Some might even say this look is closest to a typical hardwood. Formats. bathrooms). The most distinctive appearance characteristic of bamboo lies in its construction, of which there are three types: Hardwood flooring costs roughly $4 to $8 per square foot for standard materials, such as hard maple or red oak, while more unusual hardwoods can cost upwards of $10 per square foot. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Red walnut and Brazilian teak: 2,500 to 3,500. Now, the Durability of Hardwood vs Bamboo: Hardwood is a popular flooring choice and gives you plenty of fantastic advantages you won’t want to overlook. You can sometimes find it for less, but cheaper materials are generally of notably lower quality. The main reason is that it takes very much longer to mature. Moso bamboo is the species most commonly used for flooring. Let’s look at the Bamboo flooring VS Hardwood Battle to know it for sure. One of the crucial benefits of engineered bamboo flooring compared with hardwood is that it is more water-resistant. Hardwood Offers More Diversity in Appearance, Wood Flooring Basics: Engineered Wood, Solid, Laminate, Best Wood Flooring Options for Homes With Dogs, Hardwood Flooring in Bedrooms Review: Pros and Cons, Vinyl Wood Flooring Versus Natural Hardwood, Carpet vs. Hardwood Flooring Comparison Guide, Hardwood Flooring in Kitchens Review: Pros and Cons, Kempas Wood Flooring: What to Know Before You Buy, Prefinished Hardwood Flooring Review: Pros and Cons. Most worn and damaged hardwood flooring can be repaired or refinished rather than replaced, but where damage is severe enough to require replacement, the damaged boards can be pulled up and replaced with matching material. Fairly water resistant, but more prone to warping from environmental humidity. < >. The recent surge in the use of bamboo flooring partially be attributed to its being marketed as a green product. Bamboo and hardwood do have a similar look and feel, and both materials are available both in 3/4-inch-thick solid planks and in engineered versions in which a finish-quality natural veneer is laminated over man-made core layers. You can pick through a variety of species and options to find the look that perfectly matches the style of your environment. Unlike hardwoods, a bamboo floor can only be sanded and refinished a couple times. Warranties for the material itself can range from 10 to 25 years, with 25-year warranties indicating a high-quality flooring. Johnathan C. Brewer II is a licensed general contractor specializing in kitchen, bath remodels, and general construction with two decades of professional experience. The softest hardwood used in flooring is pine, and it’s fairly inexpensive. The cost of bamboo flooring is $5 to $8 per square foot, which is about the same as most common hardwood flooring types. Today, most wood flooring is pre-cut into easy-to-install tongue and groove planks. The color of hardwood flooring will depend on the type of wood you choose to have installed. Prone to scratching and to moisture damage. But for performance and longevity, hardwood is at least as good as bamboo, and with dozens of species and grades available, it offers a greater range of choices for appearance. Can be easily restored to like-new condition. If you read this far, you should follow us: "Bamboo vs Hardwood Flooring." Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. Because there is a long history of use, hardwood flooring materials are thoroughly rated for size, shape, moisture content, evenness, consistency of color, and pattern features. While the bamboo plant is a type of grass, not a tree, bamboo flooring behaves much like wood flooring—it can even be refinished in the same way. And it is, in fact, often grouped together under the general category of "solid-hardwood" flooring. Hardwood flooring is comparatively more expensive than bamboo. At first glance, bamboo flooring can be mistaken for another form of hardwood flooring. This involves pressing a steel ball into the wood and measuring how deeply the ball dents the wood. Another option for areas prone to moisture, such as a concrete subfloor, is engineered hardwood. Also, be prepared to pay up to four times more for a hardwood floor than you would for bamboo. We give it 6 out of 10 for pri… Bamboo floors can warp over time in humid environments. Because it is a grass, bamboo performs slightly better than wood in terms of repelling moisture and mold growth. If you live in a busy household, you don’t want to worry about damaging your floors just by living your life. Hardwood costs considerably more than bamboo. The other main category of the tree is the softwoods, which grow from gymnosperm seeds—"naked" seeds that are not enclosed within an ovum or fruit. Hardwood flooring can last for generations if well maintained. This is why neither hardwood nor bamboo is recommended for below-grade