Bamboo Flooring – A Beginners Guide
Bamboo flooring is exotic and unique. It’s got it’s own rich colour and feel. Bamboo floor is made from the bamboo plant, favourite food of pandas world wide. It’s also an incredibly strong material, with a greater compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete, and a tensile strength that can rival steel. Hopefully you’ll never put your bamboo floor under that sort of pressure!
But you can rest assured that a bamboo floor is strong enough to withstand the hustle and bustle of day to day life and a busy family with kids and pets in the mix.
Bamboo is durable and moisture resistant. It’s eco-friendly, and resistant to insects too. Despite it’s durability and water repelling properties, we wouldn’t recommend using it in a bathroom or kitchen environment, as with all solid wood floors, water can cause the floor to expand and could cause the boards to lift or crack. It’s real wood after all, and real wood absorbs water!
Bamboo Flooring is Eco Friendly
On average, bamboo can grow between 3 and 10 centimetres in height in a day, but it’s been reported in the past that bamboo has been seen growing two and a half metres in twenty four hours. Bamboo is a plant, and can reach it’s full height in three to five years (compared with trees, which can take anywhere from 20 to 120 years) and it can reflower from the stem, meaning it doesn’t have to be replanted.
Bamboo solid wood flooring is an entirely natural product that is good for the environment, and good for your pocket, too. As we all become increasingly environmentally concious, it’s good to know that even your floor is green.
Bamboo Flooring is Easy to Maintain
Your bamboo flooring can be easily swept clean of any debris with a brush, and spills or stains can be gently cleaned with a damp mop. Just make sure you dry it appropriately after. You can also clean it with a non-wax, non-alkaline hardwood floor cleaner. Make sure you don’t saturate the floor with water. A steam cleaner or an excessively wet mop here will cause damage to your floor.
Also make sure your brush has soft bristles and you brush gently, and never clean a bamboo floor with steel wool or an abrasive pad. As with any floor, the dining room can be a prime culprit for scratch damage.
Make sure you put a rug or some sort of floor protection underneath the table. It’ll be easier to clean any wine, sauce stains, or whatever else happens to wind up on the floor, and a rug can be easily dry cleaned or replaced. A bamboo floor, not so much.
This might sound like a lot of don’ts, but it’s the same with any hard wood floor. The difference with bamboo is that it’s a little more resistant to water damage and staining than a regular floor. It’s also extremely tough and durable, meaning that while you can scratch and score it, it’ll take a little more effort. Not that we suggest you deliberately try to damage your floor anyway! It’ll also last longer than most other types of hard wood floors, due to the excellent strength of bamboo wood. Besides, if you ever need to replace it, you can just feed it to the pandas! (please don’t).
Bamboo Flooring is Cost Effective
While hardwood flooring will never be as cheap as engineered, vinyl, or laminate floors, for very good reason, bamboo falls in line with other real wood floors in terms of price. You get that little extra bit of durability and life span without having to spend any extra pennies. Over at Discount Flooring Depot, our bamboo is currently only £27.99 per m2, meaning that it’s cheaper than many of our other solid wood products.
Bamboo flooring can also be easily refinished. Simply sand down the boards as needed and re-finish as appropriate. If you’ve got an oil finish or your floor is unfinished, you’ll only need to sand down the offending damaged boards. But if you fancy giving your floor an entirely new lease of life or finish, you’ll only need to sand it down a small amount.
Due to the fact that real wood floors are wood the whole way through (with no ply cores etc.) you can get several sandings and refinishings out of a bamboo floor throughout it’s lifespan. Effectively, you can get many floors for the price of one if you’re saving with re-finishing and maintaining your bamboo floor.
Bamboo Flooring is Stylish
It’s something of a hipster floor, you’ve probably never heard of it. Bamboo flooring is very much coming into vogue in the UK after experiencing a roaring trade across Europe and the USA. Bamboo flooring gives you that authentic, unique real wood floor appeal, while also adding it’s own fresh layer of individuality. Bamboo flooring is ineffable, with it’s own unique look, style and smell.
The colour of bamboo is similar to beech wood, but it’s a unique, exotic would that can add a touch of class and eastern influence to any home.
The Drawbacks of Bamboo Flooring
It’s only fair that we tell you both sides of the story. There are a few problems you can have with a bamboo floor, and here they are, with tips on how to avoid any issues. Most of these issues will apply to all hard wood floors, not just bamboo.
As with any real wood floor, bamboo flooring shouldn’t be exposed to excessive levels of water or moisture. Using a steam cleaner or an overly wet mop to clean a bamboo floor can cause the boards to swell and warp, and if sufficient expansion room hasn’t been left for the boards, it can cause the boards to rise or crack, which is the last thing you want. The same applies for rooms with high or low levels of humidity.
You should leave real wood floor planks in the room they’ll be laid in for 3 to 5 days before you begin putting the planks down. This will let them shrink or grow accordingly to the level of moisture in the room meaning that when they are laid, they should be the right size and won’t majorly change over the years. If you’re laying the floor yourself, make sure you leave expansion gaps around the edges of the room so your planks have got room to grow if needs be.
A good fitter will check the humidity of the room before fitting, and will leave plenty of room for expansion too, so make sure that you don’t skimp on your fitter after spending your hard earned cash on the perfect floor.
There is no independent grading system to check the quality of bamboo flooring. Most suppliers will offer their own grades but these are arbitrary and don’t reflect any sort of independent analysis. That’s why it’s important to find a reputable supplier who you trust, who can guarantee high quality floor at fantastic prices. Like Discount Flooring Depot, for example. Shameless plug.
What Kind of Bamboo Floor is right for you?
You’d be amazed at the variety you can get from a bamboo floor, thanks to the variety of finishes on offer. Whether your looking for a light brown shade, a rich caramel like shade, a rich, dark chocolate, or a light, coconut inspired colour, you can get them all. We have two personal favourites over on the Discount Flooring Depot website.
The first is the gorgeous White Lacquered Bamboo Floor, which takes the signature pale colour of bamboo wood and adds a unique, artic twist. This while/grey floor is a gorgeous colour that reminds us of Milky Bars. lovely.
Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, we love this Dark Brown Lacquered Bamboo Floor. It looks like a rich, velvety dark chocolate, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at an oak floor. Bamboo is a great fllor for people who want a real wood floor but might be worried about grain or knots in their wood causing too much variation.
Bamboo has fewer grain and knots due to the nature of bamboo wood, the grain is less noticeable. Also, the dark finish of the floor hides some of the grain as well.
So as you can see, bamboo is for more than just pandas. For a gorgeous, exotic floor with a unique feel, sure to make your home feel stylish and unique, you’ll want to bag bamboo flooring. Check out our range on our website for some inspiration.