Due to its use on DIY home improvement/house flipping shows, bamboo flooring has been generating tremendous buzz recently. Not only is it an extremely durable flooring material, but when properly finished and maintained it is less susceptible to moisture and high humidity.
Many builders, renovators, and homeowners are choosing bamboo flooring for their bathrooms to give it a hardwood look that is fresh and unique.
Before Installing Bamboo Flooring in Your Bathroom
Bamboo flooring isn’t new: it’s been around for decades, and the renewed interest in bamboo for hardwood flooring has seen a revival thanks to the sustainable housing movement.
Many construction companies and developers are also turning to bamboo floors as a way to “go green” when sourcing their building materials.
It may look like wood, but bamboo is actually a grass the possesses tough, durable fibers used in construction and commercial applications for thousands of years. The bamboo used in flooring undergoes a series of manufacturing processes that cut them into strips, shreds them to separate the fibers, and then bonds the fibers into a sturdy square using heat, pressure, and adhesives.
There are three types of bamboo flooring used in manufacturing:
Vertical bamboo has a striped grain, while horizontal has the “knuckled” look most people think of when they think of bamboo floors. Strand grain, the most expensive type of hardwood floor is actually a weave of bamboo fibers that are interlocked for superior strength and durability. Bamboo is an ideal choice for a sustainable hardwood flooring that preserves old-growth hardwood forests.
Why is bamboo so much more sustainable? These plants have a rapid growth rate (sometimes as much as several inches in a day), and so they can be harvested and regrown in far shorter periods of time than hardwood trees. This makes bamboo ideal for preserving natural resources without compromising on the quality and durability of building materials.
Choosing Sustainable Bamboo Floors
While bamboo is a more sustainable source for flooring and provides a high quality, lower cost option for putting in a hardwood bathroom floor, there are some concerns about certain sources of bamboo flooring.
For example, while it is a greener choice that’s better for the environment and reduces harvesting pressure on exotic hardwoods, the manufacturing processes in countries where the bamboo flooring is made are largely unregulated. This oversight means some brands of bamboo flooring have a greater potential to contain toxic substances in the adhesive and finish including formaldehyde. Furthermore, the factories in these countries that manufacture bamboo flooring can often generate a larger carbon footprint due to lax emissions standards overseas.
Ecologically conscious consumers seeking to use bamboo flooring should verify their flooring is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council, as products bearing their seal of approval practice ethical and ecologically sound harvesting and manufacturing processes.
Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring in Your Bathroom
Ready to install a bamboo floor in your bathroom? First, consider the practical advantages and disadvantages of a bamboo bathroom floor.
Here’s a quick rundown:
- Bamboo flooring is every bit as durable as traditional hardwood, provided you get good quality bamboo flooring. Check the warranty before you make a buying decision.
- Bamboo provides a clean and contemporary aesthetic that suits many bathroom designs.
- Cleans up fast and easy with just a mop and gentle soap.
- Thicker bamboo flooring can be refinished in the future depending on how the planks are constructed.
- Laminated bamboo flooring glued to sub-layers is a DIYers dream to install.
- Cheap bamboo flooring shows wear and tear quickly, so you don’t want to cut corners on quality.
- The grass fibers of bamboo plants absorb water when not sealed/finished well, so they are susceptible to water damage from excessive humidity over long periods of time.
- Not all bathroom designs are going to be suitable for the aesthetic of a bamboo floor.
- There are few tones/shades available with bamboo flooring.
Bottom line, the pro versus con of installing a bamboo floor in your bathroom comes down to three points to ponder: source, quality, and design. If ethical and ecologically sound sourcing is important to you, then do your homework and be prepared to spend a bit more for your bamboo flooring.
DIYers and renovators concerned about potential long-term humidity damage should research engineered and well-finished bamboo flooring designed to be less susceptible to absorbing water. Lastly, you need to make sure that the available shades of bamboo flooring will work with the palette of your bathroom design.
Provided you take these three important points into consideration, installing a high-quality bamboo floor in your bathroom can be an investment that pays dividends for years to come.
Contact Carpet To Go today to learn more about bamboo flooring for your home.
Areas We Serve:
Seattle Bamboo Flooring | Bellevue Bamboo Flooring | Redmond Bamboo Flooring | Kirkland Bamboo Flooring | Sammamish Bamboo Flooring | Shoreline Bamboo Flooring | Issaquah Bamboo Flooring | Lynnwood Bamboo Flooring