Bamboo flooring is one of the best ways to get a combination of beauty and durability. It is most known for its strength and stability, making it a great choice for flooring that lasts for many years. Although bamboo is actually a type of grass, it can be harder than oak, giving you a long lasting material.
It has a lot of the same benefits of hardwood plus a few more. It has less risk of damage due to expansion or contraction. It is also particularly resistant to insects and mildew growth. Bamboo is one the most recent materials to be used in flooring, but it is also one of the most environmentally friendly.
It is a rapidly renewable resource that can be harvested every 5-7 years. An oak tree takes 60 years or more before it’s ready to be re-harvested. This makes bamboo a great choice for environmentally conscious consumers who are concerned about sustainability.
Types of Bamboo Flooring
There are a lot of choices when it comes to picking the best bamboo flooring for your needs. Some decisions you make can impact the hardness of your bamboo, but as bamboo is incredibly strong and durable, most of your choices will be about getting the look you want. This guide will give you the details on the different options available to you.
Bamboo Grain Types
There are three main grain options: vertical, horizontal and strand-woven. The choice here is less about the quality and more about the overall look of the bamboo flooring in your home.
Horizontal Bamboo: This simply means the planks are inserted next to each other horizontally before they are pressurized and finished. This helps display the random growth rings (knuckles) of the stalk.
Vertical Bamboo: This is just like the horizontal grain, except the planks are placed vertically next to each other before pressurizing and finishing. This has the opposite effect, creating a very uniform and smooth look.
Strand-woven Bamboo: To create this texture planks are constructed from remaining stalk strands that are trimmed from long filets of bamboo. They are then compressed with an adhesive, pressurized then finished. This has a more random look like the horizontal revealing a lot of character. One main difference between this bamboo grain is that it’s twice as hard as the other two.
Bamboo Flooring Color Types
There are few common color choices when you purchase your bamboo flooring. This is another decision based purely on the look you want to achieve and has little to do with quality (excluding carbonized which is softer than the other types).
Natural: The natural color is exactly how it sounds. There are no stains or colors added to the bamboo. You just get the bamboo’s natural, light blonde color. This simple option is great, because it goes with most décors.
Carbonized: When bamboo is boiled for an extended period of time, the sugars in the plant caramelize, adding this beautiful color to the bamboo flooring. The shades change depending on how long the bamboo is boiled. The process makes this bamboo type softer than the other colors.
Tiger: This color has a nice tiger stripe pattern. It’s created using alternating strips of natural and carbonized strips of bamboo flooring. This is ideal for homeowners looking for something unique.
Stained: This option allows you to find the perfect color to match any décor. Bamboo can be treated with wood stain to add color to your bamboo. Bamboo flooring is available in many shades from light to dark.
Direct Print: A lot like laminate, bamboo can be printed on to look like another type of hardwood flooring. If you want the look and feel of a different hardwood flooring, but still want the benefits of bamboo, this is the only way to go.