How to Choose & Care for Bamboo Floors

Bamboo floors are a fantastic option for any home. A sustainable choice, bamboo hardwood flooring provides a gentle glow you’re sure to love in your living space. In addition to the four traditional types of bamboo flooring, it is also available in various style options, including countless stain colors as well as the hand scraped and tigerwood designs.

Before you buy, it’s important to have all the information. Why are bamboo floors so great? What kind of care can you expect on a regular basis? And how do you know exactly which type you should choose? Keep reading to find out, and see our featured manufacturers below.

Why Bamboo Flooring?

From its versatile colors and style to its sustainability and practicality, more and more homeowners are choosing bamboo floors for their home. Here are 3 reasons to consider this type of flooring:

  1. Eco-Friendly and Healthy. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable flooring materials available. Unlike traditional hardwoods that take 20-120 years to mature, bamboo is ready in 5-6 years, and harvesting doesn’t affect the root system, meaning the plant can simply keep growing over and over again. Bamboo floors are also known for their low levels of chemical emissions, or VOCs, and for resisting allergens. When it comes to cleaning, all the homeowner needs to do is use a damp cloth – no cleaning chemicals are necessary!
  2. Practical. A lot of people worry about the practicality of bamboo flooring, but the reality is it actually stronger than steel yet flexible enough to use in building. In regards to price, bamboo floors tend to be less per square foot when compared to common hardwood flooring like oak, walnut or pine. Naturally moisture repellent and fire resistant, its no wonder bamboo has become a common flooring trend.
  3. Durable. For those who find it hard to comprehend just how bamboo flooring can possibly be more durable than other types of wood, consider this: regular trees will bend and eventually crack in heavy winds and turbulent weather. Bamboo is not like regular wood; it is pliable and resilient, and bends under the same conditions that would cause other trees to break.
  4. Color and Style. Although bamboo comes in two colors (natural tan and carbonized brown), it’s easy to adjust the color to fit with any color. Plyboo has created a wide variety of color choices and variations that go beyond the standard, from the classic down-home feel to the contemporary, chic look that so many are looking for today.

Choosing Bamboo Floors

Did you know there are actually three different types of bamboo floors? Although there are differences between these varieties, all of them come in a wide variety of colors and styles.

1. Flat Grain Solid or Unfurled Bamboo Flooring

Flat Grain Solid, or Unfurled, bamboo flooring is made by pressing three layers of bamboo strips flat in one direction. This method creates the common “knuckle” style that’s been associated with bamboo floors.

In terms of design, this type of bamboo flooring is very versatile, lending itself to a traditional, natural look as well as a modern, crisp look.

2. Vertical Grain Solid Bamboo Flooring

Another durable option, Vertical Grain Solid bamboo flooring is made by:

  • Pressing bamboo strips on their side
  • Laying them next to each other
  • Gluing them together

The result is cleaner, more consistent looking planks than Flat Grain Solid floors without the “knuckle” character. Although this type of flooring may look more uniform, it’s also much less durable than the other types of bamboo floors. Still, it provides striking appeal and fits within classic and modern home designs.

3. Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring

The most popular variation that we sell at San Jose Hardwood Floors, Strand Woven floors are made by:

  • Heating long bamboo strips
  • Pulling the strips apart into strands
  • Weaving the strands together
  • Compressing the strands under enormous heat and pressure

This process makes these bamboo floors extremely durable and stable; in fact, they’re some of the hardest types of hardwood flooring available. If you have an active, busy family, this may be the perfect choice for you!

In terms of style, Strand Woven bamboo flooring is tremendously versatile, too; hand scraping and tigerwood designs are both very popular. In fact, Teragren actually makes these types of bamboo floors (among many others).

Another benefit to Strand Woven bamboo floors? The price! It’s much more cost-effective than many other varieties of hardwood flooring available.

Selecting Your Bamboo Floors’ Style

As you think about the style of bamboo you chose, consider what shade you want your flooring to be. Bamboo floors can be:

  • Natural, which is a light (almost blond) color
  • Carbonized, which range from a honey or caramel to a light coffee (although carbonizing reduces the floor’s strength)
  • Stained, which can be virtually any color you’d like

In addition to the shade of your bamboo floors, it’s important to consider the following options:

  • What type of finish?
  • Engineered or solid?
  • If solid, which type? Vertical-grain solid strip, flat-grain solid strip or strand bamboo?
  • How wide and long do you want the planks?
  • Which manufacturer? Teragren is one of the most popular at the moment

Maintaining Bamboo Floors

Make sure you help your bamboo floors last as long as possible by taking care of them. Here are a few flooring care tips to keep in mind:

  1. Position doormats and rugs at the doors to prevent sand, moisture, grit and other hazards from being tracked onto your floors.
  2. Use a dust mop or vacuum to keep your flooring clean. Make sure you use a soft accessory to protect your floors.
  3. If you spill something sticky, use a soft damp cloth to gently clean it up. If you need to, you can use a generic hardwood flooring cleaner, but avoid anything abrasive like steel wool or harsh detergents.
  4. Protect your bamboo floors from moisture. Use mats in the kitchen and bathroom and area rugs in the dining room to protect from spills. If a spill does occur, blot it up right away with a dry cloth or slightly damp mop.
  5. Protect the flooring from furniture legs with non-scratch pads. Avoid walking on the floors with high heels, too.

Want to Know More About Bamboo Floors?

Come visit our showroom! Our experts can answer your questions and show you various options that may be a perfect fit for your home. They can also tell you about other types of flooring available, from solid hardwood to luxury vinyl tile. Come visit today, and make sure you contact us for a free in-home estimate, too!