Here we provide a complete comparison between Hardwood and Bamboo floors.
If you are a property owner, chances are that you will be faced with having to have replacement flooring installed at some point. Although there is a fantastic variety of flooring on the market these days, many people are keen to find out what the differences are between hardwood and bamboo flooring and whether there are any advantages or disadvantages associated with them. The information below will provide answers to these questions.
When trying to decide which flooring to install, one of the main aspects that property owners take into consideration is durability. After all, who does not want to get the best value for money possible? (Especially when a more expensive purchase like flooring is concerned).
Regular hardwood flooring is considered to be quite durable. When cared for according to manufacturer and installer’s instructions, this type of flooring has the ability to last for many years. In fact, some varieties of hardwood flooring have been known to last for more than 100 years if they are correctly cared for.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the durability of a hardwood floor will also depend on the type of wood you would like to have installed. For example, wood varieties such as Brazilian cherry, ebony and Brazilian walnut are among the harder varieties of wood – rendering them ideal for use in the flooring industry. Woods such as sycamore, white pine and chestnut can be used for flooring, but they are considerably softer. This means that they will be more susceptible to damage over time.
If you have kids or pets that live indoors, you may want to consider the harder wood varieties, as these will last a lot longer and be far less prone to damage as they age.
Bamboo flooring is also considered as being quite a durable option. Although it is often a fair bit harder than most types of solid wood, it often cannot be refinished if serious damage occurs. Provided that bamboo flooring is correctly cared for, it can also last a property owner for many years. Some types of bamboo flooring can last for anywhere between 25 and 50 years if they are properly maintained.
With regards to bamboo flooring, some darker varieties may not always be too durable. This is due to a carbonization process that is used to darken the material. However, when the bamboo is darkened, it will unfortunately weaken it, meaning that dark colored bamboo flooring will be at a far higher risk of experiencing damage than the lighter varieties.
Resistance to Water and Moisture
Another important factor to take into consideration before having any flooring installed in a home is whether or not it is resistant to water. General liquid spills and pet-related accidents will occur from time to time, and it is important to know whether a specific type of flooring will be able to withstand water-related cleaning without warping.
One of the main disadvantages of solid hardwood flooring is the fact that it is not water resistant. If any spills or pet soiling is not cleaned up immediately, this type of flooring will be at high risk of staining and/or warping. While refinishing may be able to be performed in some cases, more serious exposure to moisture can result in a wooden floor requiring complete replacement.
Wet mopping should never be performed on wooden flooring, as it can cause it become susceptible to mold and mildew development.
Bamboo flooring on the other hand is somewhat more resistant to water than solid wood. However, keep in mind that this does not means that spills can be left unattended indefinitely on these floors. As with wooden flooring, wet mops cannot be used to clean them because of the possibility of permanent water-related damage occurring.
Although neither of these types of flooring is completely waterproof, bamboo does have a distinct advantage because of its anti-microbial properties and its ability to repel water for longer than solid wood.
General Care and Maintenance
One of the best ways to keep hardwood and bamboo floors looking clean and attractive is to ensure that a regular care and maintenance routine is followed – one which is specific to the type of flooring you have chosen to install in your home.
Standard everyday cleaning of hardwood and bamboo flooring can be undertaken by using a broom, dry dust mop, microfiber mop or even a vacuum cleaner. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is essential to use a vacuum cleaner that has been specially designed for use on hardwood or bamboo flooring. Failure to do so will result in the flooring getting scraped and scratched unnecessarily over time.
In cases where a deeper clean is required due to heavy soiling, a dedicated hardwood or bamboo flooring cleaning product can be used. However, this must be worked on to the flooring in small sections to prevent it from remaining damp for any longer than absolutely necessary.
Neither of these types of flooring should be allowed to get wet at all. While wax and wax-based cleaners can be used on some types of hardwood flooring, they should never be used on bamboo flooring.
In cases where the upper layer on hardwood flooring has started to look shabby, it is possible to have the top layer sanded off and refinished with fresh coats of varnish or wood treatment. This can enable you to enjoy the look of this type of flooring for many years to come.
