You’ve probably arrived at this blog because you’re considering getting a new floor for one (or more) of the rooms in your house and a little bird – or perhaps even a Giant Panda – got you thinking about bamboo.
So, let’s take a quick look at some of the biggest advantages that bamboo flooring has to offer.
Why choose bamboo floors?
As highlighted in the Ted Talk above, bamboo is one of the strongest materials on the planet. It has the tensile strength of steel, which you’re probably not considering for your flooring, and strand woven bamboo flooring is three times stronger than hardwood, which you might be.
Basically, bamboo is one tough mother flooring! It can stand up to decades of regular home use – even in high traffic areas – before it even starts to look faded or scratched… so long as it’s properly cared for. And when your flooring does start to look a little worse for wear, you can simply refinish it!
Refinishing your bamboo floor
Over the course of time, you may find that your bamboo floor has become scratched or lost its shine. It could be that your kids ignored the ‘no cleats in the house’ rule or that your cat has been sharpening its claws on the floor rather than its scratching post, but whatever the reason, you’ll be happy to know that refinishing your bamboo flooring can be done and is easy and inexpensive.
All you need to do is sand the boards down and reapply the finish to get a floor that’s as good as new. You can even do this multiple times throughout the life of the floor, depending on the thickness of the planks, which is perfect for injecting new life into the house if you ever have to sell.
How else is bamboo flooring durable?
Want more proof that bamboo is strong enough for your house? Well, let’s look at some of the other qualities that make bamboo flooring so durable.
- It’s water resistant: Bamboo is incredibly resistant to staining, warping, or other kinds of water damage, especially when compared with hardwood. All you need to do is clear up spills within 20 hours! How easy is that?
- It’s dimensionally stable: Because bamboo is grown in an area of the world that is hot and humid, it’s able to cope with temperature/humidity changes in a way that most hardwoods struggle to. As a result, can be used in areas where changes are expected (i.e. bathrooms, kitchens, basements, conservatories) so long as it is installed properly.
When you’re deciding to put new floors down in your house, particularly if it’s in several rooms, the costs of parts and labor can easily mount up. Luckily, bamboo floors are surprisingly inexpensive and have some other major cost-saving benefits as well.
When comparing the costs of flooring types, you’ll find that bamboo can be roughly a third cheaper than hardwoods, while offering a similar style and quality. This can be as cheap as $2-$8 per square foot. Incredible!
However, that’s not the only way that bamboo flooring can save you money.
Installing your own bamboo floors
Bamboo floors are so easy to install that you can fit them yourself, cutting out labor costs altogether. Plus, they’re generally ready for installation upon purchase, meaning no finishing costs.
All you need to do is follow your manufacturer’s recommended installation procedure – otherwise you could void your warranty. Some bamboo flooring can even be installed via a floating click-lock method, like the world’s most useful jigsaw. It’ll be way cheaper than hiring someone and as long as you can follow some simple instructions, you’ll do great.
For proof, see this YouTube video:
And, as mentioned above, you can refinish your bamboo floors if they ever start to wear down, which will save you money on a whole new floor in the long run.
More people than ever are (rightly!) concerned about the future of our planet and so they want to make greener choices in their day-to-day lives in order to lessen their negative impact on the world. That’s why they’re choosing bamboo flooring.
Why is bamboo the green choice? Well, there are so many reasons, but let’s look at just a few.
- Natural: As bamboo is a plant, it doesn’t need to be created in a factory using harsh chemicals.
- Highly Renewable: Bamboo plants can go from planting to harvest in just five years, compared with at least 50 for a tree.
- Gentle Harvest: As bamboo plants are harvested by hand, the farmers can do a lot to protect the area in a way that just wouldn’t be possible using machines, like keeping an eye out for rare plants and animals.
- Regeneration: Bamboo grass – yes, grass! – is able to regenerate itself from the root, meaning that harvesting bamboo will not damage the plant, unlike cutting down trees.
- Soil Stability: When harvesting bamboo, you don’t need to unearth the plant. This means that the soil around it is more stable and less likely to cause erode, causing other nasty eco-problems.
- Forest Stewardship Council Approval: Many bamboo floors carry the FSC logo, which means that they have passed tests at every stage to ensure that they are not adding to the destruction of forests and the plant/animal life within. It also means that the workers are getting fair pay and safe working conditions!
We all live busy lives; it’s why we can never make it to the gym or read that book for book club. So, when we buy new things for our house, we want them to make our lives easier. Bamboo floors will do that for you.
As we mentioned above, they’re actually pretty easy to install yourself. Depending on the size of the room, you might actually be able to do it in an afternoon while listening to your favorite podcast (or the audiobook of ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ in time for book club).
But, that’s not the only way that bamboo flooring will save you time. It’ll also cut down on the amount of cleaning that you have to do; couldn’t we all do with that?
Cleaning your bamboo floor
How long does it take you to clean your current floors? Whatever your answer was, it’ll take you less time to clean bamboo floors. Promise.
Most of the time, all you’ll have to do to clean your bamboo is wipe up spills as you see them and sweep/vacuum the floors on a regular basis. That will be enough to pick up routine dirt, debris, and dust.
Occasionally, you might need to more intense cleaning with a damp –not wet! –mop/cloth and specialized bamboo floor cleaning products. This is still a quick process and won’t take too much time out of your day.
What not to do
Never steam or wet mop your bamboo floors. It’s their kryptonite! Plus, it’ll void your warranty.
One of the most important things to consider when picking a floor is how it will work with your décor.
Bamboo is a versatile and trendy material that can be altered – through varnishes and textures – to suit any home. It can even be ‘caramelized’ during the manufacturing process to darken the final product by heating the sugars in the plants to suit a more traditional color scheme.
And if you change the look of your home in the years to come, you can always refinish your floor to suit.
Now, it’s over to you. Do you have a bamboo floor? What are some of the advantages that I missed? What’s your favorite benefit? Sound off in the comments below.