1-ply construction, we generally recommend using 3-ply bamboo plywood since it is the strongest construction available. The most common thicknesses of bamboo plywood are 1/4'”, ½”, and ¾”.
In addition to choosing between flat grain and edge grain, you will need to decide what color works best with your POP display. The 2 most available colors are natural (shown on the left below) and carbonized or amber shown on the right below. Both colors are generally in the same price range, but sometimes you’ll pay a slight premium for natural.
While less common, bamboo plywood is also available in “chocolate” (shown on the left below) and strand woven (shown on the right below). Strand woven can come in several variations, the most exotic of which is zebra strand. Both chocolate and strand woven tend to be a bit pricier compared to amber and natrual.
There is much more to learn about how bamboo can be used to create awesome POP displays, but these basics should be enough to get you started.