The New Hardwood Flooring
"The new hardwood flooring" is how Bamboo flooring is being described. Primarily being imported from China and other parts of Asia, this flooring is quickly becoming the flooring of choice. While this flooring is usually compared to other hardwood types of floors it is actually a type of grass. Most people are familiar with the traditional look of the Bamboo plant. These "stalks" are split, flattened, and glued under extreme pressures to make for a very durable and beautiful alternative to other hardwood floors. With several styles available, Bamboo can increase the value of any home as well as provide natural beauty for all to enjoy.
It should be noted that Bamboo flooring is meant to be around for the long haul. The durability of this type of flooring can give pleasure for years. Laminate flooring is slightly more abrasion or impact resistant but often needs to be replaced due to ongoing wear and tear. Installation of laminate is easier than Bamboo but you will have to replace it more often. Because bamboo is more expensive and the surface is less impact resistant it is not recommended for commercial purposes such as gymnasiums and shopping centers. Due to its content, bamboo is also resistant to insect and water damage. Something that cannot be said for many other types of hardwood flooring.
Along with its durability over a lifetime, bamboo is relatively easy to clean as well. Typical procedures for cleaning different types of hardwood floors work well with bamboo. Because dirt can be abrasive to your floor, it is important to have a fine fiber broom handy for cleaning. General sweeping and dry mopping is typically all that is needed to maintain a gorgeous surface. The clear polyurethane needs to be kept free of the abrasions to prevent scratches and wearing of the shine. It is also recommended to have a floor mat at entry ways to assist with keeping it clean.
Unlike laminate flooring, bamboo flooring is much better at noise suppression. Typically, when you have laminate flooring installed, the noise level is very noticeable. If you are used to laminate or other types of hardwood flooring, you will immediately notice a difference in the level of foot-traffic noise in your home. While this may seem like a minor feature, try sneaking to the refrigerator in the middle of the night on laminate flooring and you'll see why this can be a major benefit to many.
As far as appearances go, laminate flooring has many more choices than bamboo. Typical coloring for bamboo is natural (light yellow wood coloring) and carbonized (a brownish/copper tone tint). The joy in the appearance comes from the styles you can choose from. Previously, the only two styles available were vertical and horizontal patterns. With the vertical style, you are hard pressed to be able to find the joints. The horizontal style quickly reveals the joints such that you can create a pattern to your liking. There is no advantage or disadvantage to either style. It simply comes down to personal preference and creativity. The best choice, in this case, is really what is pleasing to you. You simply can't go wrong.
More recently the "woven" pattern has been perfected and is rising in popularity. In this particular style the durability factors go even higher. Woven pattern is considerably stringer and in some cases can be recommended for commercial use.
Regardless of the style of bamboo you choose if there are abrasions that appear over time the clear surface can be easily refinished. This is cannot be done with laminate flooring. Due to the manufacturing process, if the surface cracks on the laminate it simply has to be replaced. Clear coating the bamboo is easy and provides an economic reason for paying more for a much better flooring choice. Considering such an easy repair situation, your enjoyment over the years simply goes up.
While bamboo flooring is more expensive than other types of flooring, it is well worth it. The beauty along with the ability to pattern using the different cuts raises the value of any home. Easy repair for minor wear and tear simply extends the value by extending the life. Bamboo is three to four times higher than the price of laminate but it simply is a hands-down, no-brainer. Considering the number of times that laminate would need to be replaced, you will do better than break even on the price by having bamboo installed.
Bamboo versus laminate? It all depends on your budget. If you can afford to have bamboo installed, you will save in the long run. With a longer life expectation, easy repair options, durability, noise suppression, and easy care you simply cannot go wrong by choosing bamboo.