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Should You Choose A Solid Bamboo Or Floating Bamboo Floor

Solid bamboo flooring
by cote under CC BY
Solid Bamboo Floor

 

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Bamboo wood floors are only one of the choices you have when it comes to flooring choices. Many homeowners who choose bamboo wood floors do so because they love the look of hardwood flooring, but they do not like the idea of how damaging hardwood floors are to the environment. Bamboo wood flooring provides homeowners with an environmental friendly hardwood floor option.

 

One of the best things about using bamboo is that the bamboo plant grows back within a few weeks. The trees that are harvested for hardwood floors can take over forty to sixty years to grow back. Another benefit of bamboo wood floors is how hard and durable they are, sure wood floors are hard and durable too, but with softer woods, you have to worry about dings and dents from objects being dropped.

If you do decide to go with bamboo wood floors, you are going to need to decide between a solid bamboo floor or a floating bamboo floor. Many people have a hard time making this decision because they are both great floors. However, the decision has to be made. To help make the decision the best thing that you can do is educate yourself about the two types of floors. Knowing what they are as well as the pros and cons of each type will enable you to choose the right flooring for your needs.

Solid Bamboo Floor

A solid bamboo floor is made up of nothing but bamboo. If you decide to go with solid then currently there are three different types to choose from. The two most popular types of solid bamboo floors are vertical and horizontal. These types of floors are made up of several layers of thin bamboo that are held together with adhesive or resin. The difference between the horizontal and vertical floors is how the sheets of bamboo are stacked on top of each other, with a horizontal floor the sheets are stacked flat directly on top of each other, while a vertical floor has the sheets stacked together on their sides. The third type of bamboo floor is known as strand woven. This type of flooring is made up of bamboo that has been pressed together so that blocks of wood are formed. Once the blocks have been formed the wood is cut just like hardwood.

Solid Bamboo Floor Pros and Cons

One of the benefits to solid bamboo floors is that they are installed just like any other type of hardwood flooring. Solid bamboo floors are adhered to the subfloor using nails or some type of adhesive. Another great thing about solid bamboo flooring is the number of choices that you have when it comes to using it. Like regular hardwood flooring, solid flooring can be stained and sanded. What this means for homeowners is that if you decide a few years down the road that you do not like the color of your floors you can sand them down and refinish them to get the look they want.

One of the drawbacks to this type of flooring is installing it, it is not as easy to install as a floating bamboo floor. Imperfections in the subfloor can also make it more difficult to install. While bamboo flooring is a hard and durable flooring option, a solid bamboo floor is not as hard or as durable as a floating bamboo floor.

Floating Bamboo Floors Pros and Cons

Floating Bamboo Flooring
by bunnicula under CC BY-ND
Floating Bamboo Floor

 

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A floating bamboo floor is also referred to as an engineered bamboo floor and is quite different from the solid flooring option. A floating bamboo floor is not made up entirely of bamboo. How these floors are made is with composite and bamboo both. The bottom of the floor is a composite and the top of the floor is a layer of bamboo, usually a thin layer. The composite used to construct the base of the floor varies; some are made from plywood, sawdust or other wood scraps. The bamboo is then adhered to the composite with a resin-based adhesive. It is because of this construction that these floors are harder and more durable than a solid bamboo floor.

One of the best things about a floating bamboo floor is how easy it is to install. With the floating option you do not need to use any type of adhesive or nails to keep the floor in place, each piece of bamboo locks into another piece, nothing is secured to the subfloor. Being that the floor itself is not adhered to the subfloor a floating bamboo floor works better on subfloors with imperfections because nothing will show through, the floor will still lay flat.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to a floating bamboo floor is that you do not have as many options. This type of flooring is horizontally stacked; you do not have the option of vertical or strand woven. You also cannot refinish these floors, once you have installed them and stained them you are stuck with that decision. The thin layer of bamboo makes it impossible to sand. Something else to think about when it comes to a floating bamboo floor is that it is not as environmentally friendly because it is not made up entirely of bamboo. But this is often times mitigated by the fact that the sub-base material is scrap wood that would be burned or turned into chips for paper anyway.

Trying to decide between solid and floating bamboo flooring can be hard. There is no right or wrong answer, both floors offer amazing benefits and can instantly transform a room. What you need to do is figure out what type of flooring is going to work best for your home, as well as your budget.

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