Bamboo flooring is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to hardwood flooring. But in reality bamboo is not wood at all. It’s a type of grass. But it’s nothing like the grass you’re used too. Bamboo grass can actually be harder than oak depending on the type and species. Stranded bamboo is typically 50% harder than North American Red Oak. The confusion lies in Bamboo’s thick woody stocks and large size compared to other grass types.
One thing that distinguishes bamboo from wood is the incredibly fast rate at which it grows. It can be harvested in as little as 5 years while a standard oak tree can take up to 60 years. Bamboo is a great option for your flooring because of its strength, durability and stability. Install this in your home if you’re looking for floors that will last for many years. Take a look at some of the comparisons to hardwood below to see which flooring type would better suit your needs.
Just because it’s a species of grass does not mean it isn’t a great hardwood substitute. You should note that not all bamboo is created equal. If you are looking for a harder more durable option than hardwood then you should use strand-woven bamboo, which is actually harder than oak. You should also avoid dark bamboo flooring styles. These are typically made darker through carbonization. This process also makes the bamboo softer.
Bamboo Versatility Compared to Hardwood
If you want a lot of different options and looks, hardwood may be a better choice than bamboo. Although bamboo does have various species, once they go through the manufacturing process, most end up looking very similar. Hardwood has many species to choose from and gives you the ability to find something unique. However, if having a ton of options is not a priority, you will likely find a bamboo style that fits your needs.
Bamboo Cost vs Hardwood
Compared to hardwood, bamboo is generally a more affordable flooring option. Hardwood will typically cost in the $3-$5 per square foot range. Prices will vary depending on the availability of the species you choose. Bamboo generally goes for $2-$5 per square foot. If you purchase bamboo for much less than that, you may end up with a low quality product.