Engineered Hardwood vs Bamboo Flooring – a Comparison

Here we provide a complete comparison between Engineered Hardwood and Bamboo flooring.

Are you a property owner who is considering purchasing new or replacement flooring, but you aren’t sure whether to choose between engineered hardwood and bamboo? If this is the case, the information below will help you make the most informed choice possible. Aspects such as durability, purchase and installation cost, sustainability, lifespan, pet-friendly ratings and much more will be compared here.

Overall Durability

When shopping around for either engineered hardwood or bamboo flooring, one of the first aspects that property owners look at is general durability.

Although all forms of engineered hardwood flooring are quite durable, some wood species will last longer than others on your floor. However, it’s essential to remember that the uppermost or top layer will always be made from real wood. This means that it can suffer from the same forms of damage as solid wood flooring such as dents, deep scratches and general wear and tear. As a result, it’s recommended that you choose harder wood varieties when purchasing this type of flooring.

Owing to the fact that engineered hardwood flooring is a lot more resistant to moisture than many other types of floor covering, it make it ideal for use in basements. It will usually not warp like solid wood when exposed to moisture. Engineered hardwood can usually also be refinished if it starts to look shabby.

Although bamboo flooring is also more moisture resistant than regular hardwood flooring, it is still somewhat at risk of suffering damage from time to time. Items such as furniture legs, kids’ toys, heavy foot traffic and even long pet claws may cause indentations to develop over time. One of the main disadvantages of bamboo flooring is that it cannot be refinished if it starts to look unsightly.

Color Options

A distinct advantage of both engineered hardwood and bamboo flooring is that both of these materials are available in a range of different color options. This means that you will be able to find just the right color and style of flooring to suit virtually every room inside your home – regardless of whether you prefer darker or lighter floor covering.

Installation and Approximate Costs Thereof

Although many types of flooring can be installed in a DIY capacity, this is not normally a good idea if you have not attempted a task like this before.

If a flooring specialist has the correct tools and knowledge, installing engineered hardwood or bamboo flooring will be quite a simple process. In most cases, both of these types of flooring will be supplied in a tongue and groove design. While this enables each plank to easily click into place, cutting and shaping may still be required around edges, closets and kitchen cabinets – this is where expert knowledge and experience is priceless.

When having engineered hardwood flooring installed, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 and $10 per square foot, and with bamboo flooring, the cost can average between $4 and $6 per square foot. These are only the labor costs. However, these prices are general guidelines and can vary depending on the finish or color you choose, and the part of the country you are in.

Thinner types of engineered hardwood flooring can range between $3 to $5 per square foot, while thicker varieties can cost around $8 and $15 per square foot. Average pricing of bamboo flooring can be anywhere between $5 and $8 per square foot.

In some cases, it may be possible to find discount coupons for flooring. This could enable you to cut the cost of your latest flooring project substantially. However, this may restrict you to choosing specific designs or colors. Other terms and conditions may also apply when using any form of coupon or discount code.

Lifespan

When trying to decide on the type of flooring to install, most property owners want to ensure that they will be getting the best value for money possible. This means that they will want flooring that will last as long as possible, while still being relatively affordable.

If you are willing to spend a little extra cash by choosing one of the engineered hardwood flooring options that has a thicker top layer, you can expect it to last anywhere from 40 to more than 100 years, provided that it is correctly cared for. While your initial outlay cost may be higher for this, it will certainly be an extremely cost effective option over time. This flooring can also be refinished if the top layer becomes worn or scuffed.

Although bamboo flooring is also quite durable, it’s lifespan cannot even come close to matching that of engineered hardwood. It can last for between 20 and 50 years, it cannot be refinished in the event of any type of damage occurring. As a result, it may cost you a little more in the long term to install bamboo flooring.

Cleaning and General Maintenance

When trying to decide between engineered hardwood and bamboo flooring for their homes, property owners also want to take aspects like cleaning and maintenance requirements into account.

With regards to cleaning, care and general long-term maintenance, engineered hardwood and bamboo flooring both have similar requirements – there are a few exceptions though.

Engineered hardwood and bamboo flooring can both be cleaned daily by sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming. In cases where heavier soiling has been experienced, damp mopping can be done. However, when damp mopping or using a floor cleaning product that is specifically designed for engineered hardwood or bamboo, it is crucial to ensure that the floor is dried immediately afterwards. Never leave any moisture on these types of flooring for any longer than absolutely necessary.

