Is it Worth It? Bamboo Wood Flooring
Different strands for different fans? These two both qualify as green, but they differ in look, performance, and price
Cheaply made bamboo flooring can be soft and prone to warping, delaminating, and throwing off dangerous fumes. Not these solid boards, both made with mature Moso plants by Chinese mills that report directly to environmentally conscious U.S. companies. One showcases the grass's classic grain, while the other is made by compressing many strands to make a denser, harder board, treated to look like distressed hardwood. For their other trade-offs, read on.
Teragren Portfolio Strand-woven in New country
Size: 5" × ½" × 72"
Finish Warranty: 25 years
Is it for you?
If it's going to take a beating and you want a wider plank with a rustic hardwood look.
About $8.49 per square feet; Teragren.com
Processed bamboo is compressed under extreme pressure with heat and adhesive to form slabs that are sliced into planks; these self-lock and float. One and half times harder than red oak. Comes in 10 colors.
Tiny pits and flecks give the wide planks warmth and depth; the
look is more fabricated up close. Less likely to change color when exposed to sun.
Seven top coats include aluminum oxide and polyurethane. Stain and embossing add texture and depth, which would be lost with refinishing.
EcoTimber Traditional Horizontal Grain in Natural
Size: : 3¾" × ⅝" × 77½"
Finish Warranty: 27 years
Is it for you?
If high heels and golf shoes get parked at the door and you like a natural-bamboo look.
About $4.99 per square feet; Ecotimber.com
Rectangular strips of processed bamboo are laminated horizontally (edge to edge) and cut into solid planks. Slightly softer than red oak. Goes down like hardwood with glue or nails. Also available in a darker amber finish.
Narrower, naturally pale planks reflect light and showcase bamboo's nodes; there's not much grain to hide dents. Darkens with exposure to sun.
Smooth seven-coat finish includes aluminum oxide and a scratch-resistant acrylic. Refinishing will not change its look.