The Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring

I’m a little bit obsessed with wood flooring.

The majority of our last home was filled with white ceramic tile. Our plan was to get rid of that and put down wood throughout, but we never got around to doing it before we moved to the current house.

In the current house, the majority of our home is filled with carpet. Now, granted, it’s brand new carpet. But it’s carpet nonetheless. The reason for that is, when we moved into this house, we had 2 8-month-old crawling babies. And right now we have 2 13-month-old toddling babies. And ceramic tile floors are SUPER HARD.

Eventually, once we’re done with the toddling, we WILL put down wood flooring throughout this house! But for now, I keep researching and looking at all types, so when it’s time, I’ll know exactly what I want. 

So when Suzanne from Discount Flooring Depot floated me a post on bamboo flooring (full of research that I didn’t have to do on my own) I was all about it! I know you’ll think so, too! 

In recent years, bamboo flooring has become more popular in the UK because although it’s actually a type of grass, the woody stem of the bamboo plant is as durable as many hardwoods. It’s also a cheaper option for many people, so if you’re looking to change your flooring, head on over to discountflooringdepot.co.uk to look at the options for bamboo flooring and underlays.

The advantages of bamboo

Bamboo is ecologically friendly

Bamboo is very renewable – it takes just five or six years for a bamboo plant to mature and once it’s been harvested, the stump stays in the ground, where it regenerates. Compare this to the 20 or 30 years for the average hardwood tree – and the stump doesn’t grow back.

It’s easy to maintain

A quick sweep or vacuum, followed by a damp mop and a mild specialist cleaner is all it takes.

It’s water-resistant

Bamboo is more water-resistant than woods, meaning there’s less risk of staining, warping and other forms of damage than there is with other flooring.

It’s something different

Not everyone has bamboo and anyone looking for something different, that maybe reflects their environmental concerns, could do much worse than opting for it.

It’s not too expensive

You can expect to pay the same or slightly less than you would for hardwood. However, take care with really cheap deals as the boards may be made from poor quality off-cuts or rejected stems.

It’s hard-wearing

Some bamboos are as tough as red oak if the bamboo hasn’t been carbonized and is made well. Strand-woven bamboo is even tougher.

It has its own special look

It’s instantly recognizable and is different and stylish without being over the top or too “try-hard”. It’s classy and adds a special touch.

Bamboo can be refinished

Like many hardwoods, bamboo can be sanded and refinished if it loses its shine, giving you more years of faithful service.

The cons of bamboo

Watch your adhesives

In the past, bamboo planks were made by pressing shreds of stem together under heat and pressure with resin-based glues. These glues used to contain a lot of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and these could be released into the air. Thankfully, European legislation is making this a thing of the past.

It’s not 100% water-resistant

Although bamboo is more water-resistant than most woods, it’s not 100%. If it’s exposed to excessive water and moisture it will absorb it and you could see mold or warping develop. Dry up spills as soon as you see them. A particularly dry environment will also damage the bamboo, causing it to split, but the UK shouldn’t present too much of a problem.

Darker shades can be weaker

Stand-woven and naturally-coloured bamboo is as hard as hardwood, but if you want a darker shade, you’ll have to opt for carbonised bamboo. The process of carbonisation also makes the bamboo’s structure a bit weaker, so darker shades may not be as durable.

There are still environmental concerns

While the fact that bamboo is fast-growing and renewable is brilliant, there’s a worry that forests are being cut to make way for bamboo fields as it’s a growing market. Check the ethical provenance of your flooring first.

I didn’t realize that darker shades might be weaker – darker was kinda what I was going for. Interesting! Thanks so much for this info, Suzanne!

How about you? Any bamboo flooring for any of you? If you love your wood floors in  your home, what kind are they?

Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!

6 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring

  1. Oh wow. Those bamboo floors are lovely! I have had other items made out of bamboo but I would love to have my floor be made of bamboo! Someday maybe when we think of renovating.

  2. This is an awesome post for showing the pros and cons of using bamboo flooring. It is awesome that it cost the same or less than regular hardwood flooring along with more water resistant. I personally love anything bamboo. It is the wonder plant/tree. Thanks for sharing the information.

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