What type of wood is best for a hardwood floor?
Well, that’s kind of a big question. Some woods are harder than others, making them more resistant to damage from pets or accidents. But then there’s the appearance of the wood to consider, as you want it to go with your overall decor. Then there’s cost, and man, can some hardwood floors be expensive.
Here’s one option that many people don’t think about: bamboo flooring.
Lately, bamboo has gained popularity as a resource, leading some to believe it’s an ecological superhero. However, it’s not just eco-friendly — it’s also a fantastic material for your new wood floors.
Sound interesting? We know it does. That’s why we want to give you a guide on bamboo flooring, how it’s created, and why it could be the best thing to happen to your home’s floors.
Ready? Let’s jump in.
What’s the Low-Down on Bamboo Flooring?
Bamboo flooring is considered eco-friendly because bamboo grows back so quickly.
While a large tree might take 100 years to harden to the point of harvesting, bamboo grows back after it’s harvested in a short five to six years.
This makes it super sustainable and great for use in building.
First, the bamboo is harvested when it’s around six years old. All the parts of the grass are put to use, so there’s no real waste. Unlike regular trees, the bamboo “stump” will stay in the ground and regrow eventually.
After it’s harvested, the bamboo undergoes a purification process that involves boiling. It can also be steamed, making the bamboo blanks (or boards) look darker.
Then, the strips of bamboo are dried, pressed, and glued together to create the blanks. These blanks can be finished to color the wood either lighter or darker. They can also be left as the natural color of bamboo.
There are two primary styles for creating bamboo blanks: vertical and horizontal.
Vertical blanks use a few offset layers of side-by-side bamboo strands to create a natural look. With this construction, you can see the knots in the wood.
Horizontal blanks, however, uses one layer of strips, and the cut edges face up. This results in a more “perfect” look with few imperfections.
Sometimes, exotic-looking bamboo flooring is created using what’s called “strand-woven” bamboo. Instead of being glued, the bamboo is pressed tightly under high pressure until it stays in shape.
This makes the flooring look a little less uniform than being glued together, but the flooring actually ends up more durable. Plus, the exotic look can be a plus to some buyers.
Now that we know how it’s made, you might be wondering what’s so great about bamboo flooring.
1. High-quality bamboo is durable
If you’re worried about bamboo flooring being less durable than hardwood, then think again: bamboo blanks are both sturdy and, in some cases, even stronger than red oak. And that’s only regular constructions — strand-woven bamboo is even stronger.
With proper care, bamboo flooring can last a lifetime.
One word of caution — it’s important to research bamboo sellers. As with any product, there may be false claims about the quality of bamboo. If you do your research and purchase high-quality bamboo flooring, you should have no issues.
2. Nearly infinite styles
The interesting thing about bamboo flooring is that it can be treated with dyes or heat to create a variety of different profiles.
With many kinds of wood, you’re stuck with how that wood looks. With bamboo, though, you can really customize your flooring to match your home’s style. Perhaps you want a darker, more exotic looking wood, or a light, modern floor. Both of those are equally possible with bamboo.
Just make sure to research the colors of bamboo and what they mean. Some heat-treated bamboo can be somewhat softer, although it shouldn’t spell doom for your flooring.
Strand-woven bamboo, while a unique texture, can also bring a great degree of style to a home.
Like we mentioned before, bamboo flooring stands out as an environmentally friendly wood floor. Remember, bamboo is an ultra-sustainable source of wood. If you’re seeking to renovate your home in a world-conscious way, bamboo is a great choice.
4. Interesting style
Bamboo flooring has a distinct look from many hardwood floors. This can be a talking point and it can even bring entire rooms together with a stylish aesthetic. Bamboo can be stained and darkened/lightened to any degree you want. This gives you stylistic freedom and a unique flooring to your home.
Unlike many hardwoods, bamboo flooring is fairly inexpensive, making it not only environmentally friendly but a great budget option for homeowners. Plus, the finish can even be sanded and refinished as a DIY project.
While it can be tough, you can even do your own bamboo flooring. Bamboo blanks can be made in a “floating” style, with interlocking grooves that fit together to create a strong grid. This style of flooring can be assembled by homeowners and can be a satisfying (if challenging) process that saves money.
6. Ease of ownership
Bamboo flooring is relatively easy to clean and maintain. All you need to do is sweep it, clean up any spills, and protect the floor from dents from pets and furniture.
Bamboo flooring usually has a guarantee of 25 years, though the flooring can last for much longer if it’s maintained.
Bamboo flooring gives homeowners the option to use what is called “engineered” flooring. This means the top layer of the floor is bamboo, with the bottom layers created from other woods. While not as environmentally-friendly as pure bamboo, it can serve to strengthen the floor and keep it looking great for years to come.
Regardless of whether you want to be environmentally friendly, save some money while redoing your floors, or create a stunning room with a unique look, bamboo flooring is a great choice.
In need of bamboo flooring? Get a quote of a licensed local flooring specialist now!