While many types of engineered hardwood flooring can be waxed occasionally, this is not the case with regards to bamboo floor covering. No waxes or wax-based cleaning products should ever be used on bamboo flooring because it will result in a buildup of wax occurring over time that will need to be stripped – which will ultimately cause damage.

Sustainability of these Materials

Another aspect that more and more property owners are taking into consideration with regards to their choice of flooring is overall sustainability. In other words, how is it made? Are raw materials harvested in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner or not?

Where engineered hardwood flooring is concerned, it is important to keep in mind that not all of it can be classified as being sustainable. This is because some of the trees being used are not harvested from trees that are in appropriately controlled and managed environments. This means that it will have very little to virtually no impact on the environment surrounding the immediate area.

If you are intent on purchasing sustainable engineered hardwood flooring, you will need to inquire with the store or outlet concerned regarding whether they have any of these options available or not.

Bamboo flooring, on the other hand, is one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly options currently available. It is classified as a form of grass because it has the ability to grow a lot faster than any type of tree. As a result, it is able to fully regenerate itself within a few years at the most – depending on the type of bamboo being used.

Choosing the Best Flooring

After reading about the pros and cons of engineered hardwood and bamboo flooring, you may be feeling overwhelmed at having to make a choice between them. However, this need not be the case.

Put simply, if you want to install flooring ‘once and for all’ in your home, then engineered hardwood will definitely be a far better option than bamboo. However, if you think that you might want to change floor coverings at any point in the future, bamboo would more than likely be the better option for you.

Pricing is not everything

A serious mistake that many property owners make when they are shopping around for either bamboo or engineered hardwood flooring is to try and find the absolute cheapest prices possible. While this move may save you money immediately, you will most likely find yourself having to replace the flooring sooner than you initially planned.

When choosing the cheapest flooring you can find, you will often end up having to compromise on quality and even specific color or style choices. This means that you may not be completely satisfied with your choice once installation has been completed – which could result in you ripping up your new flooring and purchasing something more suited to your taste anyway.

Before making your final choice with new flooring, it is a good idea to sit down and work out a realistic budget – one that will enable you to still obtain good quality flooring, but at a price that you can afford. If you are keen to shop towards the beginning or end of the year, you may be fortunate enough to obtain end of range flooring or discontinued colors for a fraction of the price of newer options that have been made available.

If you choose to purchase end of range flooring or that which has been discontinued, you will need to ensure that there is not only a sufficient amount to cover your existing floor; it will also be necessary to have a little extra on hand in the event of damage occurring. After all, you wouldn’t want to have to use a different style or color in the middle of your existing floor if a single section gets damaged.

Deciding when to Replace Flooring

If you have existing engineered hardwood or bamboo flooring, you may be wondering how to determine when the time has come to replace it.

If any section of your flooring has warped, buckled, shrunk, stained or started becoming soft on the top layer, it is time to replace it – no exceptions. If the flooring starts becoming a bit bouncier than usual, chances are that it may need to be replaced as well.

While most forms of engineered hardwood flooring can normally be refinished, this is not the case with bamboo. When bamboo flooring starts showing any sign of damage, it will not be possible to repair it in any way. This is one reason why it is possible for engineered hardwood to last a lot longer as well, especially if you have purchased one the thicker and harder wood varieties.

If your home has experienced extremely heavy foot traffic or you have large pets living indoors, chances are that your flooring could start looking worse for wear after a few years as well. Replacing the flooring will not only make your home look aesthetically attractive inside once again; if you have intentions of selling your home in the near future, new flooring will boost the value of your property substantially.

Choose a Reputable Company

One of the best ways to ensure that you get the best value for money possible with new flooring is to choose a reputable company that uses experienced installers. Searching online for reviews before making your final choice will help prevent you from getting stuck with a fly by night company that is nowhere to be found when issues arise with your new flooring.

Another way to find the right company is to ask friends, family, and coworkers who have recently had new flooring installed. Most people will be more than happy to share positive and negative experiences with you, which will enable you to make the right choice afterward.

If a specific company has more negative than positive reviews or there don’t seem to be any online reviews available, it will be a good idea to find an alternative.

Always ensure that you obtain warranty information in writing, as this will protect you in the event of a damage claim needing to be filed. If a salesperson or company is not willing to provide any type of warranty or they provide noncommittal answers in this regard, it will also be best to take your business to another company instead.

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