Bamboo Flooring was first introduced a couple of decades ago, but recently it is becoming a popular flooring choice. Every day more homeowners consider Bamboo Flooring for their projects. The reason can be the similarities of Bamboo Flooring with Hardwood. Although it is made of a plant, it has the physical qualities of a tree when it’s used as the flooring.
In a nutshell, Bamboo Flooring is made of natural grass, originated in China, called Bamboo. The fast growth rate of Bamboo makes Bamboo Flooring one of the most eco-friendly options. The harvest time of Bamboo is only six years (compare it to the growth rate of trees!).
How Bamboo Flooring Is Made?
Like any other flooring materials, Bamboo Flooring also comes in various types, each of which with a different manufacturing process. The most common manufacturing process is to cut the bamboo into strips. Then the outer skin and nodes are removed. The next step is to remove the sugar and starch of the bamboo, which is achieved by boiling the strips in Boric Acid. The next stage is drying and laying Bamboo strips. The way Bamboo strips are laid defines the texture of the final product. Horizontal and Vertical Bamboo Floors are made of strips. To produce Strand Woven Bamboo Floors, strips are shredded to small strands. The color of Bamboo Flooring is a variant. Sliced or shredded Bamboo stick together with the help of compressing and glue, and that is how the final flooring boards are shaped. The natural color is similar to beech wood. With carbonization, darker colors of Bamboo Flooring can be achieved.
Types of Bamboo Flooring
Knowing the types and features of Bamboo Flooring, helps you to choose the right style for your project. There are 6 main types of Bamboo Flooring.
Solid Bamboo with Tongue and Groove joints
This type of flooring can be nailed or glued down. It is solid bamboo wood all the way through. Therefore, it is more durable and harder than many types of wood. This flooring is a perfect combination of durability, hardness, beauty, and eco-friendliness. Above all, because of the base material, which is bamboo, of course, it is more affordable compared to many other options available in the market. It can be used in kitchens and it can hold up against children and pets.
Solid Bamboo with Click-Lock joints
If you prefer a floating installation, this is your choice. It is available for many surface styles, and it is solidly made of wood, which makes it hard and durable. It is easier and faster in terms of installation. This type is only suitable for interiors, and the humidity and temperature must be considered to limit the expansion of joints. In other words, this type of flooring is not recommended in interiors with humidity changes throughout the year. If that is your case, we recommend Engineered Floating Bamboo Flooring.
Engineered Floating Bamboo with Click-Lock joints
As mentioned before, this type of Bamboo Flooring has more dimensional stability in temperature and humidity variation. You can either use the floating system or glue it down to the subfloor. It is suitable for basements. Engineered Floating Floor is tough, compared to hardwood options. Engineered Bamboo Flooring with at least a 2mm wear layer (recommended) will result in a product that feels exactly like hardwood when you walk on it.
Engineered Bamboo with Click-Lock joints
A strand of Bamboo wear on top of this flooring is 3 times harder than hardwood flooring. It can have a waterproof layer that makes it the perfect choice for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas that water spillage is expected. The high-density core, adds to the hardness of flooring. It can easily last for a decade in a residential setting, without the need for refinishing or change due to the strength and toughness of strand woven bamboo.
Engineered strand Bamboo with Tongue and Groove
As mentioned in other types of Bamboo Flooring, the hardness of this type is also remarkable. However, Engineered Strand Bamboo Flooring has higher dimensional stability. It is one of the best options for a floating floor, but it can also be glued or nailed to the subfloor.
Classic Bamboo Flooring with Tongue and Groove
Classic Bamboo Flooring comes in vertical or horizontal types. Vertical is when the bamboo strips are laid on the edge, and horizontal is when bamboo strips are laid flat. This flooring must be glued or nailed to the subfloor. It is softer than strand woven bamboo flooring, but there are no or little joints expansions. These are more modern looking than other options, but as said before, because of the softer nature of it, is not recommended in high traffic areas.
Bamboo Flooring Durability
The durability of Bamboo Flooring highly relies on the quality of wear. High quality of wear results in a product that lasts as long as traditional Hardwood Flooring. You can compare the durability of un-carbonized Bamboo Flooring with red oak Hardwood Flooring, and strand woven Bamboo Flooring is even harder and more durable.
Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring
We talked about the pros and cons of Bamboo Flooring types and introduced different types of it. Now, let’s summarize its advantages and disadvantages:
Pros of Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo is widely available in the market. It is easy to produce and is made of a renewable material. Above all, it is an available eco-friendly choice for your interior.
Stylish and Versatile
For those who prefer a modern interior, Bamboo Flooring has a contemporary and stylish look, that goes with a variety of interior designs and styles. The color and texture variations of Bamboo Flooring is considerable. Regardless of your interior décor, you can always find the perfect shade of Bamboo Flooring for your interior.
Putting new floors can be costly, especially if you are deciding to change the flooring of several rooms all at once. Compared to Hardwood Flooring, Bamboo Flooring is much more affordable, thanks to its eco-friendly and renewable material.
We already mentioned this feature a couple of times in this article. The main ingredient of Bamboo Flooring, which is Bamboo, is easy to harvest and has a very fast growth rate compared to Hardwood. It is a green choice, for those who are concerned about the future of our planet and want to have their share in reducing the negative impact on the world.
Like many other features, the maintenance of Bamboo Flooring is easy as the Hardwood Flooring. In other words, Bamboo Flooring will make life easier for you, because they need little maintenance, besides being hard and durable enough to show little wear after years of use.
It is so unlikely that you leave a puddle on your floor for more than an hour. So, Bamboo Flooring is a great choice for you, because they are more resistant to water spillage than traditional Hardwood floors.
Studies show that Bamboo Flooring is resistant to bug infestations and does not trap allergens like carpets. This is a great choice if you have kids in the house.
With the consideration of Bamboo boards thickness, almost all of the Bamboo Floorings with more than 2mm thickness wear on top can be sanded down and refinished.
Cons of Bamboo Flooring
Prone to scratches
Bamboo Flooring can be scratched, but it highly depends on the quality of Bamboo Flooring boards. Lower qualities are more prone to scratches caused by pets, children, sharp objects, or even high pointy heels. Of course there are some ways to prevent or make it less effective on the Bamboo Flooring. But overall, you have to consider it as a con for Bamboo Flooring.
Potential water damage
As mentioned above, Bamboo shows more strength against water in comparison with Hardwood Floors. But you have to bear in mind that Bamboo Flooring is also a natural and organic material that too much water will damage its core. So you have to be more careful about the water spillage and clean it as soon as possible.
Sensitive to humidity and temperature variant
Bamboo Flooring is sensitive to humid and temperature changes. We are talking about very dramatic changes in these two factors. These changes can cause cracks on the surface of the Bamboo Floors. Cracks can easily be prevented with the right expansion joints considered during installation.
This factor also relies on the quality of the manufacturing process. If the Bamboo planks or shreds fully compress to each other and harden with glue, there is less to no softness. Another factor is the ingredient used to make Bamboo planks. The Bamboo trees suitable for flooring have a certain age and growth; Bamboo that does not meet these standards makes a lower quality flooring and will have a potential softness.