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Timber Flooring vs Bamboo Flooring

Jul 12, 2008
Timber flooring, in the form of solid timber or newer veneers (also called floating timber), has long been the primary choice of people who want the warm look of wood on their floors, or who want to avoid carpet. For many years, there just weren't any other options.

However, timber now has competition. Bamboo flooring is a comparable, but durable and environmentally friendly floor alternative. Against the popular floating form of timber floors, it performs favorably.

Floating timber floors are most popular because they're inexpensive. Unlike solid timber, they're made up of wood veneer just a few millimeters in thickness. This veneer is laminated onto less expensive wood, or onto a wood composite. Bamboo floors, on the other hand, can be made of solid bamboo. That means that they're more durable, and may be less expensive than a solid timber floor. As a plus, bamboo is harder to damage and much stronger than most woods.

Unlike a floating timber floor, bamboo flooring is permanently attached to the surface it rests on. That allows more stability and less opening of and movement in the joints between individual pieces of flooring.

Unlike many timber floors, both solid and floating, bamboo doesn't make that hollow sound when you walk on it. Bamboo flooring is also more resistant to scratching and easier to clean than many hardwood floor types.

Since there's little to no movement between pieces of bamboo flooring, you can easily refinish your floor. Bamboo provides a better surface than solid timber, and veneered timber can't be resurfaced at all!

A veneered wood floor that's damaged must be replaced, while a comparable bamboo one could be resurfaced. That means you could get up to another decade out of your floor.

If you've got environmental concerns about the materials you put in your house, you'll probably prefer bamboo. While both of them are renewable resources from natural sources, it takes a lot longer to replace timber forests. While veneered timber flooring uses less valuable hardwood in its manufacture, it relies on wood waste and softwoods to provide support for the veneer. Composites used in this material may use toxic glues, as well.

Bamboo, on the other hand, recovers rapidly from being harvested. A single bamboo grove can be harvested once every five years. Look for products with non toxic glues and water based surface coatings, and you'll be able to be certain that there's less damage from flooring manufacture, too.

You may find that bamboo looks a lot different than ordinary timber. While the appearance of this grass is appealing to many, it might not work out well if you really love the feel and look of hardwood. For many people, however, the lack of environmental damage and durability of bamboo makes the appearance change worthwhile.

Where contraction and expansion are issues, you'll find that bamboo offers a favorable performance. Unlike hardwood veneer floorings, bamboo will hold up to a number of resurfacings, and there's no treatment or waxing required. To make sure you get a product that's non toxic and fully sustainable, look for flooring that uses glues that won't off gas and don't contain toxic chemicals.

Anyone who's curious about how bamboo flooring holds up when compared to hardwood should take a look online. It's easy to see the whole range of available products and find out more about this great type of floor. It could be right for your home.
About the Author
While wooden flooring has always been popular in Australia, bamboo flooring is now starting to take market share, due to a range of great reasons. Visit Bamboozle in Perth - www.bamboozle.com.au - to learn more.
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