The growing number of manufacturers confirms their own certainty about the future of bamboo flooring. It is that it has one; and a bright one at that. More and more people are choosing this eco-friendly alternative to the more traditional hardwood flooring. But how does it compare to its hardwood counterparts?
If you ask the National Hardwood Association, they would say it is 10% harder than red oak. Actual data, however, show results varying from it being a little lower to being a lot higher than red oak. It is also found to be more resistant to moisture compared to common hardwood. This means it is resistant to spills, but it is still NOT safe from too much moisture. Furthermore, marketers boast using state-of-the-art technology to produce strong and stable bamboo floors. So yes, bamboo floors are as -- if not more -- durable.
In terms of flexibility and appeal, both are similar. Both are adaptable, nature-inspired, and are available in a wide selection of type, color, and style. In its price, bamboo floors used to be more expensive. But, nowadays, one can find some that are actually cheaper than hardwood.
If there are those who say bamboo is the new hardwood, there are others who would, naturally, disagree. Like anything and everything else, there are advantages and disadvantages. To those advertising its ability to last long, others reply with a complaint about how it breaks easier. To some, bamboo just cannot better hardwood.
Let us try to look at another angle.
Bamboo’s main appeal has been its sellers’ strongest campaign --- its supposed environmental benefits. It is grass, not tree. It grows very quickly and does not need to be replanted. It only takes 3-5 years to harvest good quality bamboo whereas wood usually takes decades. It is an easy-to-maintain resource. To this, some claim that bamboo has the advantages of wood flooring, but without the environmental risks attached to it.
This claim, however, is debatable. The demand for wood floorings lessens our already low wood ### resources. In addition, bamboo is a good substitute. True. However, the rise of bamboo floors led to deforestation in order to grow bamboo. Add that to the use of toxic chemicals in processing bamboos and you might as well forget the environmental benefits mentioned.
So, which is better? It is really the consumers’ say; which look and which benefits they prefer. When choosing bamboo flooring though, it might be helpful to know its manufacturers, where it came from, and how it was made.