What Are The Different Types Of Bamboo Flooring And How Do You Pick The Right One For Your Home?

Posted on: 10 November 2021

Bamboo flooring is a durable and environmentally friendly choice of flooring for your home. Bamboo grows very quickly and continues to grow after it has been cut in order to manufacture planks; it can be harvested every few years, whereas the trees used to make hardwood flooring may not be ready to be cut for decades after they've been planted.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, there are numerous options available when you're installing bamboo flooring in your home. You'll be able to easily find something that matches your decor. To learn more about the different types of bamboo flooring that are available to install and how to find the one that best suits your home, read on.

Horizontal Solid Bamboo Flooring 

Horizontal solid bamboo flooring is made by milling a stalk of bamboo to create horizontal cross-sections, then gluing the sections together to make a full plank. Horizontal cross-sections expose the grain of the bamboo, including all of the knots in the stalk, so it's a good choice if you want to show off the natural texture of bamboo in your home. It's a very good complement for rustic interior design.

Horizontal solid bamboo flooring is quite soft, so it scratches more easily than true hardwood floors and may dimple if you drop a heavy object on it. However, the grain helps to hide any scratches and dimples in your floor.

Vertical Solid Bamboo Flooring

Vertical solid bamboo flooring is manufactured similarly to horizontal bamboo flooring. The only difference is that the sections created by the milling process are glued together side-by-side by placing the adhesive on the surface that exposes the grain of the bamboo. Vertical solid bamboo flooring hides the grain, giving it a modern, clean appearance.

Like horizontal solid bamboo flooring, it's quite soft and will scratch easily, and it doesn't hide blemishes as well due to the lack of visible grain. As a result, it's best used in low-traffic areas as part of a modern interior design scheme.

Strand-Woven Solid Bamboo Flooring

Strand-woven solid bamboo flooring is created from the fiber remnants that are left over from milling stalks of bamboo. The fibers are placed in a heated industrial press that compacts them together, creating a solid plank of interwoven fibers. There's no visible wood grain, but it has a more textured appearance than vertical solid bamboo flooring due to all of the interwoven fibers that make up its surface.

Compressing the bamboo fibers removes the vast majority of air between them, so strand-woven solid bamboo flooring is very hard and dense—in fact, it's more durable than most true hardwood flooring. This form of bamboo flooring is a great choice if you have pets or children in your home, since it's difficult to scratch or dimple, and it's a good choice for high-traffic areas.

Engineered Bamboo Flooring

Engineered bamboo flooring is made by gluing bamboo planks to high-density fiberboard, which is made by mixing wood fibers with an adhesive and then compressing it in order to form a dense plank of wood. The bamboo planks used to make engineered wood can be either horizontal, vertical, or strand-woven depending on the appearance and durability that you want.

While engineered bamboo flooring is more expensive than solid bamboo, it's the best choice for areas that frequently experience high humidity, such as your kitchen or your basement. The high-density fiberboard between the bamboo planks doesn't expand or contract much as it absorbs moisture or dries out. Solid bamboo may warp in these environments since its shape changes more when the humidity level in the room changes.

Carbonized Bamboo Flooring

In order to create carbonized bamboo flooring, manufacturers bake bamboo planks in a hot oven until they begin to turn brown. Bamboo normally has a light color, but carbonizing it can darken its color until it becomes a deep mahogany color. Both solid and engineered bamboo can be carbonized, and it's a good choice if you'd like a dark-colored bamboo floor. Carbonizing bamboo makes it slightly softer, but the dark color does a better job of hiding scratches and imperfections in the surface.

Whichever type of bamboo flooring you choose, it's important to acclimate it to your home's climate before installing it and have it installed by a professional wood flooring service. You need to store the planks in your home in order to acclimate them to its ambient humidity—this prevents them from warping after they've been installed. Having your bamboo floors installed by a wood flooring service will further reduce the risk of warping, as they'll leave enough space for the bamboo to expand and contract slightly in response to humidity changes without buckling upwards.  

For more information, contact a wood flooring service in your area.