applications, such as basements. With hardwood, you have many species to choose from, and each has its own unique look, feel, and grain patterns. Further, when it is harvested, the roots do not need to be cut, so it can continue growing without the need for replanting. Good quality bamboo flooring can compete with expensive hardwood flooring in terms of durability and appearance. Because it is a grass, bamboo performs slightly better than wood in terms of repelling moisture and mold growth. Finally, solid hardwoods are a pure product, requiring no chemical resins or glues (engineered hardwood flooring, however, does include these chemical materials). The best approach is to work with a reputable dealer or manufacturer with a proven track record of sustainable practices or sources, and one known for selling high-quality products. But a single tree provides a substantial amount of workable lumber. But the environmental considerations are not that simple. Diffen.com. Because of this, hardwood gives you more freedom to choose exactly the look that you want. Will it hold up to kids and pets, or will you have to repair – or worse, replace – it after a short period of time? The top layer is always made of hardwood, so it’s prone to the same damages a… Real wood flooring can be refinished multiple times to restore it. Depends on a number of factors, such as whether the floor is finished, type of wood used, what room it is in, and how well it is maintained. Finally, hardwood flooring also comes in varying grades, which will lead to either good consistency through the lot (high-grade) or a wide range of disparate pieces in the lot. Worn or scratched bamboo floors can be sanded down and refinished, rather than needing a full replacement. In terms of comparing hardness between bamboo and hardwood flooring, bamboo is the cheaper option. Typically, you need to wait twenty years before you can harvest an oak tree. Good quality bamboo flooring can compete with expensive hardwood flooring in terms of durability and appearance. The machined and finished panels resemble any other type of solid hardwood. Carbonizing the bamboo, however, makes it softer. At the same time, bamboo floors have a lifespan of 10 – 25 years, however, hardwood flooring can last up to 75 – 100 years. This is compounded by the fact that different cuts also produce different levels of grain consistency. Bamboo, a native plant to tropical regions with heavy rainfalls, grows much faster than hardwood and has a different cellular structure. Take bamboo and hardwood flooring as an example, bamboo floors are cheaper and growing in popularity while hardwood floors are natural and durable, yet expensive. Pro installation adds $3 to $5 per square foot. The colors, grains… The finish is a German “Treffert” finish. 30-50 years if maintaiend well and resurfaced as needed. Among the common hardwoods woods used for flooring and woodworking, measured hardness ratings include: There are, however, some softwoods that are harder than some hardwoods; for example, Eastern red cedar (900 hardness rating), and Douglas fir (660 hardness rating). Although it is commonly grouped with hardwood flooring, bamboo is not actually a wood, but rather a woody grass. Further, transportation costs are considerably less for many hardwoods, since they can be grown in a wide range of regional climates and can be readily sourced from local mills. As a newer flooring product, bamboo is not currently rated in any official way to guarantee the quality, source, or consistency of the product. Used to be very difficult to install; mistakes could be frustrating and expensive. Contrary to popular belief, engineered wood is not \"fake\" wood. Diffen LLC, n.d. As a natural material, hardwood is prone to staining, warping, and discoloration from sun and water exposure, as well as substantial changes in temperature and humidity levels. Additionally, bamboo is termite resistant and comes in a huge choice of stains and plank widths. Web. Bamboo flooring cannot be refinished as often and depending on … Modern processing techniques allow for all sorts of colors and textures. Joseph Lewitin is a flooring expert who contributed home improvement content for The Spruce for four years. When people are looking for a new floor that is durable and adds character to their home they will seriously consider a hardwood floor. Bamboo flooring in a Cape Cod is just wrong. Look at the rating when you buy hardwood floors, and you will know what you are getting. Johnathan taught building construction for Rising Sun Energy in Berkeley California. Preferred by contractors, builders, and DIY homeowners, Cali Bamboo is ultra-low VOC, the perfect union of sustainability and durability to last a lifetime. Broadly speaking, there are some key differences between bamboo and laminate. Therefore, you can install it in kitchens and other places where