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.

Choosing Blackbutt Timber for Your New Floor

The Blackbutt timber species is a native hardwood commonly found on the north coast of NSW and southern parts of Queensland. It is a tough and versatile timber that comes in neutral shades to complement any interior. If you are searching for a locally sourced floor with plenty of character, look no further than Blackbutt solid timber.

 

Appearance

Though botanically named ‘Eucalyptus Pilularis’, the common term ‘Blackbutt’ derives from the appearance of the tree. The base of the trunk is often charred black which is a distinguishing feature caused by previous bushfires. Once harvested and turned into planks, the shade is light and neutral with a golden nutty hue. The texture is even with straight grains making it an attractive choice for home flooring.

 

Durability

Blackbutt timber is categorised as Class 1 in Above Ground Durability. This means that it is expected to have a lifespan of more than 40 years above ground. Another test that determines durability is Janka Hardness rating. This test measures the hardness of floors where the higher the number, the more a floor can withstand wear. Blackbutt timber has a rating of 9.1. Generally, a wood that scores 8+ is considered hard which reinforces Blackbutt’s lasting durability.

 

Due to its strength, Blackbutt timber is ideal for both interior and exterior use, including flooring, framework and decking.

 

Resistance

If you are a safety-conscious homeowner or happen to live near a bushfire zone, Blackbutt timber is a great material to invest in. It has been recognised and approved by the Building Commission in Victoria as 1 of 7 hardwood species that provides good resistance to fire.

 

Installation

Depending on the product and board width, Blackbutt timber is generally installed using the glue and secret nail method (or top nail for wide boards). Nails are discreetly inserted through the tongue of the planks at a 45-degree angle. This contributes to and maintains the aesthetic appearance of the Blackbutt timber planks.

 

If you are keen to find out more about our Blackbutt timber flooring, visit us online at www.floormania.com.au or visit one of our stores in Caringbah, Concord or Kensington.

Vinyl Plank vs. Engineered Hardwood

For homeowners shopping for a new floor, there are two flooring choices that are quickly gaining in popularity – vinyl plank and engineered wood. Both are able to mimic the authentic look of true hardwood and are considered affordable alternatives. They also boast a number of excellent features, making it difficult to decide which is the best floor for your lifestyle. To help you decide, here is a list of how vinyl plank and engineered wood compare in 5 important categories:

Resistance to water

One of the main design features of engineered hardwood was to resist moisture which is often associated with typical hardwoods. The plywood base acts as a barrier against light moisture but cannot withstand anything heavier. Vinyl plank, on the other hand, is renowned for being 100% waterproof, making them ideal for spaces prone to moisture like kitchens and bathrooms.

Appearance

Engineered hardwood has an identical look and feel to solid timber at a fraction of the price. Vinyl plank also has a strong resemblance to real wood however it is much softer underfoot, losing that wooden sound associated with a natural timber floor. This can be an advantage though, as some people favour soft textured floors, especially in areas where you stand for long periods like the kitchen.

Maintenance

Engineered and vinyl floors require minimal maintenance as they are made from resistant materials. Both are stain resistant, making spills and mess easy to clean. They are therefore both good options for families with children or pets.

Installation

Both floors have the benefit of being able to be installed directly over existing subfloors. Depending on the brand of engineered hardwood, floors can be installed by glueing, stapling or floating, all of which are considered easy installation options and may even be done by the homeowner. Vinyl planks vary between glue and lock-in installation, which again are simple, hassle-free processes.

Scratch resistance

Though neither floor is scratch-proof, engineered hardwood is extremely hard-wearing and does not scratch easily when it comes to daily activity. Vinyl plank is also durable however it can be dented by sharp or heavy objects.

As you can see, there are many similarities between the two floors and both would be durable, long-lasting additions to any household. However, there are distinctions that may suit floors to certain lifestyles and spaces. Vinyl plank is ideal in wet areas and for families with young children and pets where spills and mess are more likely. Engineered hardwood is best for homeowners that crave the look and feel of real timber.

To find out more about engineered wood and vinyl plank, talk to one of our experts here at Floormania.

