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Pros and Cons of Natural vs Carmelized

Natural vs Carmelized is a question that many people who look at Teragren ask themselves. Both have distinct aesthetic qualities, but which is better?


Carbonization is a heating process that cooks the sugars, resulting in a carmelization or darkening of the material. If that process is improper or too extreme, two things can happen; you can have a material that becomes brittle or loses its tensile strength. I’ve personally never seen a case where this caused an issue. But, from a manufacturing perspective, we strive to ensure that material is not produced that would have an adverse reaction to the homeowner.


Your alternative is to select a natural or non-carmelized version. The look is similar to maple. One word of caution though. There is not much variation within natural bamboo. It is a very clean look. Thus, it will likely show dirt and debris more than a darker version would. If you don’t mind the maintenance aspect and are looking for something light, modern or European; you’ll like it. But, recognize going inm that should you incur a dent or scratch it will be more noticeable due to its lack of visual variation.


Instead of deciding natural vs carmelized I’ve always chosen to advise folks on pros and cons rather than sell them on benefits and features. My advice to you would be to obtain some samples that you can submit to testing to ensure they can withstand normal use in your home. Second, is to understand that your decision should complement your home and lifestyle. If you have a busy lifestyle you may not be keen on high maintenance. Thus, you’ll want to seek out products that have variations in color and/or texture to keep your eyes from picking up on every speck, scratch or dent. Floors get dirty, they scratch and can dent. You can’t eliminate the risk. But, you can understand how to select something that will have long term value, minimizing that risk.