Bamboo flooring has been gaining popularity in recent times. It is Eco-friendly and less expensive than those of traditional flooring materials. Bamboo resembles similarities to that of the traditional hardwood flooring and is least expensive in comparison. Bamboo flooring is durable and strong. It is good at resisting insect’s related damages and moisture to some extent.
As per Janka hardness test, bamboo is harder than other flooring materials like red oak, Brazilian cherry and hickory. There are different types of bamboo flooring. The cost of these flooring depends upon the manufacturing process and preference of the customers. Moso bamboo is widely used for flooring.
From maintenance perspective, it is easy to maintain bamboo flooring but wet mop cleaning on it is not advised. While mopping, dust mop or stiff bristled broom is best to remove dust, grime and dirt from the crevices of the floor.
Here below we discuss pros and cons of bamboo flooring:
Benefits of Bamboo Flooring
- Eco Friendly and Variety
- Durability and Water Resistance
- Easy Maintenance
- Low Cost
- Stylish and Variety
With the increase in the consciousness level of the people towards environment the use of eco-friendly material is making broader space. Bamboo is a grass which attains maturity in just 3 to 5 years of time period. Replanting of bamboo is not required as it produces new shoots itself. In this case, it differs from trees. Moreover, trees get matured at least after 10 years of its plantation. Hence, bamboo is highly renewable source for flooring material.
The fully matured bamboo will last long. Un-carbonized bamboo can be as strong, hard and durable as red oak. Strand woven bamboo is even harder. The hardness of bamboo varies as per its species, maturity, and composition of grain pattern, color and any more. Vertical grain is harder than horizontal
Compare to hardwood floor, bamboo flooring is somewhat slightly more resistant to moisture, stains and warping. However, it is not completely water resistant.
Another selling point of bamboo flooring is its easy maintenance. Simple sweeping using dust mop or vacuum is enough to clean the floor. There should not be excess water dropping on the floor when using damp mop. Special cleaning agents are not required or we can use non-wax, non-alkaline or hardwood floor cleanser.
Despite its exotic unique style, bamboo flooring is less expensive than most hardwood floor. Most bamboo flooring price ranges from around $2 to $8 (USD) per square feet.
Different manufacturing processes make different variety of colors and styles in bamboo flooring. This flooring tends to clean modern aesthetic style. Bamboo flooring offers a unique look that will withstand wear and tear, easily maintained and look beautiful for the long time. Darker colors may mean bamboo has softened from heat treatment.
Drawbacks of Bamboo Flooring
- Potential Water Damage
- Scratch Prone
- Softness and Lack of Grading
- Emissions of Toxins
- Environmental Impacts
As mentioned earlier, bamboo flooring is slightly more water resistant. But being a natural material, too much exposure to moisture will cause warping, discoloration and mold to grow.
Climate affects the bamboo flooring. Depending on plank size, splitting can occur if installed in too dry or too humid environments. If bamboo flooring is installed in humid area then planks will expand and if installed on too dry area the planks may shrink causing cracks in the bamboo.
In the long run, it is impossible to keep the bamboo floor smooth as it is already used regularly. High heels, sharp objects, pets, furniture can all damage all the floor over time and also lower quality bamboo can easily be dented or scratched.
If bamboo is harvested before its maturity and used for flooring then in this case the flooring may look beautiful at first but becomes soft and non durable later. Carbonized bamboo may have weakened structure and softness in comparison to natural un-carbonized and strand woven bamboo flooring.
Bamboo grass stalk is shredded or sliced and molded together using heat, pressure and resin based adhesive to make planks for flooring. The adhesive that is being used may be urea-formaldehyde which over time can produce volatile organic compounds that is harmful to indoor air quality resulting respiratory problems to the inhabitants.
To increase the bamboo production deforestation has been done which creates extinction of flora and fauna including soil erosion. Most bamboo production is done in China and Asian countries so shipping costs and resources can increase the carbon footprint. Harvesting bamboo at large quantity will surely challenge the environment.