Bamboo and traditional hardwood flooring have there own unique appeals.
Hardwood flooring is one of the most preferred flooring material for new home construction and renovations. Held in high regard for its exceptional unique aesthetics and warmth, hardwood timber is highly versatile and sustainable.
In recent times though, there has been a shift in trends as the popularity of Bamboo continues to rise.
Bamboo typically used for screens and partitions and perhaps even more common in the manufacture of furniture, it has become a useful product for timber flooring.
In general, whilst it’s commonly thought to be a timber product, Bamboo is in fact a tree like grass. Don’t be fooled with it being a type of grass though, as it’s often harder than the more common hardwood timber species such as oak.
When comparing hardwood & Bamboo flooring, the main point to understand is the fact Bamboo on its own is a weak material.
Bamboo flooring materials need to go through a manufacturing process to create a product that can withstand to high volumes of human traffic, furniture and other points of impact, wear and tear.
Is Bamboo Hardwood Flooring Durable?
Bamboo comes in two types: strand and horizontal. For residential and commercial properties experiencing high foot traffic, it is preferred that strand woven Bamboo be used for its high durability.
Andrew Miller suggests Bamboo flooring is widely sold all over the world because it is a eco friendly floor product compared to any other hardwood. Another great advantage is its high durability and stability. Many people have their doubts over how bamboo floors are strong and durable.
After all Bamboo is a grass, it is very soft and thin…
Bamboo floor strength and durability does not come from its original bamboo stalk. To achieve the Bamboo flooring product we all know, Bamboo is cut into strips and laminated into floor planks.
These laminated bamboo planks have a very high density than most of its hardwood species counterparts. Since there is no real test or data points for durability, we can use hardness and density testing and data to arrive at a conclusion of durability.
One such hardness test is the Janka rating.
Strand woven Bamboo has a very high Janka score which is higher than most hardwood species, like oak and ash. Solid bamboo is 6.5 which is still higher than all regular hardwoods.
What Is The Hardest Type Of Bamboo Flooring?
Strand woven bamboo flooring is by far the hardest and most durable type of bamboo flooring.
SS House Tips suggested that Natural Bamboo is harder than Red Oak, where as carbonised Bamboo is closer to Black Walnut which is a soft hardwood. Strand woven Bamboo is the hardest type of Bamboo ranking 250% harder than Red Oak on the Janka Hardness Scale.
Strand woven Bamboo is similar in hardness to Brazilian Cherry.
With it’s extremely strong and durable characteristics, Strand woven bamboo flooring is ideal for both domestic and commercial properties.
Is bamboo flooring scratch resistant?
In all reality, any hardwood or Bamboo flooring is susceptible to scratches and minor scuff marks from everyday wear and tear. Hardwood species with a lower Janka hardness rating than Bamboo can actually perform better.
One feature of Bamboo is that it does not possess even hardness qualities across its surface and is more likely to scratch and dent just as much or perhaps slightly more than any other hardwood floor type.
Purchasing quality products from reputable suppliers and floor installation companies such as Freedom Flooring is the only sure way you are going to end up with a strong and durable floor that meets the demands of everyday foot traffic, pets and furniture.
Mark D. Elwell, owner and operator of Bamboo Flooring Hawaii “There are some stores selling very cheap, immature bamboo flooring that is coated with only a few coats of finish that are unfortunately giving bamboo flooring a bad name,” he says.
“We tell people you get what you pay for, and make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you are buying your flooring. Be educated, and ask about the bamboo maturity, finishes, and warranties.”
What Is Strand Bamboo Flooring?
As already mentioned, Bamboo is a type of grass, not actual wood. Because of this, bamboo is highly fibrous meaning it needs to go through a manufacturing process for it to be considered a flooring product.
Ordinary manufacturing methods laminate these fibres one on top of the other in a horizontal direction.
Strand woven bamboo flooring is far more durable than vertical or horizontal bamboo flooring because the cross-hatched strands act in concert to hold the material together.
Strand Bamboo flooring is typically made by slicing mature bamboo poles or culms into strips. These culms are crosscut to length and then sliced into strips depending on the width desired before being woven together. To remove starch and sugars the strips of bamboo are boiled in a solution of boric acid or lime.
The resulting block of strand woven bamboo is then milled into strand woven bamboo flooring planks with tongues and grooves.
When bamboo is made into strand woven bamboo flooring the anti-microbial properties of bamboo remain thus making bamboo flooring safer and healthier than hardwood flooring because not only is it allergen free but it also fights off pathogens.
What Is The Thickness Of Bamboo Flooring?
Strand woven bamboo flooring has various thickness because of its unique manufacturing process.
Strand woven bamboo is sliced from bamboo block which is pressed with bamboo strips. 14mm is the standard thickness, but we also can slice bamboo block into 12mm, 10mm flooring to fit the customers needs.
Strand woven bamboo is very flexible on the thickness.
Hardwood vs Bamboo Conclusion
Bamboo comes in two types: strand and vertical. Most people in the industry say the strand stuff is much stronger than traditional bamboo flooring. “On a hardness scale a good quality bamboo in the horizontal cut is around 1,450 p.s.i. on a Janka Hardness Scale.
The stranded bamboo is compressed and bonded with resins so is over 3,000 p.s.i. Strand woven bamboo is sold frequently for high traffic situations such as retail stores, restaurants, galleries, etc.
But bamboo also has drawn attention for its looks, though for a time only natural and caramelised tones were available. Today, manufacturers provide a large range of Bamboo flooring choices with a multitude of stained options and textures including hand-scraped products that look like hardwood.
Hardwood, of course, has nothing to prove. Hardwood has built a reputation for being a high quality and aesthetic pleasing floor product.
Both Hardwood and Bamboo have assumed a high profile in residential home building and commercial properties. Whilst Bamboo is still relatively new to Australian builders and householders, hardwood is very familiar to everyone. It’s just as unique and durable as bamboo, and just as versatile and green.