it is likely to get wet occasionally. Properly finished and well-maintained hardwood floors can last for decades. Bamboo Flooring vs. Hardwood (oak) flooring. Most bamboo flooring products will also carry a warranty for the finish, which can range from 5 to 10 years. Bamboo floors are cheaper and growing in popularity. Bamboo flooring is often marketed as being more resistant to moisture than wood and may be seen in bathrooms, especially half-baths. However, because bamboo is considered a grass, it actually performs better than actual wood. Homeowners have reported a tendency for bamboo to begin to loose some of its color in areas that receive constant sunlight. However, if you want a floor that’s easier to refinish, comes in a variety of styles and colors, and can last for a century or more with proper care, hardwood flooringis the right choice for you… Although some people think of it as a hardwood floor, bamboo is actually a grass. Bamboo Flooring Vs. Bamboo flooring is undeniably trendy, and as such, it may lend some greater real estate value to your home if you are marketing it for sale. The price depends on the tree. However, some bamboo flooring products are carbonized to darken it. People use some of the strongest trees available when making hardwood, such as oak, hickory, and cherry. The harder bamboo flooring products are heavily treated with formaldehyde and other toxic bonding agents. Any of the cheaper bamboo options are likely to be soft and easily damaged, so the higher end products seem to be the only durable choices. The finish is applied during manufacturing to guarantee the best application and a long life span. In terms of comparing hardness between bamboo and hardwood flooring, bamboo is the cheaper option. Bamboo flooring vs. laminate flooring: at a glance. starlightfarm. Bamboo is commonly touted as being slightly more moisture-resistant and mold-resistant, but the differences are negligible and essentially meaningless. Dust mops and stiff brooms are enough for general cleaning, and a well wrung-out mop can be used if necessary. (This sets engineered wood apart from laminate flooring, which only uses a photographic layer for its veneer, and bamboo flooring, which actually contains no hardwood.) Bamboo flooring can be made from many different species of bamboo with differing properties, but Moso bamboo is the most popular high-quality option. 1. This is because bamboo grass stalks can grow very rapidly; some types attain full height in just 3 to 5 years. It's recyclable and renewable and is best purchased from environmentally responsible manufacturers to avoid over-harvesting. Wood; timber from harvested trees, mostly. On being harvested, we boil bamboo and remove the sugar and starch using chemicals. Thus, the materials used take far longer to regenerate. Both bamboo and hardwood flooring can be ruined by moisture from standing water or water vapor. Whereas hardwood flooring is made of a solid piece of wood, engineered planks employ only a veneer of real hardwood. Here’s how their makeups compare: What is bamboo flooring made of? Bamboo has gotten a lot of attention for being an incredibly green, eco-friendly building material. The Benefits and Drawbacks Of Bamboo Floors -. I have a friend that is considering putting down bamboo flooring in their house. But when different types of woods are measured for their actual resilience to impact or scratching, hardwoods are not always harder than all softwoods. As a result, it is strongly recommended that you spend some time shopping around before making a final choice in this regard. If you fail to properly finish either type of flooring, it will discolor with both moisture and sunlight exposure and will be highly vulnerable to stains. However, there are also environmental drawbacks of bamboo. While hardwood flooring can last up to 75 - 100 years, bamboo floors have a lifespan of 10 - 25 years. This includes most conifer trees with seed cones in which the seeds are fully exposed. Engineered hardwood flooring can be used in almost any space, except for those with high-moisture and humidity (i.e. Hardwood flooring is made of natural hardwood from the lumber harvested in forest areas. The Difference Between Hardwood, Laminate and Bamboo Flooring. The length of the warranty is usually a good indication of the quality of bamboo flooring. Teragren says its Portfolio Collection of bamboo flooring is a wide-plank product that's an alternative to tropical hardwoods. Engineered hardwood is created in layers with a hardwood layer on the top, rendering it as prone to damage like solid hardwood does. Jasper Hardwood – European Brushed Oak Collection / SKU: 10096546 Hardwood floors offer many choices for color, warmth, depth, and striations because of various tree species.Bamboo encompasses far fewer varieties, and although you can stain bamboo to achieve desired colors and