Bamboo comes from the grass family, unlike hardwood that comes from trees, making bamboo flooring increasingly popular alongside hardwoods in flooring applications. Bamboo flooring has become the first choice amongst homeowners, renovators and builders alike due to its natural beauty and eco-friendly sustainability. Renewable, easily maintained and hardwearing, the surface coating can be refinished in the same manner as other hardwood flooring choices on the market. Engineered Compressed (Strand) Bamboo flooring has been proven on what is known as the Janka Hardness Rating for timber as one of the hardest flooring options on the market. The pros certainly out way the cons when making Bamboo the preferred choice for flooring in high traffic areas.
Engineered Compressed Bamboo Flooring
Compressed (Strand) Bamboo itself is manufactured by slicing the stalks of bamboo into smaller strands, then layers are glued together through compression into form raw sheets of compressed bamboo timber. The end result is cut into planks consisting of three compressed layers with the middle layer placed ninety degrees to the top and bottom layer destined for some of the hardest and strongest flooring on the market, it is also pre-finished for quicker installation. This process also involves a heating method known as carbonisation, creating a choice in different bamboo flooring colours.
Maintenance and Repair
Bamboo flooring is moderately easy to maintain, regular sweeping with a soft bristle brush and a light damp eco-mop makes dirt removal relatively easy. Wet mopping or steam mopping is not recommended and will void your warranty as large volumes of water and exposure to humidity can damage your floor just as regular hardwoods are prone to similar exposure.
Bamboo Flooring Installation
Compressed Bamboo flooring is available in a tongue and groove direct stick (glued-down) option which is preferred over an alternative floating floor option where the flooring planks are laid upon underlay. However, the benefit of going direct stick over floating bamboo application is the floating option cannot be re-sanded and re-finished, unlike the direct stick (glued) option that can be later re-sanded and finished. The direct stick is the preferred installation method by a majority of installers as it provides a nice feel underfoot when walked upon and provides minimal movement of the flooring itself. The floating option on the other hand where boards are locked together known as, "click-lock" are installed on top of an underlay and can create more movement in the floor that can lead to more sound when walked upon and provides minimal tolerance if the installation surface is not level or flat enough. Therefore, the floating option can create unwanted expansion between the boards and more so an echo underfoot. Though the floating option is popular amongst DIYers due to its easier install application, the direct stick option is a preferred choice and considerably superior in its overall result and performance.
Expert Comparison: BAMBOO VS HARDWOOD FLOORING
The choice between Compressed Bamboo and Hardwood flooring can be a dilemma due to similar costs and traits. The major similarities between the two are that; both are extremely effective at adding real estate value to your home and come pre-finished to provide a hardwearing floor that is quick and easy to install. Yet, Bamboo is a regenerative timber source, unlike hardwood flooring. Though hardwoods do have a unique grain pattern depending on the species of hardwood you choose, bamboo does go through a carbonisation process that creates a variation in colour and choice.