It is the newest trend. Bamboo flooring is taking the design world by storm. Natural look and feel, soft and soothing appearance, durable, Eco-friendly product, the reasons are aplenty. Good floors are an investment.
Check the bamboo flooring style options, the color or shade, the pros and cons of bamboo flooring, bamboo flooring prices and the maintenance aspects. Take some time off to make sure that the new floor you are considering matches your tastes and wallet. Remember, this is an investment you will be looking at for many years to come.
Why bamboo flooring
Assuming flooring material has been taken into consideration during the construction of the floor, it is time to consider favorite flooring options. Tiles, linoleum, laminate, carpet, hardwood, these are various flooring options, all in different styles, textures and colors. Choosing Eco-friendly flooring, 'green flooring' such as bamboo flooring is rapidly becoming popular. Here are the reasons.
Going green: Bamboo belongs to the grass family. The growth is slow during the first few years but accelerates when it attains maturity. It grows quickly, rapidly especially in the wild, so much that other plant species cannot share the same space. It not only grows quickly after it is harvested, it also grows back quickly after it is cut - Which is why it is the world's most perfect renewable resource.
Bamboo groves release more oxygen into the air, help improve soil conditions and prevent erosion. It is fast-growing, hardly requires fertilizers, pesticides or much water, thus making it an environment friendly grass.
For all seasons: Bamboo is less susceptible to moisture and humidity factors. It can withstand moisture, changes in temperature, is free from allergens and is naturally tolerant of a variety of conditions. Also, unlike some hardwood floors, bamboo does not expand and contract.
Sturdy flooring material: Bamboo is harder, more moisture resistant and is as strong as maple and more stable compared to oak hardwoods.
Versatile: Bamboo as a material has many applications and uses. The versatile grass can also be processed into such useful items as window shades, bed linens, towels, furniture, cutting boards, cabinetry, floor mats, paper, chopsticks and toys. It can even be blended with cotton for T-shirts.
Feels great to walk: Walking on bamboo floors feels due to its smooth and polished texture. Unlike hardwood flooring, bamboo flooring does not cause pain in the feet even if it means standing on it for a long time.
Durable: Bamboo flooring is ideal for high traffic areas. Unlike hardwood floors, bamboo fibers are not subject to swelling, dishing and grain raising problems caused by moisture. It is bug resistant and scratch proof too. It is capable of bearing impact of falling objects. Bamboo offers remarkable resistance to denting too. Making it pet-friendly isn't difficult. Pre-finished bamboo flooring can stand up to any claws that walk across it.
Rich and elegant wood floor: Bamboo flooring extends a stunning, natural finish that exudes warmth and comfort. Most bamboo flooring maintains original appearance of bamboo to a great extent. Matching any room décor is easy. It is a beautiful addition to any room, the kitchen, living rooms and hallway. Bamboo flooring is not installed in bathrooms as excessive moisture can lead the bamboo floor to warp.
Easy maintenance: Bamboo flooring does not require any chemicals for its cleaning and maintenance. A once in-a while cleaning with warm water and some liquid dish soap sans polishing or buffing helps to keep it in shape.
Cost benefits: Purchasing and installing bamboo flooring isn't as expensive as other hardwoods. Choosing bamboo over traditional hardwood flooring can help save as much as 50%.
Bamboo flooring - styles, types and colors
There are several styles and types. There are so many different types, colors, grains, milling and finishes. Being equipped with bamboo flooring information helps save time and also makes selection process less cumbersome. Firstly, know varieties of bamboo flooring depending on the type of stranding.
Horizontal or vertical bamboo floors: In terms of regular looks or styles, you can choose horizontal or vertical bamboo floors. It actually refers to how the bamboo slats are put together to make the flooring. The direction of the slats, whether it is laid horizontal or vertical can bring about a total transformation.
For instance, vertically cut bamboo offers cleaner and finer lines. The grain looks more linear and narrow. The slats are stood upright on edge and then laminated. Horizontal bamboo cuts gives a more rough or hardy appearance. The grain is wider and the knots of the bamboo are seen clearly. The pieces are arranged and laminated side by side flat ways. In terms of price, there will be little or no difference between the horizontal or vertical types.
