bamboo flooring pros and cons

Bamboo has long been a popular flooring option in Asia, where it grows abundantly, but Americans are beginning to appreciate the benefits, too. The material is growing in popularity as homeowners, decorators and contractors recognize the environmental benefits, beauty, affordability and more.

1. Sustainability

Bamboo is actually a grass, not wood. It grows quickly and abundantly, making it an eco-friendly product. Bamboo is ready to be harvested in just four to five years, while it can take 100 years or more for an oak tree to mature long enough to produce hardwood floors. Bring the richness of wood floors to your home without worrying about negative impacts on forests and the environment as a whole.

2. Durability

High-quality bamboo floors are extremely strong and durable. Despite the fact that bamboo is a grass, the material is very similar in strength to the most common hardwoods. It is well-suited for high-traffic areas and homes with children and/or pets. High-quality bamboo flooring is also very moisture and scratch resistant – more so than hardwoods.
However, keep in mind that not all bamboo flooring is created alike. For maximum durability, look for a bamboo that was harvested after at least four years of maturity, not two or three. And look for bamboo with a hardness rating of at least 1400 pounds per square inch (psi) on the well-respected Janka scale.

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3. Appearance

Bamboo floors are beautiful. They have a warmth, richness and character similar to hardwood floors, yet the look is distinctive. Bamboo floors tend to have a tighter grain pattern than hardwood with darker bands running through the floor, making them a great choice for anyone trying to avoid a cookie-cutter look.

With bamboo, you can decide how distinctive to go. There are three different types of bamboo flooring, each with varying looks. Horizontal bamboo flooring uses wider sections of bamboo to show off the material’s unique patterns, while vertical and strand-woven bamboo flooring have an appearance that is closer to hardwood.

4. Affordability

Bamboo flooring offers a look that is similar to hardwood in beauty and quality with a much lower price tag. Good quality bamboo costs about $4 to $7 per square foot, compared to an average price of around $10 per square foot for hardwood floors. In fact, bamboo is similar to the price of laminate, except that you’re getting a natural material.

5. Ease of Maintenance

Bamboo floors are easy to clean and maintain – simply sweep them on a regular basis. Clean any spills promptly using a soft cloth, making sure the area is completely dry. Difficult stains or scuff marks can be removed with a wood floor cleaner.

As with hardwoods, experts recommend removing your shoes and placing rugs in high-traffic area to get the longest life possible out of your bamboo floors.
Properly maintained, bamboo floors can last generations.

Author: Ashley Smith

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