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Should You Buy Bamboo Flooring?

Posted on 01/12/2015 in Hardwood Flooring Flooring Bamboo

Should You Buy Bamboo Flooring?

Bamboo is a highly renewable resource that quickly matures. Compared to hardwood trees that can take at least twenty years to mature, bamboo is grown and able to be harvested in as little as three years. When it comes to flooring, Bamboo is often advertised as an environmentally friendly way to add a distinctive look to your home. When considering the purchase of bamboo flooring, homeowners should weigh all of the pros and cons and make a choice that suits their individual preferences. 

Pros

Owners of bamboo floors enjoy its easy maintenance and water resistant nature. Unlike other hardwood floors, bamboo is slightly more resilient to both warping and water damage from spills or drips. Additionally bamboo can be refinished, making it not only an interesting design element but also long lasting. As a natural resource, bamboo is also considered a more environmentally friendly flooring choice than another flooring on the market. Some bamboo floors can be made to be extra durable via the manufacturing process. 

Cons

Bamboo floors are vulnerable to scratches. It is nearly impossible to prevent all scratches in bamboo floors that are in high traffic areas of the home. To test out flooring prior to purchasing it, you can use a fingernail or other item to scratch a sample and see how easily the wood scratches. 

Bamboo flooring is also susceptible to humidity. Dry climates can cause the material to shrink causing cracks in the floor, whereas in a more humid environment, the boards will plump. While the bamboo itself is a renewable resource, manufacturing of the wood to create flooring uses aresin based adhesive that can release volatile organic chemicals into the air. Finally, there is no grading system in place for bamboo flooring to indicate to consumers the quality of the materials, making it essential for homeowners to find a reputable dealer. 

Additional Considerations

Bamboo and hardwood are similarly priced flooring options. A homeowner wishing to purchase bamboo flooring can expect to pay between two and eight dollars per square foot for their flooring. While bamboo itself is a renewable resource, it is unclear whether the practice of using it for flooring is environmentally friendly. Concerns such as the use of the adhesives in the manufacturing process as well as a concern that forests are being cut down in order to plant additional bamboo makes it questionable. 

So while it is necessary for the homeowner to do their due diligence researching the company and the practice, those who seek an interesting design element in their home and who are willing to maintain their floors over time can definitely consider bamboo is a unique flooring option. 

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