tones, it doesn’t have the same breadth of variety that hardwood offers. Cleaning agents that are safe for use on hardwood floors and also be used on bamboo. At least, in terms of keeping moisture away. For example, the most expensive hardwood comes from mahogany, wenge, and teak. Bamboo vs Hardwood Bamboo Flooring. Finally, a machine presses the bamboo fibers into boards and planks. Homeowners looking for the appeal of a hardwood floor covering have an increasingly large number of options. Bamboo and hardwood do have a similar look and feel, and both materials are available both in 3/4-inch-thick solid planks and in engineered versions in which a finish-quality natural veneer is laminated over man-made core layers. Modern processing techniques allow for all sorts of colors and textures. This consists of a hardwood layer on top of plywood or fiberboard, which allows for some expansion and contraction. Generally, the harder the hardwood, the more expensive it is, but also the more durable it is. Hardwood flooring comes as solid wood or engineered planks, in which the top layer is real wood and the core layers are plywood. This video shows professional bamboo flooring installation: Wet mops should be avoided when cleaning bamboo floors. Material Mostly Chinese bamboo processed with adhesives. When measured by the Janka Hardness Test, some hardwoods are softer than some softwoods, and they may also be softer than bamboo. Many bamboo products also make use of manmade chemical resins and glues that are not at all friendly to the environment. Consumers looking for a more affordable floor that’s easy to install, is more resistant to moisture damage, and can handle everyday wear and tear like a champ, bamboo flooringis the right choice for you. Cali Bamboo flooring undergoes our proprietary Fossilized® manufacturing process that makes it twice the density of any other hardwood floor in the world, backed by a 50-year warranty. Installing bamboo flooring means gluing or nailing to a subfloor. You know the advantages of hardwood flooring. Prone to moisture penetration, discoloration, or warping. Engineered bamboo (also called stranded bamboo) flooring material is more durable than natural bamboo, but is highly processed from its natural state, being stripped, boiled, cut, bonded and pressed. As long as you wipe up any spills reasonably quickly (within 24 hours), you are good to go… The finish includes aluminum oxide wear layer to boost abrasion resistance. Lighter-colored bamboo is harder than darker bamboo, as the carbonization process used to darken the wood makes it softer. Plus, hey, in terms of bamboo flooring cost vs hardwood cost, bamboo is often the clear winner. Both strand woven bamboo flooring and hardwood floor are available in solid (planks of pure wood/bamboo) and engineered (a veneer of wood/bamboo on top of a high-density fiberboard for added strength) versions.. Strand woven bamboo flooring, which is made by placing layers of bamboo together at 90-degree angles and compressing them, has the tensile strength of … 11 years ago. • Natural bamboo flooring is about 50% harder than hardwood flooring. It is also harder to manufacture bamboo into flooring than it is to prepare wood logs for use, which means a greater CO2 expenditure and environmental impact. Harvested at its peak density at 5-6 years of age, it is harder than even maple and oak hardwoods. Hardwood floors suit most rooms, yet compared to bamboo, solid hardwood is more prone to moisture, and therefore should not be installed at locations below grade (such as cellars and basements). The strengths of bamboo flooring start with its distinctive look, and if it captures your eye, you might not be happy with anything else.If you’re concerned about sustainability in the materials you choose, consider that bamboo is a grass that grows to useful size in just three to seven years. This group includes many popular species, such as oak, maple, cherry, hickory, and walnut, among many others. Not all property owners are aware of the fact that both hardwood and bamboo flooring can be purchased in a wide variety of color and style options these days. Traditional wood is much longer wearing and requires less maintenance. 10-25 years, depending on the nature of bamboo and added material. If the environment is damp enough to support mold growth, both hardwood and bamboo are susceptible if they are unfinished. A bamboo floor is a type of flooring manufactured from the bamboo plant. Bamboo will be of most appeal to consumers interested in using natural, renewable resources. It is also harder to ensure that bamboo products are sourced in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Bamboo is all-natural—it can be recycled and is biodegradable. Therefore, you never know quite what you are getting when you purchase bamboo flooring. 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