Bamboo Flooring Pros And Cons – Although bamboo flooring isn’t exactly new, having been around for two decades, it might as well be. In recent years, advances in manufacturing have improved its performance and diversified its appearance. The biggest change: the introduction of super-dense “wire-woven” bamboo, which can be milled into boards two and a half times as hard as red oak.

They can also be produced in a range of wood-look styles – from the familiar, such as maple or walnut, to exotic species, such as tigerwood and cumaru – that are quite different from what most people associate with the material. “Strand weave has changed bamboo’s reputation from an eco product to a major player, delivering the look and durability of Brazilian hardwood at two-thirds the cost,” says Joel Hirshberg, president of Green Building Supply, which has sold bamboo flooring for Sixteen years.

Bamboo Flooring Pros And Cons

Whether you’re just looking for something a little different from what all your neighbors have, or like the idea of ​​remodeling with sustainability in mind—or just love the price—here’s what you need to know about buying and installing today’s bamboo flooring .

How Much Does Bamboo Flooring Cost? (2023)

Shown: Wide planks that look like exotic hardwoods warm up this white kitchen. Morning Star 5⅛-inch Antique Strand Bamboo, about $3.69 per sq. ft.; Timber Liquidators

The difference between bamboo used for flooring: Bamboo is a grass, and the variety used for flooring is different from the plant that grows in a pot on your desk. This is Moso bamboo, which reaches its full height, 40 to 80 feet, in its first year and thickens to 6 to 8 inches in diameter as it matures over the next five years.

From $2 to $10 per square foot for both solid and engineered boards, depending on type and finish. Expect to pay the same for installation as with a wood floor.

Bamboo boards go down like wood – so if you’re comfortable nailing or gluing tongue and groove oak or cutting down a floating floor, you can tackle bamboo.

Bamboo Flooring In A Kitchen

Anywhere you’d use wood—including baths, kitchens, basements—but it’s subject to the same risk of damage from excess moisture or dryness as hardwood.

Most manufacturers offer lifetime structural warranties, while a factory finish should be guaranteed for at least 25 years.

‘Moso’) grows naturally in China, where the vast majority of bamboo flooring is manufactured. If harvested stem by stem, without clearing, it regrows in five to six years, making it a rapidly renewable resource. Some, but not all, companies can tell you if they come from a responsibly managed plantation. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is not yet widespread.

As for the chemical-based adhesives and finishes used in the finished product, looking for third-party certification (FloorScore and GREENGUARD are two of the most widely used) is still the best bet for VOC and formaldehyde emissions.

Pros And Cons Of Bamboo Flooring 2021

Stems are cut into ¼ x ¾-inch strips, bonded with heavy-duty adhesives, and then milled into three types of bamboo flooring.

Horizontal strips are glued edge to edge with the skin side up, which gives maximum utilization of the stem. This orientation shows the nodes or “knuckles” for a classic bamboo look. Offset layer adds strength. Comes natural, tainted and carbonated (heat treated during production to give it a caramel-like hue).

Strips are arranged and glued with cut edges facing up for a linear look and a floor that is less prone to denting than horizontal bamboo. Knuckles are also much less noticeable. Available natural or carbonized, but typically not colored as a stain is not as easily absorbed by the thin strips.

Strips are soaked in adhesive, laid out lengthwise in various directions, and then compressed in giant hydraulic presses, creating a solid rectangular mass that is milled into floorboards. Two to three times denser than other types of bamboo, it lends itself to special finishes and surface treatments.

Pros And Cons Of Cork Flooring

Solid boards come ½ to ⅝ inch thick; engineered planks, ⅜ to ½ inch. Made with a bamboo veneer on top of a plywood or bamboo substrate for added stability, engineered planks are great for floating floors in damp or very dry environments. Expect to find unfinished planks ¾ inch thick that will need to be sanded on site.

The standard for solid bamboo is 3¾ inches, but 4- to 6-inch widths are gaining ground. As with finished wood floors, micro-beveled edges help hide unevenness between the planks. Click-together engineered planks are square, just like some traditional horizontal or vertical bamboo floorboards.

Although there is enormous variation between products, vertical and horizontal bamboo floors typically score around 1,825 on the Janka scale (a universal hardness rating for floors), harder than hickory. The strand weave can score nearly double, around 3,270, compared to Brazilian redwood. Check company websites to see if third-party testing has been performed.

