GreenLearner January Product Spotlight: Smith & Fong Plyboo

GreenLearner is proud to feature Smith & Fong Plyboo’s bamboo plywood and bamboo flooring as our January 2011 spotlight green product.  Starting in 2011, GreenLearner will be selecting a product monthly based on the interest of our Construction Industry Professionals.

Smith & Fong Company is the manufacturer of the beautiful and sturdy Plyboo.  Plyboo is a creative and unique name Smith & Fong coined for laminated bamboo.  It’s stronger than oak, 100% renewable, and pleasing to the eye.  This company is no stranger when it comes to sustainable practices.  They harvest their bamboo by hand from managed forests in China to minimize the impact on the local environment.  Michelle Dong with Plyboo further explains, “We don’t buy bamboo off the open-market. We have a direct relationship with the forest and the farmers that harvest them. This helps us ensure sustainable practices such as cutting only mature bamboo stalks, and never too heavily in a single area, to keep the forest canopy as intact as possible and to prevent putting stress on the root structure of the forest.  Our bamboo is cut by hand rather than heavy machinery to minimize environmental impact, and for the same reason, our forests do not use irrigation, pesticides, or fertilizers.”  Once imported from China, their products can be used in a variety of design applications from retail, commercial, and residential projects.

Plyboo is available in many surfaces including: Flat Grain, Edge Grain, Strand, and Neopolitan.  Flat Grain offers the natural aesthetic of bamboo, while Edge Grain provides a more contemporary feel.  Both options are available in plywood, flooring, and veneer and can be specified as PlybooPure—a formaldehyde-free FSC certified bamboo.  Architects can achieve points through LEED standards’ IEQ Credit 4.4 (No Added Urea Formaldehyde) by using PlybooPure.

Plyboo's Amber Edge Grain was perforated and used to panel the interior of Syracuse University's Slocum Hall School of Architecture

Smith & Fong’s list of exceptional surfaces continues with PlybooStrand.  It has a hardness rating of 3,000 psi, making it the hardest bamboo flooring on the market today and an excellent fit for commercial use.  It’s a surface well sought after by Architects for its durability and no-nonsense strength.  Just recently, Smith & Fong obtained FSC certification on all their Strand products.  FSC certification is a highly respected label indicating the products used were responsibly harvested from verified sources.

Their Neopolitan option is a classy and rich alternative to traditional bamboo with its variation of dark and light striations lined throughout each panel.  It gives any residential or commercial space a modern and superior feel.  Also noteworthy, is their unmistakable PlybooSquared product. This surface provides a fresh take on typical bamboo finishes.  They turn traditional strip patterns on their end to create an artful appearance that will surely leave anyone in its presence inspired.

Thrive Design Studio renovated a Minnesota kitchen using PlybooStrand Neopolitan

Smith & Fong began their business in 1989.  They are the first manufacturer and importer of bamboo plywood flooring in North America.

You can nominate your favorite sustainable product to be featured for our next monthly spotlight by contacting

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One Response to GreenLearner January Product Spotlight: Smith & Fong Plyboo

  1. Ryan says:

    Plyboo is a very unique and interesting product. It is great to know they are taking steps to protect the environment. We should all support companies that really put an effort into making a differnece. Fantastic review!

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