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


  • 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.


  • 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. 


  • 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.


  • 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.

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is attractive, low-cost, and eco-friendly. It is the newest type of flooring available which combines the best qualities of hardwood and then some. The fact that it is natural and sustainable makes it appealing for eco-conscious homeowners, while its affordability appeals to people on a budget. Here are 4 things you didn’t know about the latest popular flooring choice.

bamboo floors

It’s the world’s hardest floor

How? Looks can be deceiving. The simple bamboo plant grows quickly, but fast growth doesn’t tell us why bamboo flooring is so durable — just look at hardwood trees, which can take up to 100 years to fully mature. Because of its structure of cellulose and lignin in a dense outer layer and multiple segments, bamboo has a greater strength by weight than steel as well as greater tensile strength. Cellulose is plant fibre and lignin is a complex polymer. Both are insoluble and rigid, but lignin is more difficult to decompose than cellulose. The best species for building are Guadua Angustifolia (Guadua Bamboo) and Phyllostachys Edulis (Moso Bamboo).

There are different manufacturing methods

Not all bamboo flooring options are the same. What does this mean, exactly?

The two main types are traditional and carbonised bamboo. Both are listed as “wood” flooring options. However, when people talk about bamboo flooring being so durable, they are probably referring to carbonised bamboo. Not that uncarbonised bamboo is lacking — it’s as durable as red oak.

Traditional bamboo, also known as classic bamboo, can come in a vertical or horizontal style. The process of creating traditional bamboo flooring involves cutting the harvested bamboo into strips, sterilising them, and then curing them in drying ovens. Premium strips get stacked in layers and glued before being pressed into planks. It may or may not be pre-finished for wear resistance. It typically comes in light straw yellow or blonde shades and retains its natural texture and grain.

Carbonised or strand-woven bamboo undergoes a process in which heated strips of bamboo are separated into strands, woven together, and then compressed with high-pressure heat and resins. The heat treatment causes it to become darker with a variety of shades, which remain consistent throughout and allows for sanding and refinishing. Weaving reinforces it for strength and results in a flooring that is several times harder than traditional hardwoods. While it has more flexibility for colours and textures to fit different types of decor and hides scratches well, it is more expensive than traditional bamboo.

Bamboo flooring trends follow hardwood

Bamboo might as well be hardwood 2.0, although it’s technically a grass, because the latest trends for bamboo flooring tend to follow those of hardwood. While it looks exotic with simple beauty on its own, homeowners who wish to achieve different effects can mimic many hardwood textures such as distressing, parquet, white, grey and wide planks. Bamboo still has a recognisable look of elegance, which makes it perfect for modern decor.

It’s great for high-traffic buildings

Asia popularised bamboo with its durability for flooring and doors. It can withstand the compression of furniture and feet. It can also resist stains and spills and it’s incredibly easy to clean; you only need hardwood cleaner or wood soap. You won’t see many people who only have bamboo flooring in one room, either. They tend to have it through the whole house because it can suit any decor style, making it versatile for any sized abode. All of these qualities make it pet, child and foot-traffic friendly enough for family and commercial spaces alike.

No longer just a trend, bamboo flooring is like hardwood but better. It can be manufactured in various ways and made to mimic hardwood while being cost-effective and retaining its uniqueness. The fast-growing grass is sustainable, durable and adaptable. If you’re looking to replace your flooring, consider bamboo.

To learn more about our flooring options, contact us.