Here’s how their makeups compare: What is bamboo flooring made of? Technically, the term actually refers to the wood of any tree reproduced from angiosperm seedsâa form of seed that is surrounded by some form of ovum, or fruit. The top layer is always made of hardwood, so it’s prone to the same damages a… But amid these similarities are some key differences that set these two flooring choices apart. And it is, in fact, often grouped together under the general category of "solid-hardwood" flooring. At least, in terms of keeping moisture away. The main reason is that it takes very much longer to mature. The bamboo seems appropriate in very contemporary homes and homes in the tropics. Although it is commonly grouped with hardwood flooring, bamboo is not actually a wood, but rather a woody grass. Many bamboo products also make use of manmade chemical resins and glues that are not at all friendly to the environment. Whereas hardwood flooring is made of a solid piece of wood, engineered planks employ only a veneer of real hardwood. Typically, bamboo in its natural state carries a Janka hardness rating of around 1,300 to 1,400, making it harder than most oak flooring, and comparable to hard maple. 11 years ago. Although there were only a few different color option… But the environmental considerations are not that simple. Preferred by contractors, builders, and DIY homeowners, Cali Bamboo is ultra-low VOC, the perfect union of sustainability and durability to last a lifetime. Both strand woven bamboo flooring and hardwood floor are available in solid (planks of pure wood/bamboo) and engineered (a veneer of wood/bamboo on top of a high-density fiberboard for added strength) versions.. Strand woven bamboo flooring, which is made by placing layers of bamboo together at 90-degree angles and compressing them, has the tensile strength of … This renders hardwood ill-suited to installation in bathrooms and some kitchens. This video shows professional bamboo flooring installation: Wet mops should be avoided when cleaning bamboo floors. Diffen LLC, n.d. Bamboo floors can warp over time in humid environments. The cost of bamboo flooring is $5 to $8 per square foot, which is about the same as most common hardwood flooring types. The finish is a German “Treffert” finish. Good quality bamboo flooring can compete with expensive hardwood flooring in terms of durability and appearance. Therefore, you can install it in kitchens and other places where it is likely to get wet occasionally. Bamboo flooring in a Cape Cod is just wrong. Bamboo and hardwood do have a similar look and feel, and both materials are available both in 3/4-inch-thick solid planks and in engineered versions in which a finish-quality natural veneer is laminated over man-made core layers. Despite being a type of grass, bamboo is a durable flooring material that is harder than oak, easy to clean and can last for decades with the proper care and maintenance. Carbonizing the bamboo, however, makes it softer. Dust mops and stiff brooms are enough for general cleaning, and a well wrung-out mop can be used if necessary. Bamboo flooring has an average price of about $3.80 per square foot, within a range of $2 to $5 per square foot. Carbonized bamboo carries a Janka Hardness rating of around 1,000 to 1,100, which is still considerably harder than some hardwoods. Johnathan taught building construction for Rising Sun Energy in Berkeley California. Hardwood and bamboo flooring often require steps including placing, nailing, stapling, cutting the baseboard, and filling holes with wood putty. Prone to moisture penetration, discoloration, or warping. Homeowners looking for the appeal of a hardwood floor covering have an increasingly large number of options. Hardwood flooring, of course, is a great option because it is very stylish, beautiful and will increase the price of the house much higher. Quality variations - Not all bamboo flooring products are created alike. This includes most conifer trees with seed cones in which the seeds are fully exposed. This process involves placing the bamboo under extreme heat and pressure, which causes the color to change but also somewhat weakens the material. At the same time, bamboo floors have a lifespan of 10 – 25 years, however, hardwood flooring can last up to 75 – 100 years. Unsealed bamboo can be discolored and damaged by water, just like hardwood. In terms of comparing hardness between bamboo and hardwood flooring, bamboo is the cheaper option. Engineered hardwood is different from solid hardwoods because it is created in layers. Both types of flooring are prone to warping from humidity in the environment. Engineered bamboo (also called stranded bamboo) flooring material is more durable than natural bamboo, but is highly processed from its natural state, being stripped, boiled, cut, bonded and pressed. Bamboo flooring is often marketed as being more resistant to moisture than wood and may be seen in bathrooms, especially half-baths. Another option for areas prone to moisture, such as a concrete subfloor, is engineered hardwood. Hardwood flooring is made of natural hardwood from the lumber harvested in forest areas. Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Similarities and Differences. Hardwood costs considerably more than bamboo. Low-quality bamboo flooring may scratch and dent easily, … The number of times you can perform this renewal depends on the thickness of the planks, but bamboo flooring is generally comparable to solid hardwood in its longevity and has a longer lifespan than engineered hardwood flooring, which has only a surface veneer of actual hardwood. Like solid hardwoods, bamboo flooring can be sanded and refinished when it becomes scratched or dented. The cost is generally less than traditional hardwood and, like engineered hardwood, bamboo flooring is easy to install for DIYers. Finally, solid hardwoods are a pure product, requiring no chemical resins or glues (engineered hardwood flooring, however, does include these chemical materials). However, the hardwood flooring is quite expensive and … Although some people think of it as a hardwood floor, bamboo is actually a grass. It is also harder to ensure that bamboo products are sourced in a socially and environmentally responsible way. The colors, grains… Ratings are provided by several long-standing independent organizations, most notably the National Oak Floor Manufacturers Association, so you can easily rate the relative quality of any wood flooring material that you purchase. The recent surge in the use of bamboo flooring partially be attributed to its being marketed as a green product. Properly finished and well-maintained hardwood floors can last for decades. The Difference Between Hardwood, Laminate and Bamboo Flooring. Real wood flooring can be refinished multiple times to restore it. Bamboo has gotten a lot of attention for being an incredibly green, eco-friendly building material. This is compounded by the fact that different cuts also produce different levels of grain consistency. Hardwood flooring is comparatively more expensive than bamboo. The strengths of bamboo flooring start with its distinctive look, and if it captures your eye, you might not be happy with anything else.If you’re concerned about sustainability in the materials you choose, consider that bamboo is a grass that grows to useful size in just three to seven years. Installing bamboo flooring means gluing or nailing to a subfloor. As a natural material, hardwood is prone to staining, warping, and discoloration from sun and water exposure, as well as substantial changes in temperature and humidity levels. Also, be prepared to pay up to four times more for a hardwood floor than you would for bamboo. However, if you want a floor that’s easier to refinish, comes in a variety of styles and colors, and can last for a century or more with proper care, hardwood flooringis the right choice for you… And it is, in fact, often grouped together under the general category of "solid-hardwood" flooring. Web. Pro installation adds $3 to $5 per square foot. Bamboo is a very hard and durable flooring material; and it is a genuinely "green" building material, though not quite to the degree of its reputation. You might think this makes bamboo flooring impervious to water, but that's not the case. Because it is a grass, bamboo performs slightly better than wood in terms of repelling moisture and mold growth. Bamboo, a native plant to tropical regions with heavy rainfalls, grows much faster than hardwood and has a different cellular structure. Prone to scratching and to moisture damage. Further, transportation costs are considerably less for many hardwoods, since they can be grown in a wide range of regional climates and can be readily sourced from local mills. The finish includes aluminum oxide wear layer to boost abrasion resistance. Prone to wear and tear - As with hardwood floors, bamboo can be damaged by anything from furniture to high heels. One of the crucial benefits of engineered bamboo flooring compared with hardwood is that it is more water-resistant. 10-25 years, depending on the nature of bamboo and added material. Modern processing techniques allow for all sorts of colors and textures. Bamboo, on the other hand, has a narrower range of diversity. After starting his own general contracting firm, Brewer Builds, in 2008, Johnathan began his TV career as an on air carpenter and has been featured on HGTVâs âSuper Scapesâ,âCurb Appeal the Blockâ, âElbow Roomâ, DIY Network's âHouse Crashersâ, "This Old House", and OWN Network's Emmy award winning show âHome Made Simpleâ. Diffen.com. Joseph Lewitin is a flooring expert who contributed home improvement content for The Spruce for four years. Any of the cheaper bamboo options are likely to be soft and easily damaged, so the higher end products seem to be the only durable choices. Hardwood flooring comes as solid wood or engineered planks, in which the top layer is real wood and the core layers are plywood. Bamboo is every bit as hard as most hardwoods and is slightly more water-resistant. Some might even say this look is closest to a typical hardwood. Used to be very difficult to install; mistakes could be frustrating and expensive. For example, the most expensive hardwood comes from mahogany, wenge, and teak. Harvested at its peak density at 5-6 years of age, it is harder than even maple and oak hardwoods. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Red walnut and Brazilian teak: 2,500 to 3,500. Look at the rating when you buy hardwood floors, and you will know what you are getting. I have a friend that is considering putting down bamboo flooring in their house. Formats. Finally, hardwood flooring also comes in varying grades, which will lead to either good consistency through the lot (high-grade) or a wide range of disparate pieces in the lot. Bamboo and hardwood do have a similar look and feel, and both materials are available both in 3/4-inch-thick solid planks and in engineered versions in which a finish-quality natural veneer is laminated over man-made core layers. When people are looking for a new floor that is durable and adds character to their home they will seriously consider a hardwood floor. Bamboo flooring is typically cheaper than standard hardwood. It just uses less hardwood than solid wood flooring does. This is why neither hardwood nor bamboo is recommended for below-grade applications, such as basements. 