What are the Qualities of Bamboo Flooring?

Amy Hunter
Amy Hunter
Bamboo stalks.
Bamboo stalks.

Bamboo flooring is a wonderful choice in floors, whether you are building a new home or remodeling. When many people think of bamboo, they picture the grassy stalks that are often used as visual barriers in gardens. While this is one type of bamboo, there are many different varieties, and some make an excellent choice in flooring.

One thing that bamboo used in flooring has in common with the bamboo that is often grown for screens is its quick growing nature. This makes bamboo flooring an environmentally sound choice. Traditional wood floors require the harvesting of trees that will take decades to replace. Bamboo, however, can be harvested every five years. This quick lifecycle makes bamboo a low impact flooring choice.

A properly installed bamboo floor will not buckle.
A properly installed bamboo floor will not buckle.

Many people are shocked to learn that bamboo is one of the hardest types of flooring available. For people who are concerned that their family pet or children would be too rough on a wood floor, bamboo can make a nice choice. Bamboo is as hard as maple, one of the hardest woods used in flooring. It is 50% harder than red oak, which is one the most common types of wood used in flooring.

One concern that many people have about using any type of wood flooring is the risk of it buckling, contracting or otherwise not remaining level. Buckling is a condition that occurs when the wood floor actually separates from the subflooring and pops up. When a floor contracts, the wood shrinks slightly. This leaves gaps in between the pieces of wood.

Both buckling and contracting are typically a result of fluctuating moisture levels. When a home gains moisture, the wood floor will absorb some of this moisture from the air. This causes the wood to expand, which leads to buckling. When the air inside a home is dry, the wood floor loses some moisture, causing the wood to constrict slightly.

Bamboo flooring is not as susceptible to the varying levels of moisture in the home as traditional wood floor. For this reason, a bamboo floor, assuming it is properly installed, should not experience any of the problems with buckling or constricting that traditional wood floors have.

Bamboo flooring is naturally a golden color. If this is not what you had in mind when looking at flooring, don’t be discouraged. Prefinished bamboo flooring is available in a wide range of colors. If you can't find the color that you have in mind, don’t give up. Many bamboo flooring manufacturers will custom finish the flooring in the color of your choice.

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Discussion Comments


Bamboo flooring types consists of a surface layer backed by another layer of wood, often plywood, pine, or fiberboard. They can be installed as floating floors over the surface of another floor.

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    • Bamboo stalks.
      By: Maceo
      Bamboo stalks.
    • A properly installed bamboo floor will not buckle.
      By: Arpad Nagy-Bagoly
      A properly installed bamboo floor will not buckle.