From a distance timber flooring and bamboo flooring don’t seem different at all, one would even say they look almost exactly alike. And they’re right, they are almost exactly alike sharing a number of similar characteristics. You’d have to look a little closer to see just what in one is different from the other. The first and most differentiating factor between the two, however, is the fact that bamboo is a type of grass whereas timber flooring is obtained from a number of different tree species and lumber. Aside from this, there are other things that set these two apart.
Strength and Durability
One of the first things that you’ve probably wondered about is if they differ in strength and durability. As far as hardness ratings are concerned, bamboo flooring ranges between 1000 and 1400. Which end of that range the flooring is on depends on whether the bamboo is in its natural state or has been carbonised. Carbonised bamboo, which is usually darker than bamboo in its natural state due to the carbonisation process, is generally softer than non-carbonised bamboo. Timber flooring hardness has a wider range of hardness ranging from about 600 all the way up to 3500 depending on the wood species.
Bamboo flooring usually lasts between 15 and 50 years while timber flooring could last as long as 100 years the length of which highly depends upon how well the flooring is taken care of during its usable life.
Timber flooring can be selected from a plethora of species which when installed will produce varied aesthetics, feel and patterns. Lending even more to this are the various ways in which timber flooring is cut (discussed in part here) which gives way to different grain patterns making your resulting flooring even more unique. This all makes it quite easy to find timber flooring that fits your home’s selected aesthetics and your tastes.
Bamboo flooring on the other hand, though available in a number of species as well, normally has a relatively consistent end results. Usually displaying horizontal lines running through its boards, bamboo flooring will not offer you as much variance as timber flooring will.
If you’ve already been shopping for flooring options you may already have noticed that generally bamboo flooring tends to be slightly cheaper than timber flooring depending on the species and strength of the flooring you’re looking at. However, always bear in mind the cost of installation and finishing (if you’ve selected to purchase site-finished flooring). Feel free to contact us for quotations on the timber flooring and bamboo flooring we have available.
Bamboo flooring has been the recipient of a good amount of attention and praise for its eco-friendly nature and with a regrowth period of only 3 to 5 years, you can see why. This is also due to the fact that it is harvested by cutting it some distance from the roots, leaving them intact and allowing for regrowth without having to replant it. Bamboo also happens to be recyclable as well as biodegradable. However, due to the fact that bamboo generally grows in south-east Asia, the transportation of the bamboo from where it is harvested to where it is to be sold and installed adds to carbon emissions.
Timber flooring on the other hand will take about 20 years to mature, resulting in a longer regeneration time. Trees, unlike bamboo, can be grown almost anywhere and depending on the species, can be used for flooring. This makes timber more readily available and reduces the need to transport it long distances.
Bamboo flooring, due to its roots as a member of the grass family, happens to be relatively water resistant though it is more prone to warping from environmental humidity. It also happens to form a hostile environment that limits the formation and repels mould and mildew, creating a safer environment for you and your family.
Timber flooring, on the other hand, isn’t as repellent of moisture as bamboo flooring is. It is prone to warping, moisture penetration and/or discolouration. Of solid and engineered timber flooring, engineered flooring is more resistant to moisture (that’s why it can be installed in more parts of your home than solid timber flooring). This shouldn’t discourage your choice of timber flooring though as it can be sealed and finished to prevent water penetration and allow for it to sit on the flooring for longer. Care should still be taken though as mould and mildew and possibly rot can still be problems due to moisture that could seep in from below.
Here at Simply Bamboo, we offer both bamboo and timber flooring so feel free to contact us with questions or for quotations, or come to us in person for a more personal experience. We look forward to working with you!