5 Dec 2020. But for performance and longevity, hardwood is at least as good as bamboo, and with dozens of species and grades available, it offers a greater range of choices for appearance. Hardwood is classic and IMO bamboo floors have peaked in popularity. Fairly water resistant, but more prone to warping from environmental humidity. If the environment is damp enough to support mold growth, both hardwood and bamboo are susceptible if they are unfinished. Contrary to popular belief, engineered wood is not \"fake\" wood. Hardwood flooring and bamboo flooring are both very durable types of hard flooring that can add beauty to any home. Wood is commonly measured by a test known as the Janka Hardness Test. Bamboo is all-naturalâit can be recycled and is biodegradable. It is generally grown in Southeast Asia and therefore requires significant energy expenditure to get it to certain locations. At first glance, bamboo flooring can be mistaken for another form of hardwood flooring. The price depends on the tree. Cannot be installed in basements. Worn or scratched bamboo floors can be sanded down and refinished, rather than needing a full replacement. • Natural bamboo flooring is about 50% harder than hardwood flooring. People use some of the strongest trees available when making hardwood, such as oak, hickory, and cherry. Hardwood flooring is also sought after by home buyers and can increase the resale value of the home it furnishes. Depending on the wood and treatment, the flooring can be extremely damage resistant and can be repaired or refinished. With hardwood, you have many species to choose from, and each has its own unique look, feel, and grain patterns. Hardwood is extremely environment friendly since it's a natural resource. You can sometimes find it for less, but cheaper materials are generally of notably lower quality. Bamboo Flooring Vs. Teragren says its Portfolio Collection of bamboo flooring is a wide-plank product that's an alternative to tropical hardwoods. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. Generally, the harder the hardwood, the more expensive it is, but also the more durable it is. Homeowners have reported a tendency for bamboo to begin to loose some of its color in areas that receive constant sunlight. Most bamboo flooring products will also carry a warranty for the finish, which can range from 5 to 10 years. Bamboo flooring does not resemble the stalks that you see growing in the wild. Hardwood vs Bamboo Flooring. 30-50 years if maintaiend well and resurfaced as needed. Engineered hardwood flooring can be used in almost any space, except for those with high-moisture and humidity (i.e. Now, the Durability of Hardwood vs Bamboo: Hardwood is a popular flooring choice and gives you plenty of fantastic advantages you won’t want to overlook. A bamboo floor is a type of flooring manufactured from the bamboo plant. Because it is a grass, bamboo performs slightly better than wood in terms of repelling moisture and mold growth. As a result of this, mold growth is also significantly slowed down and prevented. Today, most wood flooring is pre-cut into easy-to-install tongue and groove planks. The cost of professional installation is comparable for bamboo and hardwood, with costs ranging from $4 to $8 per square foot, depending on labor costs in your area. If you live in a busy household, you don’t want to worry about damaging your floors just by living your life. Thus, the materials used take far longer to regenerate. The color of hardwood flooring will depend on the type of wood you choose to have installed. For example, hickory or maple will be a completely different color to pine or ebony. Warranties for the material itself can range from 10 to 25 years, with 25-year warranties indicating a high-quality flooring. Johnathan C. Brewer II is a licensed general contractor specializing in kitchen, bath remodels, and general construction with two decades of professional experience. • Bamboo flooring only offers either dark or light variations in colour. Bamboo flooring is undeniably trendy, and as such, it may lend some greater real estate value to your home if you are marketing it for sale. If you fail to properly finish either type of flooring, it will discolor with both moisture and sunlight exposure and will be highly vulnerable to stains. Let us now look at a few salient features of these two types of wood for flooring: Durability. Hardwood flooring is much longer lasting and durable than bamboo. As a newer flooring product, bamboo is not currently rated in any official way to guarantee the quality, source, or consistency of the product. Bamboo is commonly touted as being slightly more moisture-resistant and mold-resistant, but the differences are negligible and essentially meaningless. The most distinctive appearance characteristic of bamboo lies in its construction, of which there are three types: Hardwood flooring costs roughly $4 to $8 per square foot for standard materials, such as hard maple or red oak, while more unusual hardwoods can cost upwards of $10 per square foot. Hardwood Offers More Diversity in Appearance, Wood Flooring Basics: Engineered Wood, Solid, Laminate, Best Wood Flooring Options for Homes With Dogs, Hardwood Flooring in Bedrooms Review: Pros and Cons, Vinyl Wood Flooring Versus Natural Hardwood, Carpet vs. Hardwood Flooring Comparison Guide, Hardwood Flooring in Kitchens Review: Pros and Cons, Kempas Wood Flooring: What to Know Before You Buy, Prefinished Hardwood Flooring Review: Pros and Cons. Will it hold up to kids and pets, or will you have to repair – or worse, replace – it after a short period of time? If you read this far, you should follow us: "Bamboo vs Hardwood Flooring." Bamboo flooring cannot be refinished as often and depending on … Can be installed at various locations, yet similar to bamboo, laminate floors … The softest hardwood used in flooring is pine, and itâs fairly inexpensive. Let’s look at the Bamboo flooring VS Hardwood Battle to know it for sure. Hardwood floors are natural and durable, but expensive. Further, when it is harvested, the roots do not need to be cut, so it can continue growing without the need for replanting. The machined and finished panels resemble any other type of solid hardwood. Plus, hey, in terms of bamboo flooring cost vs hardwood cost, bamboo is often the clear winner. Also you can't put them in just any home. The majority of today's bamboo flooring products originate in China and other portions of Asia.