Why Should You Switch to Bamboo?
Are you interested in upgrading your current floors? You may have thought about hardwood, tile, laminate, or other popular flooring styles in your search for new flooring. However, one newer flooring style often gets overlooked, despite its immense benefits for homeowners. Bamboo flooring is a hot trend in home renovations right now because of its unique qualities. Find out why you should consider switching to bamboo in your home.
It’s Environmentally Friendly
If you’re concerned about the environment, you’ll love the fact that bamboo is considered to be one of the most ecologically friendly flooring types. Bamboo is a highly renewable resource; in fact, it can grow to maturity in just three to five years. That makes this natural vegetation a great option for flooring, since harvesting it doesn’t take a big toll on the environment.
For comparison, the trees used for sourcing hardwood flooring often take 20 years or more to reach maturity. By using bamboo instead, you are selecting a more easily renewable natural material while simultaneously lowering the demand for hardwood flooring, especially those of the exotic variety. Essentially, you get a look and feel that’s similar to hardwood while making a “greener” choice for your home.
There’s one caveat to bamboo’s eco-friendly perks, however. Some companies have been found to cut corners when it comes to harvesting and processing their bamboo flooring. There have been issues with some bamboo flooring that contains adhesives and formaldehyde emitting toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which is bad for both your personal health and the health of the environment. When shopping for bamboo floors, make sure you buy from a company that has certification from the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) for good harvesting and manufacturing practices.
Maintenance Is a Breeze
Switching to bamboo floors is a home upgrade that makes life a little easier. This flooring style is easy to maintain, which helps free up time that you’d otherwise be working on chores.
For the day-to-day cleaning, simply sweep or vacuum the floors on a regular basis to keep small particles such as dirt, dust and sand off the floor. These particles may create scars or scratches if left on the floor over time; as people walk over them, they act like grit on a piece of sandpaper and wear down the bamboo flooring finish. Consider keeping mats or rugs near your entryways to help trap these particles before they get tracked on your floors.
When you’re ready for an occasional deep clean, use a cleaning product designed for bamboo floors or a non-wax, non-alkaline hardwood floor cleaner. You can use a damp mop on these floors as long as you don’t leave them wet for more than a few minutes.
That’s really all there is to it. You don’t need to worry about resealing these floors, which minimizes the overall costs and effort related to floor maintenance over the years.
The Price Is Right
Due to its low maintenance and eco-friendly qualities, you might be surprised to hear that bamboo flooring is typically priced at about the same rate as hardwood floors. Though these costs make it more expensive than some other flooring types, it’s still within a reasonable range and allows you to make a major home upgrade without overspending.
Keep in mind that bamboo flooring is also very durable, so your investment is sure to last for a long time. The hardwood-like appearance of bamboo also helps to increase the resale value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers down the road.
Plenty of Style Choices
Bamboo is an undeniably stylish flooring choice. It has a stranded look that makes it look similar to hardwood but with a slightly more modern appearance. This natural grain gives it a unique look that adds a sophisticated touch to any home.
Bamboo also comes in different colors. Natural bamboo has a light blonde color that many homeowners find helps make a space look bigger. For a darker color, choose carbonized bamboo. This bamboo variety is boiled for longer periods, causing the natural sugars in the plant to caramelize and darken to produce a rich, elegant tone. You can also choose stained bamboo in a wide variety of light, medium, and dark shades.
If you really want to combine the benefits of bamboo with the look of real hardwood, choose direct print bamboo. Patterns for specific types of hardwood, such as cherry or oak, can be applied to the surface of the bamboo before it’s sealed to produce the visual effect you prefer.
When it comes to durability, bamboo doesn’t disappoint. This type of flooring is actually harder than several types of hardwood flooring. On the Janka Hardness Scale used to determine wood hardness and strength, bamboo flooring is rated at 1762, while engineered bamboo flooring ranks at 1690. This places bamboo flooring above popular hardwoods such as maple (1450), white oak (1360), ash (1320), red oak (1290), black walnut (1010), teak (1000), and black cherry (950) when it comes to hardness. Some of the hardwoods that have a higher Janka rating include hickory (1820), mahogany (2200), and Brazilian cherry (2350).
Certain types of bamboo are harder than others, especially strand-woven bamboo. Natural, uncarbonized bamboo is also incredibly durable. Choosing thick planks will also increase durability while also giving you the option to refinish your floors like you would with hardwood in order to give it a fresh, updated look later on.
Keep in mind that while they are durable, bamboo floors are not indestructible. They are more resistant to water damage than hardwood, but they can still become warped by exposure to excess moisture. Bamboo also tends to expand in humid environments and shrink in dry environments; variations between these two conditions can lead to cracks in the planks. High heels, pet claws, and small particles on the floor can potentially scratch its surface.
Do you think bamboo floors might be the right choice for your home? Use this guide to consider all the potential benefits of this unique flooring type.