Bamboo Flooring Pros and Cons

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Planning on purchasing bamboo floors? We compiled a list of some of the key considerations
you should take into account prior to making a decision, by creating a bamboo floor comparison chart
that reviews other bamboo flooring alternatives. Simultaneously, the following comparison chart would allow you as well to better understand various bamboo flooring pros and cons.

However, since different characteristics of different flooring types cannot be conveyed by words
or images alone, we have also partnered with leading online flooring wholesalers, and invite you to
choose up to 5 Free Flooring Samples of any type, including bamboo flooring samples.
All samples ship free, and would arrive within 1-2 business days right to your door.

Obtaining free samples would allow you to really hold down the materials and test their quality and other attributes (e.g., durability, scratch-resistance, feeling of the texture, dimensions, color matching, etc.)
right from the comfort of your own home. To choose and receive your free samples, simply scroll down to the bottom of the following comparison chart and click on the button in the relevant column.

In addition, you can click here to get a free installation cost estimate for your project.

Bamboo Flooring Pros and Cons vs. Hardwood vs. Laminate

Comparison Chart: Bamboo Flooring vs. Hardwood Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring:

  Bamboo Flooring Solid Hardwood Flooring Laminate Flooring
What is it made of Bamboo is technically a grass, that is most common around Asia. Typical bamboo floors are made from narrow bamboo strips that were glued together; Strand woven bamboo floors are made from long bamboo strands that were hardened together. Real wood that was chopped and shaped into a plank figure, that comprises tongue and groove edges. Most hardwood floors are offered pre-finished (already containing a protective coating), while unfinished hardwood floors would require on-site finish. several layers of material merged together: a high-dense fiberboard core layer, a moisture resistant layer on top, that was digitally rendered to simulate the look of natural wood, and coated with a protective layer.
Durability Bamboo is a resilient material, and therefore bamboo floors are usually more durable than hardwood. Similar to hardwood, the hardness of different bamboo types is rated according to the Janka scale, which rates regular bamboo as harder than maple and oak, among others. Strand woven bamboo is rated twice as hard than carbonized bamboo, and is also rated harder than Brazilian cherry. The life-span of hardwood floors would often be affected by their proper maintenance; In General, each hardwood specie has a certain hardness degree that reflects how durable it is, as rated by the Janka hardness scale; the higher the score, the better the durability (e.g, Brazilian cherry, that is rated 2345 on the scale, is harder than white oak, which is rated 1360). The durability is indicated by the specific product AC Rating (the designated scale for laminate floors durability, which ranges between 1-5). The higher the rating, the more durable the floors would be. Laminate flooring can be more durable than both hardwood and bamboo flooring, as it is a completely synthetic product.
Climatic Suitability Since bamboo originates in tropical areas, it has a higher climatic suitability than solid wood floors. Bamboo floors suit humid and arid climate conditions, as they will not swell and contract as much as opposed to solid wood flooring. More restrictive; suits areas with temperatures of about 60-70 Fahrenheit; unsuitable for below grade installations (such as basements). It is advised to install laminate floors in areas with a climate control.
Areas commonly used Bamboo flooring is suitable for area with high traffic, and is a common choice at living and dining rooms, kitchens, offices and laundry rooms. Bamboo does not suit areas highly exposed to moisture such as bathrooms. Hardwood floors suit most rooms, yet compared to bamboo, solid hardwood is more prone to moisture, and therefore should not be installed at locations below grade (such as cellars and basements). Can be installed at various locations, yet similar to bamboo, laminate floors do not suit wet locations such as bathrooms.
Environment friendly Considered eco-friendly in the sense that bamboo is classified as a grass, and growing more rapidly, as opposed to trees. Considered somewhat less eco-friendly in the sense that solid wood floors require cutting down trees. Eco-friendly in the sense that its manufacturing process hardly exploits natural resources; However, for the same reason, the waste of laminated floors is less recyclable than bamboo and wooden floors.
Warmth and Feel Compared to hardwood and laminate floors, standing on bamboo flooring would feel somewhat more comfortable and reduce body strain. Sturdy feel; At winter time can feel pretty cold underfoot (radiant heating cannot be installed under solid hardwood). Feels and sounds somewhat artificial when compared to bamboo or hardwood floors.
Ease of DIY Installation Depends on the installation method; a floated installation (when available) would be much easier than nail-down or glue-down installation. Solid hardwood flooring should usually be installed either nailed down or glued, and thus, a certain degree of expertise is required. Easy installation as most laminate floors can be installed with a floating click to lock method, that does not require significant previous experience.
Thickness 6mm-15mm Usually 18mm (= 3/4″) 6mm – 15mm
Cost (material prices) $1.50 - $6.00/sq ft $2.00 - $8.00 /sq ft $0.50 - $2.00 /sq ft
Total Cost (with Installaion) Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate
Dimensions Length: typically ranges 45″-78″; Width: 3″-5″. Length: typically ranges 12″-84″; Width: 2.25″-6″. Length: typically ranges 47″-49″; Width: 5″-7″.
Ease of Cleaning Use a damp mop; Sweep dust and dirt frequently as they can cause scratches over time; Clean spills immediately and use only cleaning products as approved by the manufacturer. Similar to bamboo floors; be extra cautious with ongoing exposure to moisture. Quite similar to bamboo floors; Use acetone for the removal of stubborn stains.
Colors and pattern variety Various colors and different styles, from white and grey shades to dark black bamboo shades. Various traditional wood colors and patterns. Wide range of styles and patterns.
Fading due to UV exposure Yes. Yes. No.
Care and Maintenance As with most wood floors, it is advised to place protective pads under heavy furniture, and use area rugs in rooms with heavy traffic; bamboo floors can be occasionally refinished. General care similar bamboo flooring: avoid contact sharp objects such as high heels to prevent denting; Hardwood floors can be refinished efficiently, and it is advised to do so about every 5 years to prevent long term wear. General care quite similar to bamboo; It is impossible to refinish laminate floors, and damaged planks can only be replaced.
Can it be installed over radiant heat Some bamboo types such as engineered bamboo would support underfloor heating; check for the specific product info. Not advisable; the exposure to different moisture degrees would cause the boards to contract. Generally yes.
Pattern repetition Natural and unique pattern, since bamboo is a natural product. Unique wood pattern; Rustic types of wood will possess more mineral knots and streaks. A printed pattern of laminate floors usually repeats about every 10 boards.
Scratch and dent resistance Good resistance, though bamboo is not impervious to scratches, as with any other wooden floor; Would last beautifully when maintained properly; Generally can be sanded numerous times; scratches would always be less visible with distressed (hand-scraped) bamboo flooring. No matter how hard it is, wood floors can always get scratched; however, they can be sanded effectively multiple times. Very good scratch resistance, usually better than bamboo and real wood; the specific AC hardness score would affect the resistance. Cannot be sanded.
Installation surface restrictions Can be installed directly over concrete, as well as over different surfaces such as OSB, wood and existing vinyl floors. Lay thinner planks over a moisture barrier; Thicker planks may usually be laid right over concrete. Can be laid over most surfaces as long as they are hard and flat (tile, linoleum, wood; not over carpet); an underlayment should be used if installed directly over concrete.
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Please note: The above data is provided for general information purposes only. Even though the best efforts were made to ensure its accuracy, such general information can never take into account differences between different products from different manufacturers, nor your unique personal circumstances and needs. It is therefore always recommended to seek advice from a qualified professional and carefully follow the relevant manufacturer's instructions.
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