Choosing the Best Floor for Your Rental Property

 

With an increasing number of people choosing to pay rent over mortgage in Australia, investment properties are becoming more popular. As a landlord, there are many factors to consider when choosing renter-friendly flooring, particularly price, durability and longevity. To give you some guidance, here is a list of popular flooring choices and the pros and cons of each:

 

Hardwood

Pros: In terms of durability, hardwood is renowned for being a floor that can last a lifetime. Solid hardwood can be refinished numerous times for a fresh look. It also is moisture resistant, easy to clean and can boost property resale value.

Cons: Hardwood is one of the more expensive options, however, it is also a long-term investment. It is not scratch-proof, so heeled shoes and vacuum heads may dent the wood. It is not ideal for humid climates as planks can expand/contract.

Good for: Living/dining areas, hallway and bedrooms.

 

Carpet

Pros: A much lower priced option, carpets are easy to install and last around 5-7 years. They are much cheaper to replace than most other floors. Carpets also act as an insulator, lowering the heating bills. They are ideal in multi-storey properties as they muffle noise and footsteps.

Cons: Carpets stain easily and are likely to need professional cleaning between tenants. They aren’t highly durable and are not advised in areas of high footfall.

Good for: Bedrooms.

 

Vinyl Plank

Pros: Very popular in wet areas, vinyl is hard-wearing, highly resistant to water and low-cost. It absorbs noise well and is softer underfoot than other solid surfaces. It has a quick and simple installation process and can be cleaned easily.

Cons:  Vinyl is not scratch-proof and can be dented by sharp objects. It is difficult to remove if installed using glue.

Good for: Bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, living/dining areas.

 

Laminate

Pros: With a similar appearance to hardwood, laminate is often installed as a more affordable alternative. It is resilient, easy to maintain and highly scratch-resistant – ideal for high traffic areas.

Cons: Though durable, laminate won’t last as long as hardwood. It isn’t waterproof and can be susceptible to moisture damage. If installed as a floating floor, footsteps can sound noisy and hollow.

Good for: Living/dining areas, hallway and bedrooms.

 
Now that you are equipped with the pros and cons, it’s time to choose the flooring for your rental property. Pop into one of our stores or speak to our knowledgeable staff for more information.

 

Laminate Flooring vs. Vinyl Planks

Based on appearance, it can be difficult to distinguish between laminate and vinyl planks – both are man-made, affordable alternatives to hardwood and come in a wide range of shades and styles. To breakdown each material:
 


Laminate flooring is a versatile product made to mimic the look of hardwood. It is highly scratch resistant and works well in areas of high footfall. It is a popular choice among homeowners as it is budget-friendly with an easy installation process and simple maintenance.

 

Vinyl planks are increasing in popularity as they evolve to resemble solid hardwood floors. They are easy to install with a simple DIY process and require minimal maintenance. The aesthetic appearance of vinyl planks can transform any room without the hefty price-tag associated with real wood floors.

 

With many similarities, there are also some qualities that differentiate laminate from vinyl planks and vice versa. Here are some of the main differences to help you make the best decision on which to choose to suit your space:

 

Durability

Both materials have a long floor-life when properly installed and maintained, with vinyl lasting a minimum of 20 years and laminate up to 25. The main difference lies in their water resistance. Where laminate planks can expand over time in wet areas, vinyl is much more waterproof and is, therefore, the recommended flooring option for liquid-prone areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

 

Comfort

Because laminate is a thicker material and made from a wood by-product, it is comfortable to walk on and the foam underlay makes it warm to touch. Vinyl, on the other hand, does not have the wood feel that laminate has and can be hard and cold underfoot, especially if installed on top of a subfloor or concrete. However, Vinyl has the advantage of being quieter underfoot, absorbing more noise compared to laminate.

 

Resale value

Although true wood flooring is the main material to boost resale value, laminate is gradually gaining approval from homeowners. This is mainly due to characteristics that are now available such as embossing, upgraded interlocking joinery and a closer appearance to real wood. While neither laminate nor vinyl will add much to the resale value, laminate is slightly ahead in personal preferences, if installed in the right areas.

 

Depending on your requirements and lifestyle, laminate and vinyl are both excellent choices of flooring for your home. For further advice, contact our knowledgeable staff at Floormania or pop into one of our stores.