Types of Bamboo Flooring

Many are surprised to learn that bamboo is regularly used as flooring.  After all, when looking at a stalk of bamboo, it can be difficult to imagine it as a wooden plank.  But, it is possible and is very popular amongst ‘green’ homebuilders and ecologically responsible homeowners. 

With bamboo, there is variety when choosing grain type, make, and color.  With all of the options available, this flooring can be as versatile as any other wood, allowing homeowners to find the right look for their home. 

There are typically three types of grain patterns in bamboo flooring.  All of which offer a unique pattern and feel.

  • Horizontal Grain (Flat) Bamboo – this refers to planks that are placed in a horizontal manner.  This option shows the knuckles, rings and stalk of the bamboo randomly throughout.  This grain type also most resembles bamboo as it is in nature.
  • Vertical Grain Bamboo – Vertical grain bamboo is made in the same way horizontal grain is, but the planks are placed vertically instead.  This means there is a more uniform appearance throughout while still maintaining the feel of bamboo.
  • Strand-Woven Bamboo – this type of grain is actually created by mixing and pressing remaining strands of the bamboo stalk together.  Because of the nature in which it’s made, strand-woven bamboo is twice as strong as horizontal and vertical grain bamboo.  

Different bamboo coloring will also affect the hardness and durability of your flooring.  So, choosing the right color could be more difficult, especially if you plan on having the same flooring for many years. 

  • Carbonized – Bamboo flooring achieves this coloring by allowing the sugars in the wood to caramelize and darken.  While this creates a rich and warm look, it often softens the wood and makes it susceptible to scratches and dings.
  • Direct Print – So maybe you like the durability and environmental benefits of bamboo but prefer the look of other wood types.  With a direct print on bamboo, you can have both!  Much like vinyl or laminate, bamboo planks can have other wood grain and coloring images applied to its surface.
  • Natural – Bamboo flooring in its natural state is warm and blonde in coloring.  This makes it easy to match with various home décor and furnishings.
  • Stained – Just like any type of wood, bamboo can be stained to better match home décor.  Stain options range from light to dark and can be perfect for any home.
  • Tiger – One of the more unique types of bamboo flooring is Tiger bamboo.  This is made when strips of natural and carbonized bamboo are pressed together.  Because of the contrast in colors between the two types, it creates a tiger stripe-like appearance.

If you love the look of bamboo, but don’t want to sacrifice durability for style, then engineered bamboo might be the right option for your home.  Engineered bamboo flooring is made by adhering a solid bamboo layer over a substrate.  This type of flooring comes with all the options, grain types, and colors that normal bamboo does, but will be more expensive.  For many, the extra cost is worth the sturdiness!  

As you can see, there are so many ways to bring bamboo flooring into your home.  Like most flooring, there are various grain patterns, stains, and manufacturing options available, meaning everyone can find the right look for their home!