Should You Get Bamboo Flooring? The Pros and Cons
It is amusing to note that bamboos are classified as grasses. However, they are both very tall and very woody grasses, which is why they can make for a very useful building material. In particular, it is worth mentioning that bamboo sees a surprising amount of use for flooring, thus making it one more potential choice for people who are looking through their options in that regard.
Here are some of the pros of choosing bamboo flooring:
Bamboos are readily available. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that bamboo flooring tends to be pretty low-cost at around $2 to $8 per square foot. For comparison, softwood flooring tends to be around $3 to $6, mid-priced hardwood flooring tends to be around $5 to $10, while high-priced hardwood flooring tends to be around $8 to $14. With that said, interested individuals might want to avoid the extreme low end because that tends to be associated with the lowest grades of material.
On a related note, bamboo flooring tends to be pretty low maintenance. This is because interested individuals can keep it clean with either a regular sweeping or a regular vacuuming to remove small particles. Anything else can be handled with a damp mopping, which should be fine in moderation because bamboo flooring is more resistant to being stained, warped, and other damaged by prolonged exposure to water than its hardwood counterpart.
Environmentalism has become very, very popular in recent times. In part, this is because most and more people understand the need to protect the environment. However, it should be noted that there are plenty of people who seek out eco-conscious materials for more practical reasons as well. Whatever the case, the bamboos that see use in bamboo flooring might not be as fast-growing as the species that can sprout close to a meter in a single day’s time, but they are nonetheless capable of reaching their maturity in between three to five years. As such, the use of bamboo is much more sustainable because the plants can be replaced with much more ease.
Tough and Long-Lasting
They might not have a reputation for it, but bamboos can be pretty tough. For proof, consider how some species of bamboos can be as tough as red oak with the right harvesting and manufacturing methods. Moreover, strand-woven bamboo flooring made from strong fibers that have been pressed together can be stronger still. However, this toughness is but one of the factors that make up bamboo flooring’s long-lasting nature, with another critical element being how it can be sanded down and refinished for a new look in much the same manner as hardwood flooring.
For comparison, here are some of the cons of choosing bamboo flooring:
Lack of Hardness
There is plenty of soft bamboo as well. In particular, interested individuals should watch out for darker-colored bamboo because it has undergone a process called carbonization that has provided it with said color while weakening it at the same time.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) pose a serious threat to human health with sufficient exposure. Unfortunately, the way that bamboo flooring is made means that most examples have various levels of VOCs. Something that can be particularly problematic in enclosed spaces with very poor ventilation.
Lack of an Independent Grading System
With that said, the single biggest problem with bamboo flooring might be the lack of an independent grading system that interested individuals can count on to give them a good sense of the exact quality of the material that is being offered to them. This is a huge inconvenience because people who want bamboo flooring will need to put serious time and effort into finding a reliable and reputable flooring dealer that they can trust. Otherwise, they run a very real risk of paying premium prices for something that will fall far short of that kind of classification.
Should You Get Bamboo Flooring?
Based on this, it should be clear that while bamboo has plenty of upsides, there is no simple and straightforward answer for whether someone should get bamboo flooring or not. Instead, interested individuals will have to make up their own minds on the matter by looking at the factors that matter the most to them.