Bamboo flooring is one of the latest trends in hardwood flooring. It is becoming so popular because it is not only cheap and renewable but also because it is very beautiful providing a rich, light grain. It is one of the only wood building materials that is completely renewable which also drives the cost down.
Bamboo is not actually made from hardwood floor material, but rather natural bamboo grass strove together to create the density and durability of an every day hardwood floor. Bamboo Flooring has become the trending choice for hardwood flooring enthusiasts as the actual plant itself is a renewable energy resource which can be re-harvested every five years for optimum environmental benefits. It may take other wood species over one-hundred years to reach the same levels of maturation. Bamboo floors have been used for already thousands of years in the construction industry in Asia, and now the western markets in the United States and Europe have recently discovered the benefits behind bamboo flooring.
Bamboo flooring is easy to install for carpenters who are already masters at installing regular hardwood floors. There is almost no difference in installation, it can be nailed down to floor or be a tongue and groove set-up that floats on top of the existing floor. There are also numerous finishes and sizes and styles of planks that can be used.
The sub floor underneath the bamboo flooring has to be structurally sound and perfectly flat for the best results. Bamboo absorbs moisture no matter what which means that it has to get acclimatized to the humidity of the room. Before installing make sure to leave the planks in the room for at least three days or they might not fit correctly in the end, either bursting their seams because it is too tight or being loose.
Which type of bamboo flooring should I buy for my project?
There are many factors that can affect which product is best so there is no blanket “right’ answer. In this section of bamboo flooring reviews by type, we will give you an overview of which type bamboo is best suited for a particular application.
Solid bamboo flooring (the traditional standard)
This type can be installed in a nail down application above grade on a plywood, OSB, or other acceptable wood subfloor. It can also be installed on grade or below grade with a recommended premium adhesive. It is also suitable (if all guidelines are followed) for installation over radiant heat floor systems. This information includes both horizontal and vertical grain products.
Engineered bamboo flooring
This type differs from solid in that it has a “plywood” type base with a bamboo top layer and the solid is made from 100% bamboo. it is suited for all the same areas as the solid bamboo, but offers a bit more stability than the solid in applications such as over radiant heat systems, below grade, or directly on grade concrete subfloors. It also tends to be “thinner” so some jobsites that have issues with the amount that the floor can be raised this type could offer a solution.
Floating bamboo flooring
This type is similar to engineered bamboo flooring, but the “core” of the product is made a bit differently, and it is designed to either “click” together or glue together at the joints only and does not actually secure to the subfloor. This in effect has the entire floor as one piece floating in the room. it is suited for all the same applications as solid and engineered, but does offer the possibility to go over additional subfloor types that the others do not. For example a flat ceramic tile floor or a subfloor of “particle board” can be gone over with this product and it cannot properly with the solid or engineered versions.
Strand Woven Bamboo flooring
This type of bamboo flooring is basically the same as far as acceptable applications as the “solid” bamboo flooring. We have given it a separate rating because it is made with a very unique manufacturing process and we feel it may be the next wave of popular new floor types.
Bamboo flooring finishes
Most products have a polyurethane finish of some sort or another, however they will vary in thickness, number of layers, technological advances, overall hardness etc..