Strand woven bamboo floors: Woven, strand-woven or stranded, this is another style. The difference between regular and strand woven bamboo is in how the plant is processed. In strand woven bamboo, the plant is shred into small fibers, which are then heated and compressed by high pressure. The result is a solid plank that is nearly twice as dense as regular bamboo flooring. If you are looking for highly durable bamboo flooring with a rustic feel, strand woven bamboo is the appropriate choice. You can get these flooring in various hues according to your decor in lighter or darker shades.
Pure or not so pure bamboo flooring is determined based on whether it is solid or engineered bamboo flooring. The major difference between these two types of flooring is in the way they are constructed. The pricing too varies. Solid bamboo flooring is more expensive than engineered bamboo flooring.
Solid: It is more of a pure bamboo floor. Solid bamboo flooring involves taking pieces of bamboo and gluing them together. Bamboo and only bamboo is used. Solid bamboo flooring is not recommended in high moisture rooms, like the kitchen, bath and basement. Solid bamboo flooring has to be glued down to concrete with a special adhesive or nailed to a wood sub floor.
Engineered: Engineered bamboo flooring consists of bamboo strips (usually 1/8'') on top of the plank, and is layered with different types of wood underneath. Engineered bamboo is thought to be stronger than solid bamboo because of the blending of woods. It can be nailed, glued, or floated to the sub floors. It is best for kitchen and living rooms. It will not expand and contract as much.
There are two main colors, namely, carbonized and non-carbonized. Other stain colors are also available, like reds, blacks, and browns, turquoise and even orange. In its purest form, bamboo is very light in color, say almost white. The color is altered by bamboo carbonization, which involves steaming the bamboo under controlled pressure and temperature.
Carbonized: Carbonized bamboo undergoes a heating process. As a result, it is darker, a rich, caramel or amber color. Usually a carbonized bamboo floor is 20-30% softer than other bamboo floors. So, it is not the best choice for a high-traffic area like the kitchen but most suitable for the bedroom. Carbonized bamboo floors are darker than the natural one (uncarbonized).
Natural (un carbonized): It receives only a bleaching treatment. The color is a soft, golden blonde color.
Advantages of bamboo flooring
- Great varieties, extensive ranges to choose from
- Most appropriate Eco-friendly flooring choice
- Unique flooring and visually attractive
- Strong, durable, stain-resistant
- Requires minimal care and maintenance
- But for bathrooms, suitable for any area
- Installation easier than traditional hardwood flooring
- Costs less than some type of hardwood flooring option
Disadvantages of bamboo flooring
- Lack of standards in bamboo certification.
- Only Eco-friendly companies use environmentally safe adhesives.
- More for indoors and not recommended for outdoors.
- UV rays falling on bamboo flooring can result in discoloration.
- Rubber mats on bamboo flooring is a must if sharp objects or heavy furniture items are to be placed as it can leave dents or scratches on the floor surface.
- Extra attention needed to clean bamboo floors and keep them dry and devoid of moisture.
- Increase in demand for bamboo flooring can result in more natural forests being cleared to grow bamboo.
- Costs more than laminate flooring.
Smitten by its appeal and assured by quality aspects, durability, versatility and the cost factors, you are all set to look for bamboo flooring from a reputable source. Make use of this checklist and welcome a new addition, bamboo flooring that best describes your tastes.
- Will your lifestyle fit with choosing bamboo over the other hardwood alternatives?
- Decide room/rooms for bamboo flooring.
- Check if the area is ready for installation or other preparations are required.
- Measure area to determine how much flooring is needed.
- Order 5-10% extra flooring.
- Carry out material evaluation. Order samples of the actual flooring.
- Test them out. Drop things. Scratch it.
- Look for Eco-friendly manufacturing process.
- Find if bamboo flooring is formaldehyde free and is made with non-off gassing adhesives.
- Do your homework on the bamboo batch and manufacturer.
- Know the installation procedures and whether you are conversant with do-it-yourself installation procedures.
- Consider licensed installers/contractors recommended by manufacturer.
- Know manufacturer's warranty cover and the duration.
- Read customer reviews.
- Consider matching accessories like matching baseboard, base shoe, thresholds, stairs, stair nosing and flooring vents.