Bamboo Flooring Vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring


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If you are looking for an affordable but durable solution for wood flooring at your home, it would most likely be a toss-up of bamboo flooring Vs. engineered hardwood. Both these types of wood make great-looking floors, so you may be in two minds as to which one to choose. Don’t just look at samples, but also consider the various aspects of these two kinds of wood.

With this in mind, we bring you the highlights of these two types of wood. In this post, we discuss aspects like price, ease of installation, durability, presence of pets and children, etc. Once you have a better idea of the various aspects of these two types of wood, you would be in a better position to make the best choice of wood flooring for your home.

Bamboo Flooring Vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

AMERIQUE AMSBHCPM One Carton of Solid Bamboo Flooring Horizontal Carbonized Premium Grade, 23.81 sq. ft.
Solid Bamboo Flooring. (Image: Amazon)

Whichever type of wood you finally choose for your wood flooring, you should carry out thorough research by reading reviews and discussing with a few industry experts. Make a list of the various aspects of your project. Do you have children and pets? Will you be installing the flooring yourself, or will you hire a professional? Do you have any particular color preferences?

If you create a list of such questions and answers, you can be better positioned to choose between these two types of wood. You should be well aware of each type of wood’s pros and cons, which will help you satisfy your requirement adequately.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood, as against solid hardwood, is a mix of different types of wood. The layers of this wood category are composite, consisting of a core of high-density fiberboard (HDF) or plywood, with a top layer of hardwood veneer.

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is nothing like the bamboo stalks that you see growing in a forest. After being harvested, the bamboo goes through a boiling process. We then remove the sugar and starch through a chemical process. A machine then compresses the raw bamboo strands into boards, and planks, the final product that we use for flooring.

Bamboo Flooring Vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Pros and Cons

Wide Plank 7 1/2" x 1/2" European French Oak (Noble Estate) Prefinished Engineered Wood Flooring Sample at Discount Prices by Hurst Hardwoods
Engineered Oak Wood Flooring. (Image: Amazon)

Now that you have a better idea of the difference between bamboo flooring and engineered hardwood flooring, let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two types of wood:

Pros and Cons of Engineered Hardwood

  • Engineered hardwood offers a significant level of resistance to water, more than that of solid hardwood. This property renders it suitable for use in basements and places that tend to floor or get exposed to moisture.
  • Engineered hardwood costs less than solid hardwood and is easier to cut, machine, and install. DIYers favor this type of wood because they find it easier to handle, mainly because there is no grain pattern.
  • On the downside, the veneer that covers engineered hardwood is thin, limiting the scope for sanding, and refinishing. Another thing is that the glues that bond the layers tend to degrade over time, reducing the wood’s life.

Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring

  • For several practical reasons, bamboo flooring often becomes the preferred choice of wood for flooring. The primary benefit of bamboo flooring is that it lasts for up to 50 years, although it usually lasts for 20 to 25 years on average. Bamboo is harder than many solid hardwoods, which adds to its durability. Further, bamboo has a high degree of resistance to termites.
  • Bamboo flooring enjoys excellent popularity among DIYers because of the variety of available colors and sizes. It shares a similarity with engineered hardwood in that it is also easy to install.
  • On the downside, bamboo tends to shrink if it hasn’t been appropriately processed in the boiling stage, causing ugly gaps between the planks of the flooring. There is no formal grading system for bamboo like for hardwood flooring material. It can render procuring quality material more challenging.

The table below summarizes the comparative features of both these types of flooring woods:

Engineered Hardwood Flooring Vs. Bamboo Flooring Comparison
Description Bamboo Engineered Hardwood
Hardness NA 3,800-5,000 (Janka scale)
Pricing Inexpensive Moderately priced
Durability Highly durable but prone to damage Highly durable
Installation difficulty Easy to install Easy to install
Resistance to termites Highly-resistant Resistant if treated
Average lifespan 20-25 years 20-25 years
Sustainability Yes Depends on the types of wood used
Cleaning Easy to clean Easy to clean
Possible to wax No Yes

Bamboo Flooring Vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Similarities and Differences

Let us now look at a few salient features of these two types of wood for flooring:

Durability

Engineered hardwood is created in layers with a hardwood layer on the top, rendering it as prone to damage like solid hardwood does. This type of wood shares similar resistance to solid hardwood, but slightly better, thanks to the layers’ orientation.

Bamboo, on the other hand, exhibits slightly better resistance to moisture, scuffs, scratches, and discoloration. However, it will also yield to excessive wear and tear or exposure to water. A significant drawback of bamboo is that unlike engineered or solid hardwoods, it cannot be refinished, impacting its durability considerably.

Lifespan

Engineered hardwood flooring lasts incredibly long at an average of 20 years but up to 100 years if maintained properly, for the thicker varieties. Bamboo flooring also has high durability, but its lifespan is somewhat shorter than engineered hardwood flooring. On average, bamboo flooring lasts for 20 to 25 years, but the higher quality grades can last up to 50 years or more.

Installation

Engineered hardwood is more comfortable to install with suitable tools, but it depends on the type of installation. The “floating floor” type of installation is the easiest method. Installing bamboo flooring is not as easy as engineered hardwood flooring for DIYers. Still, if you hire a professional to get your job done, it will work out much cheaper than what you would have to pay for installing engineered hardwood floors.

Cleaning

It is possible to clean engineered hardwood daily with simple cleaning accessories like a broom and mop. But if you use a vacuum cleaner, you should ensure that you use attachments meant for use on hardwood floors to prevent damage.

You can apply wax to engineered hardwood floors, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Bamboo floors can also be cleaned as quickly as engineered hardwood floors but avoid using a wet mop. However, most bamboo floors cannot be waxed.

Sustainability

Many engineered hardwoods come from sustainably-harvested trees. However, you would have to get this information from the manufacturer if you are concerned about the sustainability factor. Bamboo, on the other hand, is an inherently sustainable variety of wood.

Conclusion

Bamboo flooring and engineered plywood are both excellent options as flooring solutions. Floors made of either of these woods look tremendous, and they are incredibly durable. However, your final choice boils down to your personal preferences.

If your priority is high durability and a floor that makes for easy cleaning and maintenance, then engineered hardwood flooring is for you. Although you may pay more initially, it will be worth the money spent in the long run.

On the other hand, bamboo flooring is a cheaper option, still making your floors look lovely. Bamboo floors are also less expensive to install than engineered hardwood. After going through the pros and cons of both these types of flooring, you would now be able to make a suitable choice to install beautiful wood floors in your home

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