Bamboo is an alternative type of construction material that is similar in appearance to hardwood flooring, though bamboo itself is actually a specific type of grass. Since it is an entirely different type of flooring material than hardwood, it possesses a number of distinctive characteristics. Understanding the advantages and drawbacks of choosing to install bamboo in your home can help you determine if it is the right fit for your needs.
Advantages of Bamboo Flooring
Cost: While it will depend on the style, thickness, and how much you actually purchase, in general bamboo comes at a lower price point than hardwood flooring while still presenting a similar aesthetic. This makes bamboo an ideal choice for homeowners who are operating with a relatively restrictive flooring budget, as you can still enjoy the appearance of hardwood without breaking the bank or compromising on other home remodeling choices.
Refinishing: Another key advantage of bamboo flooring over other types of materials is the fact that installed floors can simply be refinished to update their appearance instead of being completely replaced. This consists of sanding down the floor by a few millimeters and then applying new stain onto the existing floorboards, which is much cheaper than replacing them entirely.
Environmentally sustainable: Finally, the last major benefit of choosing to install bamboo flooring in your home is the fact that it is a highly renewable and sustainably harvested resource. Since it is a grass, bamboo grows extremely rapidly and in large quantities, and when harvested, will continue to grow much like the grass on your lawn. This means that choosing bamboo over hardwood can greatly reduce the environmental impact of your flooring installation project.
Disadvantages of Bamboo Flooring
Scratches: Bamboo is a relatively soft material, which means that it is easily susceptible to scratching and scuffing from normal foot traffic. This is especially true if you have pets, as their nails can cut into the floorboards and leave a marred surface. Placing rugs and carpeting down in particularly high-traffic areas can help minimize the amount of damage, but it is still something to keep in mind.
Humidity susceptibility: Bamboo is also, like hardwood, susceptible to changes in shape due to moisture exposure. High humidity can cause floorboards to swell, while extremely dry weather can cause them to shrink. Both of these cases can lead to cracking of individual floorboards, which can require the replacement of individual sections.
Contact a flooring company for more information about this and other types of flooring.