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Is Bamboo Flooring A Good Alternative to Timber?

Jul 13, 2008
Timber flooring has long been a primary choice for many people. It you want to avoid carpet or include the warm look of wood in your home, it's been the best option for a long time.

However, that has changed in recent years. Bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly, strong, lasting alternative to using timber flooring. Here's some information about bamboo and how it performs against floating and solid timber.

Floating timber floors, unlike the more expensive solid timber type, are made of a layer of wood veneer a few millimeters thick, laminated on top of a less expensive timber, or even a composite material made from waste wood. Bamboo floors are made of solid bamboo, offering greater durability over time for less than you'd pay for a solid timber floor. Plus, bamboo is a stronger, harder to damage material than almost any wood.

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.

You also won't have to deal with the hollow sound that many timber floors make when you walk on them, or the easy scratching. Bamboo flooring is solid sounding, easy to clean, and resistant to scratches and dings.

The fact that the individual pieces of flooring don't move or shift also makes refinishing bamboo easier. There's a much better surface to work with than solid timber, and veneered wood floors can't be refinished at all!

Instead, the damaged portion of the timber floor needs to be replaced. Bamboo can be resurfaced many more times than other types of floor, and could last another five to ten years longer because of it.

Those who are worried about the environment will probably choose bamboo over timber. Both are natural, renewable resources, but timber takes a long time to replace itself. Veneered timber flooring uses less hardwood, but other woods are still used, and composite fillers often involve toxic glues.

These types of practices occur mostly in countries that don't regulate or enforce their regulations. All you have to do to find out if your bamboo is being grown sustainably is do a little research. There are plenty of products out there that are made with environmentally sustainable bamboo - just find out what you can to be sure you're getting the product you're paying for.

Compared to hardwood, bamboo will last a lot longer, and stand up better to daily wear. For those who are still concerned about the life of their bamboo floor, warranties are available. Remember that you get what you pay for - buy a product that's made to last, rather than a bargain.

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.

If you've been considering bamboo flooring, or just want to find out more, take a look online. There are lots of stores offering bamboo flooring that'll last for years, feel a lot like hardwood, and be kind to the world around you.
About the Author
While timber flooring has always been popular in Western 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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