Difference Between Bamboo Flooring and Hardwood

Bamboo Flooring vs Hardwood

When it comes to building one’s dream house, many issues arise. One must choose the best products that suit one’s needs, requirements, and desires best and this is not an easy task. Flooring is one aspect of housing that seems to be particularly difficult. Bamboo flooring and hardwood flooring are two options that present themselves when it comes to exploring one’s option of flooring.

What is Bamboo Flooring?

Bamboo flooring is essentially made from the bamboo plant. The main manufacturer of bamboo flooring at the moment is China whereas other parts of Asia too contribute towards this. The species of bamboo that is commonly used for bamboo flooring is called the Moso bamboo. The hardness of typical bamboo flooring ranges from 1180 (carbonized horizontal) to around 1380 (natural) whereas newer methods has increased the hardness from 3000 to over 5000 according to the Janka hardness test. While there are many types of bamboo flooring in existence, the most common type is made from bamboo stems cut as smoothly as possible and in similar sizes after which they are varnished. These are then nailed down to wooden beams or bigger pieces of bamboo. This is a technique of flooring commonly used in stilt houses which provide better ventilation.

The manufactured bamboo flooring, however, is very highly processed. Here, mature bamboo poles or culms are sliced to strips of which the outre skin and nodes are removed. They are then boiled in a solution of boric acid or lime to remove the starch which are then dried and planed. The colour of this flooring resembles that of beech wood. It is also available in carbonized and non-carbonized versions.

What is Hardwood Flooring?

In hardwood flooring what is used is solid planks milled from a single piece of timber. Originally, they were used for structural purposes where they were installed perpendicularly to the wooden support beams of a building. Hardwood flooring features a thick wear surface which can be sanded and finished to obtain a more refined finish. Although engineered wood flooring and concrete has gained popularity in the world today, houses with basements with hardwood flooring can still be found. One can often find houses that are several hundred years old to still have their hardwood floors intact.

What is the difference between Bamboo Flooring and Hardwood Flooring? 

Both bamboo flooring and hardwood flooring fall invariably under the category of wood flooring. Also, once installed, it can be quite hard to tell the two apart. However, each flooring type is unique in their own right and, therefore, features certain differences that set them apart.

• Bamboo flooring is manufactured out of bamboo. Hardwood flooring is made from solid planks of wood.

• Bamboo flooring is more environmental friendly than hardwood flooring as it is an excellent renewable resource.

• Natural bamboo flooring is about 50% harder than hardwood flooring. Carbonizing the bamboo, however, makes it softer.

• Bamboo flooring is difficult to refinish whereas hardwood floors can be refinished several times.

• Bamboo flooring only offers either dark or light variations in colour. Hardwood flooring offers a wide variety of colours as well as shades.

• Appearance wise, bamboo floors present a very apparent horizontal lines running through the surface. In hardwood floors, this is not very apparent.

• Hardwood floors are usually more expensive than bamboo floors. However, one can find lower quality woods for lower prices.

• Bamboo floors are more resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew than hardwood floors.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Hardwood and Laminate Flooring
  2. Difference Between Hardwood and Engineered Wood Flooring