Installing Hardwood and Bamboo Flooring
Although it is possible to install hardwood or bamboo flooring in a DIY capacity, this route is not normally recommended. Instead, it is best to rather spend a little extra and ensure that your new flooring is going to be installed by an experienced professional. This will enable you to get as much use as possible from it for many years.
An installer will usually nail hardwood flooring on to support beams underneath it. To ensure that the process is carried out correctly, all wood being used will need to be carefully measured and cut – which takes a fair amount of time.
Bamboo flooring on the other hand can be installed in a few different ways, such as nailing or gluing it down or having it installed as a floating floor option. In most cases, the floating floor option will be the easiest and most affordable solution because these planks will just need to be clipped together and then trimmed to size around edges. In most cases, no nails or glue will even be required when installing bamboo flooring if it is going to be the floating floor option.
With regards to ease of installation, bamboo flooring usually wins this battle hands down because of the various options that are available in this regard.
Color and Style Selections
Not all property owners are aware of the fact that both hardwood and bamboo flooring can be purchased in a wide variety of color and style options these days.
The color of hardwood flooring will depend on the type of wood you choose to have installed. For example, hickory or maple will be a completely different color to pine or ebony. As a result, it is strongly recommended that you spend some time shopping around before making a final choice in this regard.
Although there were only a few different color options for bamboo flooring when it was first introduced to the consumer market, this is no longer the case. These days, this flooring is also available in an extensive range of style and color varieties, including natural, gray and even cherry shades. Just a tip – when shopping for bamboo flooring, it may be best to avoid the darker varieties, as the process used to turn the bamboo darker has sometimes been known to weaken it somewhat. This means that it may not last for as long as some of the lighter color varieties.
Average Pricing of Hardwood and Bamboo Flooring
Another highly important aspect that most property owners will take into consideration when they are shopping for new flooring is the final cost. While some homeowners want to try and get their flooring at the cheapest possible price, others will be more than willing to spend a little extra to obtain a good quality product at a fair price.
The cost of hardwood flooring will depend on the species of wood that has been chosen, the amount of flooring required, the size of floor that is needed and various other factors. However, average pricing for most types of hardwood flooring can range between $3 and $12 per square foot, with installation costs being around $5 to $9 per square foot.
In most cases, bamboo flooring will be somewhat cheaper than its hardwood counterparts – usually between $5 and $8 per square foot. Installation costs for this flooring can range between $4 and $7 per square foot.
Other factors that can affect pricing include where the flooring is being purchased from, how much labor will be required to install it and the part of the country you are staying in – some areas may charge more for flooring materials than others.
There may be cases where discount codes or coupons are available to help reduce the cost of your latest flooring project. Although these can be a great help when working with a tight budget, it is important to remember that many of these coupons or discount codes will have several terms and conditions attached with their use. For example, they may only be valid on a specific flooring color or style. You may not be able to use them with the latest designs or a minimum purchase amount may be required before you can take advantage of the discount. Always inquire beforehand.
Getting the Best Deal
Although it may seem like the best deal to get the lowest price flooring, this may not always be the case. In some cases, cheaper hardwood or bamboo flooring may not be as durable as some of the costlier options. Color and style choices may not be as vast either.
Before setting out to purchase your new flooring, it is a good idea to take some time to review the budget you have available for this project. Ensure that the amount being spent is realistic enough to be able to obtain a good quality product that will last you for many years – or even decades.
If you are willing to opt for older designs, colors or styles of flooring, you may be able to cut your project costs by opting for end of range options. However, you will need to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of the color or style available that you select – not only to complete your project, but also for repairs if they are needed at a later stage.
Choosing an Installer
Before having your new flooring installed, it is recommended that you research each company you would like to use beforehand. One of the best ways to do this is to search for online reviews because this will enable you to see at a glance whether a particular company will be a good choice or not.
If no company reviews seem to be available or there are several bad reviews, it will be better to search for an alternative option. After all, you wouldn’t want to pay a lot to have new flooring installed, only to have the company go under or be unreachable in the event of anything going wrong afterwards.
Another good way to find the right products, company and installer is to ask friends, family or coworkers if they have any recent recommendations. Most people who have recently had hardwood or bamboo flooring installed will be more than happy to share their experiences with you.
If you are unsure of which flooring option will be better for your home, there are many experts on hand who will be able to answer any questions you may have in this regard.
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