Bamboo flooring is an excellent choice for homeowners looking for eco-friendly floors. Bamboo is a renewable resource that has natural resistance to insects and moisture, as well as being tough and durable. It is an attractive alternative to wood plank flooring and is actually harder than red oak. Another reason for it’s popularity is it is installed and maintained in the same ways as hardwood flooring. Bamboo flooring also offers a contemporary, clean visual and has it’s own unique look. It generally comes in two natural colors and carbonized for a darker, richer appearance. Bamboo flooring comes in two basic forms: engineered planks and solid-bamboo planks. Engineered bamboo is typically installed using the floating-floor method: The wide planks are snapped together and laid over a thin foam-rubber underlayment. The flooring isn’t attached to the subfloor in any manner, so installation goes fast. Solid, tongue-and-groove bamboo is installed similarly to traditional hardwood flooring: It’s fastened down with nails or staples, with or without mastic. These methods are more time-consuming—they take twice as long as a floating-floor installation—but they produce a permanent, rock-solid floor. Both engineered planks and solid planks come prefinished, so you can carry in the furniture as soon as you install the last plank. There are three different kinds of solid-bamboo flooring:
- Vertical-grain Solid Strip: Composed of thin bamboo strips stacked on edge and glued together, similar to a butcherblock.
- Flat-grain bamboo: the most common type, is made up of thin, flat strips of bamboo that are stacked on top of each other and then laminated together.
- Strand bamboo: Manufactured from super-thin, shredded bamboo fibers that are mixed with resins and pressed into rock-hard planks.