Bamboo floors are a very durable product. They can look fairly similar to hardwood, and share many of the same pros and cons that hardwood has. However, they come from different plants. Bamboo is a type of grass, while hardwood comes from lumber and trees. This means that there are some differences between bamboo and hardwood that set them apart. These differences may not be drastic, but they can make all the difference in your home.
Bamboo floors are made by hundreds of strands of raw bamboo that are woven and pressed together by a machine. This makes for a very hard and resilient product. If maintained properly, this product can last up to 50 years, although the average lifespan ranges from 20-25 years with normal family wear-and-tear. The durability can possibly be reduced if the planks are a darker color. This is because the process that the bamboo goes through to achieve the darker look, called carbonization, places the bamboo under extreme heat and pressure. This decreases the hardness of the product by weakening the material. With that being said, with regular care and maintenance, it is still a durable product and will perform well in areas with plenty of foot traffic. If the floor looks closer to bamboo’s natural golden brown color, the harder it will be.
As previously stated, bamboo floors and hardwood floors share many of the same advantages and disadvantages. But there are some traits that bamboo has that separates them from hardwood. For one, bamboo tends to be a little more moisture resistant than hardwood. This is due to the fact that bamboo is a type of grass and does not come from trees like hardwood. This trait also allows them to naturally repel mold and mildew. A beneficial factor that bamboo shares with hardwood is that over time, if there are any scratches, dents, or discoloration that occurs, bamboo can be sanded and refinished. Also similar to hardwood, the amount of sanding that can be done all depends on the thickness of the plank.
Eco-friendly products are a current trend as people are starting to become more ecologically conscious. Bamboo is an all-natural product that is recyclable and biodegradable. Because bamboo stalks grow at a fast pace, they are able to reach full maturity in 5-7 years. This is much shorter than trees reaching their full maturity that takes as long at 30+ years. When they are cut, the roots do not need to be cut with the rest of the plant and the bamboo can continue to grow without any replanting.