Flooring is an aspect of construction and home renovation that many homeowners and commercial building managers may take for granted, but any bad floor, such as one with warped planks, scratches, or stains on it will quickly gather unwanted attention. Any building owner will want to invest in attractive, durable, and price-friendly flooring that can stand up to hazards such as scuffing feet or pet dog claws, or even dust that can create long, thin scratches on the wooden surface. In the United States, hardwood has long since been the staple material for flooring planks, but recently, a competitor has arrived: bamboo flooring. If flooring options include bamboo, then a homeowner can take advantage of how effective this material is, and engineered bamboo can easily compete with hardwood while offering other perks. Someone looking to renovate the home can look into various flooring options and see if bamboo is right for them.
Bamboo hardwood has emerged as an alternative to traditional hardwood floors, an for a number of reasons. For one thing, bamboo flooring is highly renewable and is good for the environment. Hardwood trees need over 20 years to mature enough for logging to make hardwood planks, but by contrast, bamboo, which is technically a grass, needs only about three to five years to fully mature, and it grows back fast. This eases strain on hardwood forests of North America, and that can help sustain the natural environment when fewer hardwood trees are being cut down for planks.
Flooring options are varied, and the industry as a whole shows how popular and essential flooring work is. In the year 2017, for a recent example, total revenue from flooring work came out to $21.99 billion, and in that year, all those flooring jobs put down 19.736 billion square feet of floors, an impressive total. And this industry is fully expected to keep growing in the future; in a recent survey, including surveyed contractors and retailers, over 70% of respondents said that they expect growth of 3% or more in the year 2018 for flooring, and one in three expect even faster growth: 8% or more. With all these flooring options to choose from, why should a homeowner or a public building manager choose to have bamboo planks put down? And what potential drawbacks should be taken into account before installing bamboo floors?
Bamboo VS Wood Flooring
One advantage to bamboo is that it is a much more renewable and eco-friendly resource, as mentioned above, and in today’s current “go green” initiative, bamboo can be essential to environmental protection. And as a construction material, bamboo can keep pace with hardwood. It is treated in such a way to become just as hard as hardwood, and sometimes even more so. Bamboo, once harvested, is sliced and then shredded, and the fibers are pressed together with heat, glue, and pressure, and the final planks are tough enough for any flooring job. This bamboo is often price-friendly, costing about $5 to $8 per square foot, putting it on par with hardwood. Bamboo is also easy to clean, needing just a wet mop or damp cloth, and it is also easy to refinish if it gets scratched. Sanding down bamboo and treating it to look brand new is an easy job for any homeowner. Bamboo also offers a lean, clean appearance and can be found in appealing shades that make any home look spacious and new, not unlike a modern art museum.
There are a few issues with bamboo to consider first. Bamboo is tough, but it can get scratched just like any other material, even from dust (although it is easy to refinish). Owners should also be aware that bamboo may warp and twist if the environment is too humid, and if the air is too dry, bamboo may shrink and crack. Bamboo also comes in relatively limited colors compared to hardwood, even when treated with carbon to be darkened. Buyers must also beware of very cheap bamboo, since it was probably made from cast-off materials and will not be worth buying. Bamboo should be bought at a more average market price to ensure that quality material is being used for a floor.