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.

4 Common Mistakes People Make with Hardwood Floors

The time has come to replace one of your old floors and you have decided to opt for a timeless hardwood floor (great choice). Those natural grains are beautiful sight to behold and a worthy investment… if you know how to treat them properly. There are some things people do without thinking that, over time, can cause lasting damage to your hardwood planks.

hardwood problems

  1. Ignoring Surface Water

Whether it’s drops of rain or spills from the dog bowl, water + hardwood = a recipe for disaster. Another common water-related error is mopping – hardwood floors are made from natural timber and are therefore very susceptible to water damage. If a leak or spill seeps into the planks, you could be at risk of cupping or crowning, resulting in a warped floor.

 

  1. Overlooking Pet Nails

A common reason for scratches in hardwood planks is caused by pets simply walking back and forth across your floor multiple times a day. If their nails aren’t closely trimmed, this daily activity can turn into a nightmare for your floor. Keep an eye out so you can quickly intervene, saving your floor from unnecessary harm.

 

  1. Forgetting Floor Protectors

Many people think that heavy furniture is immovable and solid once placed on a floor. However, even the tiniest shifts can cause extensive damage over time. Rubber or felt floor protectors placed under the legs of all furniture are a great way to reduce dents and grooves forming on the wood surface.

 

  1. Neglecting the Door Mat

If you have hardwood running through your hallway, having a door mat at the entrance is important. Using it to wipe your shoes is doubly important. When you walk in from outside, your shoes carry grit, dirt and lots of other particles that can cause abrasions or scrapes if they make regular contact with your hardwood. Over time, this can damage planks to the point where they may need fully replacing. Before entering the home, get into the habit of wiping your shoes on the mat. Or even better, remove shoes before entering.

 

Follow this simple advice to maintain your hardwood’s perfect condition. If you would like more information on caring for your hardwood floor, contact our flooring professionals at Floormania.