Bamboo is one of the most popular trends for modern flooring options. But is it worth all the side effects? Here we look at all the pros and cons of buying, installing, and maintaining a bamboo floor.

Pros:

  • Top quality is as durable as hardwood
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Modern, clean look
  • Cleans easily
  • Can be sanded and refinished

Cons:

  • Inexpensive options are much less durable
  • Depending on where you buy it from, the carbon footprint erases any environmental benefit.
  • Lack of variety in shades
  • Not suitable for humid or damp areas
  • No industry-wide grading system
  • Susceptible to scratches

Durability

For bamboo floors, the quality depends greatly on the source. Because there is no industry-wide grading system, you must look more carefully at the sources than you would for other flooring options. You will regret going cheap with bamboo floors because these companies are often overseas, and bamboo made cheaply is not very durable at all. When you buy your floor, make sure you have a substantial warranty.

Because bamboo is a grass, not wood, it’s also more susceptible to water and humidity damage than other floors. Meaning it’s not suitable for areas where humidity can be high. Low to medium quality floors also scratch more easily and are much more noticeable than in other hardwood floors.

Environmental Impact

Bamboo itself is a wonderful and versatile renewable resource which can and should replace wood as we move towards a more environmentally conscious economy. However, because you would be buying these floors from overseas, and because there is not an industry-wide grading system, the carbon footprint that comes from importing and creating the adhesive could cancel out the environmental benefit of using bamboo. If you want environmentally friendly floors, you want to make sure the company is certified by the Forestry Steward Council.

Design

The bamboo floor is unique and trendy. It gives your home a warm modern look that you can’t get with any other type of floor. It won’t match all designs, since it’s so unique, but can give your home a beautiful personality.

It is possible to get bamboo flooring that works for you, that’s durable, environmentally friendly, easy to clean and refinish. But you need to do the extra work in researching the right buy, the right warranty, and considering the effects of carbon footprint. If you’re willing to do that work, then bamboo can look wonderful on your home and it will be well worth the effort.