We have all seen bamboo in the form of poles, fishing rods and more, but today, bamboo also makes an excellent flooring product. Bamboo flooring has many of the same characteristics that hardwood floors do including look, feel and maintenance. Bamboo is a natural floor covering that has many of the properties of hardwood flooring, even though it is actually created from a form of grass.
It offers many of the positive benefits that you’ll get from a hardwood floor, but also has the same drawbacks and vulnerabilities. When you learn about the properties of this material, you will be better informed prior to making a purchasing decision.
Benefits of Bamboo Flooring
√ It offers easy maintenance - Bamboo flooring is quite easy to take care of on a regular basis. Merely sweep or vacuum it to remove small particles of dirt or other debris. You can damp mop it now and then as well.
√ It has water resistance – Bamboo is somewhat more resistant to damage from water and stains, than hardwood flooring, although this can still be of concern.
√ It is moderately priced - This material costs about the same amount as most hardwood floors. You can usually find bamboo at prices ranging from about two to eight dollars per square foot. Do your best to stay away from bargain priced bamboo materials, as they are usually poor quality cast-offs.
Drawbacks of Bamboo Flooring
- Scratching - While a bamboo floor is rather easy to take care of, it is almost impossible to keep it in perfect condition if it is used on a regular basis. There are many things that can result in noticeable scratches on a bamboo floor’s surface. These include stiletto heels, pet’s claws, and furniture legs during movement. They can all damage the bamboo’s surface. Small particles of sand or dirt carried inside on people’s shoes will also cause scratches in the bamboo over considerable time.
- Damage from water - As mentioned above, bamboo flooring is somewhat more resistant to water damage than the average hardwood floor. Nevertheless, it is still a natural substance comprised of organic elements. Therefore, too much moisture will cause it to warp and can also allow mold or fungus to grow.
- A humid environment - If the bamboo flooring is installed in a high humidity area, the moisture in the air can cause the floor planks to become plump. Conversely, in a very dry environment, the planks may shrink. Cracks in the bamboo result in either case.
- Lacking hardness - Natural un-carbonized and strand woven bamboo flooring is relatively strong and durable, any planks of bamboo that are darker in color are almost always softer too. That’s because the carbonization process manufacturers use to color the bamboo also weakens its structure.
Talk to your local flooring retailer to see if bamboo flooring is a good choice for your lifestyle.