As eco-friendly design gains in popularity, the selection of "green" flooring materials continues to increase and become more stylish. When it comes to choosing bathroom flooring, many homeowners are investing in bamboo wood, a unique and eco-conscious material that is durable, affordable, and looks equally great in modern or traditional spaces.
Though traditionally thought of as a hardwood floor option, bamboo is a fast-growing and sturdy tree-like grass, making it a highly renewable resource. This appeals to homeowners interested in environmentally friendly wood flooring, but also has benefits for the budget-minded. Bamboo flooring cost runs as little as half the price of other wood flooring. That's because it can grow to full height and be harvested in as little as 3 years, while hardwood trees can take 50 to 100 years to reach maturity.
Bamboo is also lighter in color, which makes it great for small spaces that need a bit of brightening. Bathrooms, which don't traditionally have windows, fall into the category of rooms that could benefit cosmetically from bamboo floors. Before you begin ordering bamboo planks, though, there are some qualities you must consider. Take a look below to see what bamboo option is right for you.
Bamboo flooring is either solid or engineered. Horizontal and vertical construction use bamboo shoots in their natural state, glued uniformly either horizontally or vertically, to create boards that look like natural bamboo. Solid bamboo floors are more prone to water damage and are not the best flooring for bathrooms and other wet environments. Strand-woven boards are made of shredded bamboo that's compressed under pressure to form boards. While more durable than solid bamboo hardwood flooring, caution should still be used in bathrooms, such as using a good topcoat and placing mats by the bathtub and sink.
These solid (or semi-solid) forms of bamboo can all be left in their natural light blonde state or stained to any color to create unique dark bamboo flooring. When the floors begin to show signs of wear, they can be refinished with a light sanding and new finish coat. How many times the floor can be refinished depends on the thickness of the planks. To keep bamboo floors clean, sweep regularly and damp mop as needed.
Unlike horizontal, vertical, and strand-woven bamboo floors, engineered bamboo flooring planks are extremely durable and ideal for wet environments. The construction involves slicing bamboo stalks thinly and gluing them to a backing material to create a veneer that is sandwiched between waterproof layers. Engineered flooring looks quite similar to solid bamboo but is far more durable and easier to maintain. Most often available in click-together tiles, installing bamboo flooring is easy for even novice DIYers and damaged pieces can be replaced easily. The biggest con to engineered bamboo is that it cannot be refinished. Once the wear layer is degraded, the flooring must be replaced.
If you are looking for hypoallergenic flooring, be sure to use a low-VOC finish for the topcoat. When purchasing strand-woven and engineered bamboo flooring, look for options that were produced with low-VOC adhesives.
In conclusion, bamboo is a viable flooring option for your bathroom. Work with your local home improvement store expert to discuss which type of bamboo planks are right for you. Engineered bamboo floor planks will likely be the best choice, due to its ability to withstand wet environments and overall durability.
Bamboo bathroom floors mimic designs often found in vacation spa resorts. Unless stained or painted, bamboo will brighten up your bathroom with its light wood tone. Even engineered bamboo looks just like the natural thing. Along with regular strands and grooves, bamboo features signature "knuckles" in the grain, giving it a natural pattern. Paired with light wood finishes or white furnishings and plenty of natural light, your new bathroom will be more of a sanctuary with bamboo flooring.