Is Bamboo Flooring Better than Hardwood?

When it comes to bare flooring materials, is hardwood or bamboo the better choice? For years, hardwood flooring has been the go-to in bare flooring. It’s timeless, elegant and classic, but bamboo is giving it a run for its money.

New flooring types are quickly becoming popular with homeowners that want a stylish option to traditional hardwood flooring. One type that a lot of people are trying is bamboo. It looks very similar to hardwood flooring, but how does it compare?

We’ll break down the pros and cons of traditional hardwood flooring and the alternative bamboo flooring to see which one is best. Before you pour your money into new flooring, make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Hardwood Flooring Bamboo Flooring
Cleaning Daily with a broom, mop or vacuum. Can wax it to restore shine. Do not saturate it or use a wet mop. Daily with a broom, mop or vacuum. Do not wax it. Do not saturate it or use a wet mop.
Durability Should use harder woods for more durability. Can be prone to denting or scratching. More durable than most hardwood options.
Installation Nail it down Floating floor, nail it down or glue it down
Good for Allergies Yes Yes
Lifespan Over a century 20 to 25 years on average
Pet-Friendly Yes but prone to scratching Yes
Price Around $10 per square foot depending on the wood species $5 and $7 per square foot
Professional Install Costs Around $5 and $8 per square foot Around $4 and $7 per square foot
Refinishing Able to refinish it Able to refinish it with care if you sand it
Waterproof No. Can stain, mould, warp or have mildew growth No. Naturally resistant to mildew and mould. Slightly more waterproof than hardwood

Care/Maintenance

  • Bamboo – You can use a dust mop, broom or vacuum to pick up any debris. There is a bamboo-specific cleaner you can use to restore shine. Don’t use wax-based products or waxes to try and bring your bamboo flooring back because it’ll soak in. 
  • Hardwood – You can use a dust mop, broom or vacuum to pick up any debris as long as the vacuum is for hard flooring to prevent scratches. Use a spray product with a microfibre cloth to add shine back to the floor, and you can wax it if you’d like. 

    • Winner – Hardwood because bamboo is more difficult to maintain.

Durability  

  • Bamboo – Bamboo is harder than a lot of traditional hardwood flooring. However, lighter bamboo flooring isn’t as durable as darker options due to a carbonisation process that weakens it.
  • Hardwood – The Janka Hardness Scale will set the standard for your flooring’s durability. Harder options that are less prone to scratching include Brazilian Walnut, Brazilian Cherry and Ebony. Hardwood is more prone to scratching and a softer option that isn’t as durable against kids and pets.
    • Winner – Bamboo because it is harder than most hardwoods. 

Installation 

  • Bamboo – You can float, nail down or glue down bamboo flooring. You’ll have to cut and measure the bamboo planks to fit your area, and you’ll need a tape measure, mallet and power saws. 
  • Hardwood – You nail down hardwood flooring. You’ll have to cut and measure the hardwood before nailing it down. To install it yourself, you’ll need a nail gun, hammer, crowbar, mallet and other tools. 

    • Winner – Bamboo because it’s easier and less time-consuming to install.

Price

  • Bamboo – Bamboo averages between $5 and $7 per square foot to buy it. To have it installed professionally, you should expect to pay between $4 and $7 for every square foot. 
  • Hardwood – Hardwood averages between $3 and $`0 per square foot to buy it. To have it installed professionally, you should expect to pay between $5 and $8 per square foot.
    • Winner – Bamboo because it’s usually the more cost-effective choice out of the two.

So, looking at the chart and the breakdown of the most important features, is bamboo flooring better than hardwood? They’re both very durable options. People who want an easier installation with a more affordable choice should go with bamboo.

People who want a floor that can last for 100 years, is easier to refinish and has dozens of colours and styles available should go with hardwood.

All About Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is rapidly gaining in popularity and becoming one of the most popular types available. It’s usually less expensive than traditional hardwood, tile or stone. It can also mimic the look of different types of wood that wouldn’t withstand everyday use.

Laminate can have the appearance of wood-grain, and each plank is the same shape and size as wood flooring planks. You can also choose any colour or look you’d like with it because laminate flooring takes their designs from photographs. You can get a textured appearance that looks real, and it can mimic Brazilian cherry, oak, walnut, mahogany, maple, hickory, chestnut, pine, ash and more.

1. Is laminate flooring durable?

Yes. One large selling point with this type of flooring is that it’s very resistant to scratching or scuffing. It’s also very easy to clean with a microfibre cloth, broom or vacuum. However, it does tend to swell if you get moisture in between the boards, and this can cause your floor to warp. 

2. Is laminate flooring waterproof?

No. It can withstand the occasional accidental spill as long as you wipe it up right away and don’t let the water sit and collect. Since this flooring is more porous, it’ll let the water soak in. When it does, it’ll start to swell in the grooves between the boards. Eventually, you’ll get a warped floor that doesn’t fit seamlessly together. 

3. How does the price compare to other flooring styles?

Laminate flooring is relatively inexpensive when you compare it to engineered wood, solid hardwood and a stone floor covering. You can compare it to how much you’d normally spend on porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles or luxury vinyl flooring. 

4. What makes up laminate flooring?

Manufactures form the sheets for this flooring using aggregated wood particles. Then, they add a photorealistic layer of stone or wood to the top of that. To finish it, the manufacturers add a thin layer to protect against wear. It’s a thin, clear and durable plastic sheet that helps to protect the exterior elements and lower layers against scratches, UV rays and moisture. 

5. Does laminate flooring need underlay and a subfloor?

Yes. Laminate flooring requires that you have a solid subfloor, just like you’d have with all of your floor coverings. You add foam underlay between the laminate itself and the subfloor. This provides a slight cushion when you walk on it. If you don’t have an adequate subfloor, people will add a thin plywood sheet to act as an intervening underlay. 

6. Can you use laminate in kitchens?

Yes, with precautions. You can use laminate flooring in every room in your home. However, you want to pay attention to areas with a lot of moisture exposure like kitchens, entryways and bathrooms. Moisture can wreck your flooring if it collects in and on it. If you have it in one of these areas, be prepared to wipe up any spills very quickly. 

7. How do you install laminate flooring?

Your new laminate floor is a floating floor. This means that each plank has a fold and lock mechanism or a tongue and groove build into it that snaps together. The flooring planks connect to each other, but you don’t attach them directly to the subfloor. Hence the term floating floor.

Do you think laminate flooring is a good choice for you? If you want a versatile, durable and cost-effective flooring option, you may want to check into it. The fact that it’s very easy to care for, easy to install and that it comes in dozens of styles and colours makes it an attractive option on any budget.