In many cases, people seem to prefer wood flooring to carpeting and even linoleum or ceramic tiling. However, it is often cost-prohibitive for many homes and families. However, there are alternatives even amongst the rather narrow field of “wood flooring,” such as solid bamboo flooring, engineered bamboo, and more.
Before throwing in the towel and deciding that wood flooring is too expensive or not an option for some other reason, be sure you know some basic bamboo flooring facts. For example, there is a great diversity in color, grain, and manufacturing. If you are concerned for the environment, bamboo flooring may well be a better option than literally any other wood flooring. It does not harm pandas, as the type of bamboo used for flooring (Moso) is not eaten by the great bears; as bamboo is ready to harvest within five to seven years of being sewn, your flooring is less likely to negatively impact the environment than hardwood, which can take up to 60 years to grow to maturity depending on species; and the amount of formaldehyde used in bamboo floor manufacturing and processing is usually a fraction of that used in other wood flooring.
Some other myths to be aware of include the fact that bamboo is not waterproof. While true that it is less susceptible to water damage than almost any other type of floor covering except tiling, water can still damage it. In addition, “American” manufacturers are generally importers, so do not pay extra for that. Lastly, while true that bamboo flooring is usually imported from China, the impact to American workers as well as the environment is invariably exaggerated by salespersons. Lastly, not all bamboo is the same, just as bamboo floor manufacturing and processing varies by type.
In fact, the type of manufacturing and processing can greatly affect the look and feel of your flooring. Distressed bamboo is often great for patios and that “rustic” look, while strand bamboo flooring offers homeowners a marbled grain that is more effective for other rooms. Bamboo flooring can be installed using a variety of methods as well, so do not be dissuaded by possible installation issues until you have discussed all of your options with your seller and installation specialist.
There are many myths about bamboo flooring that often lead to confusion and unnecessary costs for homeowners and designers. Be sure to get the bamboo flooring facts before you commit!