Knowledge Center

Bamboo Flooring: Pros & Cons

October 27, 2015

When choosing new flooring, one of the choices to consider is bamboo. Bamboo flooring is an alternative to hardwood that comes with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Here are some things consumers should consider when deciding between bamboo and hardwood flooring.

Environmentally Friendly

Bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly floor covering available. The fact that it is made from a plant that grows very quickly means there is no need to harvest trees in order to create it. This is good news for anyone who is concerned about the effects of deforestation or the destruction of animal habitats. In addition, most bamboo is organically grown without the use of pesticides. Be advised that chemicals are sometimes used to bond strands of bamboo together, which could result in the release of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). To avoid VOCs, homeowners should research different manufacturers to determine which ones use ecologically sound processes.

Durable

Those who require flooring that will stand up to repeated wear will appreciate the durability of bamboo. Solid bamboo flooring is rated 1762 on the Jenka Hardness Scale, a chart used to measure how much force is required to drive a steel ball into a particular material. Bamboo is ranked higher on the Jenka Hardness Scale than several species of wood, including red oak, white oak, North American walnut, and Brazilian maple.

Cost

Bamboo is comparable in price with most hardwood floors, making it very economical for most homeowners. As with hardwood, the price can vary considerably based upon a number of factors. Generally speaking, inexpensive bamboo is often of very low quality, and may therefore be less durable. Homeowners are advised to purchase the best quality bamboo they can reasonably afford in order to get the most bang for their buck.

Susceptible to Damage

Even though it is somewhat harder than wood is, bamboo is nonetheless more susceptible to dents, dings, and scratches. As such, individuals must be very careful not to expose their floors to excessive wear and tear. This means they should avoid dragging furniture over their floors or walking on the surface in high-heeled shoes. Their pets’ toenails should be neatly trimmed at all times to keep the floor looking like new as long as possible.

Possibility of Humidity Damage

Bamboo planks are more likely to expand and contract when exposed to high humidity than wooden ones are. They may sometimes buckle or bow due to high humidity as well. For this reason, they are not suitable for areas such as bathrooms or basements that contain a great deal of moisture in the air. Before installing them in a kitchen, homeowners should ensure they have adequate ventilation above their stove; otherwise, a dehumidifier could be needed to prevent damage.

These are just a few of the advantages and disadvantages of bamboo flooring. Those who are considering this type of flooring should weigh the pros and cons of it very carefully in order to determine if it is the right choice for their home.