As with hardwood floors, the glossier the finish, the more scratches will appear. Factory-applied finishes offer superior durability, but require more skill and labor to replace than field-applied finishes. (For more, see next slide.)

Bamboo Flooring: Pros And Cons

The other main ingredient in bamboo flooring is adhesive resin. Inexpensive urea-based resins can release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Look for independent certification, such as one from GREENGUARD or FloorScore, that it does not emit high levels of VOCs.

Most durable is a factory-applied multi-layer aluminum oxide coating—manufacturers claim anywhere from 2 to 10 layers—topped with an additional clear coat. Aluminum oxide finish provides superior wear resistance; the clear coat makes overpainting easier and gives a smooth appearance.

A new and growing trend is a wax-based coating, typically made from a combination of linseed oil, carnauba wax and beeswax, that mimics the vintage look of a hand-applied oil. It is more matte in appearance and is often applied over a distressed texture. Another part of its appeal: scratches are less noticeable, and if damage occurs, the surface can be sanded and sanded up with more oil. This finish requires renewal every few years with a special cleaner and wiping oil, such as Rubio Monocoat.

As with wood, most types of solid bamboo flooring that are not stained or textured can be custom ordered without any type of finish. Sanding the boards after assembly gives you the flattest surface, with no light edges on the boards, and the option of the custom stain of your choice. It is much easier to refinish this type of floor if damage occurs; however, on-site finishing will not provide nearly as long a life as factory-applied aluminum oxide.

Different Types Of Engineered Wood Flooring (plus Pros, Cons And Cost)

As with wood, nailing gives the tightest results underfoot, but there are glued, floating and click-together bamboo boards to suit whatever your site requires. Just keep these considerations in mind.

Before it is laid, all bamboo flooring must be allowed to wait inside the house so that its moisture content can stabilize. Skip that wait and your new floor may shift or show holes. The only sure way to tell when the waiting period is over is with a moisture meter. Most horizontal and vertical bamboo can stabilize within three to four days, but strand weaving takes much longer, in some cases up to 30 days. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Above a flat plywood or OSB subfloor, bamboo needs only one layer of 15-pound construction felt. Installations over concrete rely on glue or float over a foam underlay. In either case, seal the concrete first to prevent moisture from causing the adhesive to peel or the flooring to swell.

As long as the heat source does not rise above the temperature limit specified by the manufacturer’s guidelines and the floor flows, you can use radiant heat with bamboo flooring in your home.

Natural Vs Carbonized Bamboo Flooring: What’s The Difference?

Consider this: While factory-made bamboo that suffers severe damage can be mechanically removed and refinished on site, the job requires special sanding equipment, advanced dust filtration, and some finesse, especially with wire-woven bamboo. It is generally not considered a do-it-yourself job. If the damage is limited to a small area, you may be able to patch in matching boards – a good reason to have an extra box on hand.

The blonde vertical bamboo in this formal entryway creates a serene backdrop for pale blue walls, crisp white trim and dark stairwells. Plus, it will hold up well to traffic, including high heels.

The carbonized horizontal bamboo underfoot has a warm caramel color and a subtly knotty look from the plant’s characteristic “knuckles”, echoing the room’s exposed structural elements.

This natural bamboo floor, with its simple vertical grain planks, complements the clean lines and wide, flat surfaces of this modern cooking station. The floor’s pale neutral hue helps unify the bold palette of black, white and steel with occasional hits of brilliant orange.

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Beautiful ceiling beams balance the dark wide-plank, hand-scraped bamboo flooring in this fresh-looking blue bath, wrapped in white waincoating.

Get the latest This Old House news, trusted tips, tricks and DIY Smarts projects from our experts – straight to your inbox. More and more homeowners are now thinking about sustainability when renovating or building a home, resulting in the increased popularity of bamboo as one of the most viable flooring options. In a short time, the change in customer behavior has catapulted bamboo to the top of the list of wooden floor solutions. Like the traditional materials used in homes – granite, marble and hardwood – bamboo is a natural product. Although it has many similarities to hardwood, it is a type of grass that can outperform its wooden competitors. The more you

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