In recent times, bamboo flooring has become a favorite element of home design.
It doesn’t come as a surprise, since bamboo has three essential qualities: firmness, sustainability and stylish appearances.
Furthermore, bamboo flooring is significantly cheaper than the hardwood one. Still, we recommend you to consider few bamboo flooring pros and cons before making the final decision for your home. Here is some information that might be useful:
ADVANTAGES OF BAMBOO FLOORING
Bamboo flooring can boast with bigger compressing strength than concrete and weight/tension resistance than can be easily compared to the one of steel. At the same time, bamboo is more body-friendly than hardwood, because it produces less strain and stress for the legs and the knees.
Image source: Green Goods
Bamboo flooring is a long-lasting flooring option. It is an excellent solution for extensively used areas and can cope pretty well with scrapes caused by kids or pets. A proper bamboo flooring cannot be easily damaged even when hit by sharp objects, such as knives or heeled shows. Therefore, it is ideal for the entire place, all the way from the hall to the kitchen.
Image source: Landmark Services Inc
Bamboo flooring is also an environment-friendly choice. We are discussing a briskly growing material and an easily renewable plant which has an essential role in the protection of our environment. As the Environmental Bamboo Foundation points out, a single hectare of bamboo plantings can eliminate serious amount of carbon dioxide from the air and can produce 30% more oxygen per year compared to the same number of hardwood trees. Additionally, bamboo requires only rainfall irrigation and almost no herbicides/pesticides to assist its growth.
Image source: Debra Borden
Effortless cleaning and conservation
Bamboo flooring is perfect for those who don’t have enough time for day-to-day maintenance. Even the tiniest debris can be removed with sweeping and vacuuming. Besides, you won’t need any special mopping products-you can use common wax and alkaline-free products, such as the ones applied on hardwood flooring.
Image source: Mark English AIA
Bamboo flooring is anything, but a standardized solution. It is available in almost any color or texture that can come to your mind! However, it is recommendable to choose lighter tones. Dark bamboo is usually softer, since it was submitted to high temperature treatment.
Image source: Mark English AIA
If you still prefer to have a darker bamboo floor, we advise you to paint it, or print the specific pattern before it is sealed. In such way you will adjust it to the décor of your home, while preserving its firmness at the same time.
Image source: David Johnston Architects (DJA)
Ready to live in a healthier way? You should know that good appearances are not the strongest side of bamboo flooring. It is its health-friendliness! Bamboo is a hypo-allergenic material with strong antistatic features and insect resistance.
Image source: BeeTree Homes (DJA)
In the eternal bamboo flooring vs hardwood flooring battle, bamboo has the advantage of being more cost-effective. The price you’d pay to obtain it is nothing compared to the appearance, efficiency, eco-friendliness and durability of this material. Remember also that bamboo floors cannot be easily damaged, which reduces the need for temporary reparation.
Image source: Eddy Homes
Excellent relationship with insects and humidity
That’s right! Bamboo floors are a natural choice for regions characterized by the presence of insects and moisture. If you install it properly, a bamboo floor will never deform or dwindle (unlike hardwood flooring).
Suitable for refinishing
Unless protected by numerous thick layers or concluding coats, bamboo floors can lose color, shine or dent. The good thing is that you can refinish them at any time and give them a brand new look. It will take nothing more than a simple surface-sanding.
Image source: Matthew Mallett Photography
Bamboo flooring is not simply practical. It is an excellent decoration detail which can ‘warm’ your place and invoke pleasant feelings. This natural material will make everyone feel comfortable and calm.
Image source: Green Goods (DJA)
DISADVANTAGES OF BAMBOO FLOORING:
Unsuitability for outdoor areas
As we already mentioned, bamboo flooring is a great solution for indoor areas, particularly those where there is a lot of movement. However, bamboo is not recommended for outdoor areas or spaces susceptible to humidity.
Possibility of water damage
As strong as it may be, bamboo remains an organic and natural material. Therefore, exposing it to serious moisture can lead to undesired consequences, such as curving, blemishing, or even mold appearance. It means that floods can be fatal for bamboo floors.
As much time as you invest in maintaining a bamboo floor, it is almost impossible to keep it unscratched. The more you use it, the more scratches will appear. The scratches can be caused by many objects-sharp heels, claws, acute furniture legs etc. With time, even the tiniest particles of dirt or sand can leave serious consequences.
If you purchased your bamboo floor while ago, be sure it is not the healthiest item you have at home. The manufacture of bamboo floors involves a lot of urea-formaldehyde adhesives composed of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are in fact poisonous gases with a harmful effect on human health. The finishing coats are similar-bamboo flooring is often covered with high VOC layers. Nevertheless, the flooring industry has improved and developed many safer options. Nowadays, you can protect your family by purchasing formaldehyde-free floors coated with layers containing insignificant amount of VOCs. For that purpose, make sure the product has a GECA-certification tag on it.
This is one of the most serious bamboo flooring problems. Bamboo planks can split easily if installed in a significantly wet or dry environment. Wetness causes bamboo to expand, while dryness makes it shrink. In both cases, the result will be cracking and inability to use.
No rating system
We can all agree that a proper grading system is very important when making interior design decisions. In the case of bamboo flooring, such system is absolutely absent. There is no way to compare and to rate the quality of different materials so that we could base our choice on something. The only available system is the one of retailers, who classify bamboo materials in two categories (A and B). However, this is a random division which doesn’t tell a lot about quality. This is why you should consider customer reviews and turn to reputable flooring vendors in order to purchase the right material for your floors.
Bamboo is a renewing, eco-friendly source, but we should not underestimate the harmful effect of its production and transportation. There are two main concerns: the constantly growing flooring industry which requires the diminishing of forests and establishing of planationss; and the incredible amounts of energy necessary to transport bamboo from its homeland Asia to all different locations.
This is important information you should have in mind before you purchase a particular bamboo floor: Bamboo takes time. It needs to be firm and mature (at least 3 months) by the time it is harvested, processed and brought to your home. Otherwise, the planks will be soft and they will not last.
Another thing you could do to make sure you have a sustainable bamboo floor is to purchase lighter, de-carbonated and stranded planks.
Painting your own bamboo floor is less harmful than purchasing an already painted one. However, applying color cannot pass without consequences-you will get a good-looking floor which is weak and unstable.
Lack of style
It is true that bamboo flooring gives a warm, contemporary touch in your home. However, trends change and your vintage-like bamboo decor can become a real drawback in future.