Bamboo flooring does not have a fixed rating and standard scale to determine the quality which makes it difficult to find the best product. However, it is a trending contemporary flooring material because of its hardness and beauty. If you are considering bamboo flooring for your home, there are certain important factors that you must take into account.
Ensure your home gets a fabulous makeover and you make a wise investment by taking the following factors into consideration while choosing the best bamboo flooring for your home.
- Where is the flooring being installed?
Bamboo is a very versatile flooring option that is ideal for every room of the house except bathrooms because of its durability and hardness. Bamboo floor planks are dimensionally stable compared to hardwood and engineered hardwood, which make it suitable for rooms which see significant temperature fluctuations like the kitchen, utility room, conservatories etc. However, it is a natural material and while it is significantly water-resistant naturally, it cannot withstand the continuous exposure to water and humidity that is common in the bathroom.
- How is bamboo hardness and rating determined?
There is no official gradation system for bamboo which make it difficult to determine its quality and hardness. Bamboo flooring that look alike may not always have the same quality and this depends to a large extent on the manufacturer and the quality of the raw bamboo being used for the production of the floor planks. Some important factors that will help you deduce the quality are:
- Source of the raw material
- Reputation of the manufacturer
- Colour choices they offer
- The lamination process and the adhesives used
- Materials used for kiln drying
- The quality of the milling
Usually younger and less mature bamboo is softer and hence has a cheaper price tag. They are also less stable. You can get the information about the origin of the bamboo and its age from the manufacturer.
- What is the grade of the bamboo?
Bamboo can be classified into two grades depending on certain factors. When you are buying bamboo flooring, the grade will help you to understand its basic quality and features.
- Grade A- this is fully mature bamboo plants which are at least 5 to 6 years old. The colour is consistent and there are no mould or fungus on them. If they are well maintained, flooring made from grade A bamboo can last a lifetime.
- Grade B- the younger bamboo plants which are comparatively weaker and less stable fall under this grade. The colouring is distinctly uneven and there may be mould and fungus growth. They are cheaper and often lower quality finishes are used for them.
Depending on the finish, the colour of the floor planks varies accordingly. The natural bamboo has a golden blonde colour. Carbonized bamboo has a darker and richer hue though the planks are softer due to the treatment they undergo. Stained bamboo is artificially coloured to create customized shades of the flooring planks.
- What is the subfloor made of?
The subfloor is the base floor that is a part of the property. Usually it is made of wooden floor boards, plywood, chipboard, asphalt or bitumen and concrete. Bamboo flooring can be perfectly installed on a dry, flat and properly levelled subfloor. The method of installation is influenced by the subfloor material and hence, it should be taken into consideration. The professional floor installer can give you the best advice regarding this. Bamboo flooring can easily be installed on any subfloor provided it is dry and flat.
- What is the level of formaldehyde used in adhesives?
The bamboo stripes are laminated using adhesives under high pressure to form the flooring planks and these adhesives contain formaldehyde. While bamboo flooring has some environmental and health benefits, the high level of formaldehyde negates these. The key is to look for bamboo planks which are bonded with adhesives that are formaldehyde-free or has less chemicals. Such options are usually expensive compared to the flooring boards containing formaldehyde adhesive but it is worth the money considering it is healthier for the homeowners.
- Is it compatible with underfloor heating?
Bamboo flooring is compatible with underfloor heating as they are dimensionally stable and don’t react to significant temperature changes. You can easily install underfloor heating or retain them if you already have them along with this flooring type. To make sure there is no trouble in the future, you can also ask the installer to check the flooring planks along with the underfloor heating and how it fares.
- Is bamboo an eco-friendly choice?
Bamboo grows rapidly and reaches its maturity in less time compared to hardwood species. It is a renewable option since the new shoots will grow from the cut-off roots and don’t need to be re-planted to harvest it. Hence, it is an eco-friendly option which can become a worthy alternative to hardwood flooring. Look for companies and manufacturers who have FSC or Forest Stewardship Council certifications to ensure that you are getting truly eco-friendly products.
- Why choose bamboo flooring?
This is a primary question of homeowners when they are exploring bamboo flooring variants. Here are some advantages of choosing bamboo flooring. You can explore the pointers mentioned below in detail in this previous blog we wrote.
- Eco-friendly and sustainable
- Cheaper than hardwood without compromising the quality
- Durable and stronger than most hardwood
- Compatible with underfloor heating
- Easy maintenance
- Suitable for allergic people
- Versatile and suitable for almost every room except the bathroom
- Fares well on most subfloors
If you are looking for bamboo flooring and have certain preferences about the quality, aesthetics and the finish, consider the above-mentioned factors. You will be able to the best bamboo flooring possible for your home.