Bamboo Flooring 2 - Some Things to Consider Bamboo Flooring 2 - Some Things to Consider

So you are thinking about installing bamboo flooring in your home. There are a few things you should know before going ahead and making the final decision. Bamboo can be a lasting, beautiful addition to your home that, if taken care of, will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. However, there are certain scenarios where bamboo might not be the best solution to your flooring needs; specifically there are certain applications where a more appropriate surface may present itself. These scenarios include applications that will encounter high volumes of water, uncovered or exposed situations, and places where the floor will come in contact with heavy equipment or commercial grade traffic.

While bamboo has been used for years in various office and industrial centers world wide, it is a specific grade, not commonly associated with home suppliers, that has made this level of usage possible. When you approach your local flooring vendor, be sure to clarify your intended application to ensure that the grade of wood and finish you purchase is the most appropriate for your usage. There are certain types of bamboo flooring made in a specific grade and appropriate finish for general light traffic usually encountered in a home occupied by an average family.

Unlike pressure treated lumber typically used in outdoor decking, bamboo flooring is not best suited to the outdoors. Hardwood flooring typically has a certain resiliency to the elements, and while bamboo is no exception to that rule, the finish and lifespan of bamboo flooring will be greatly affected by the elements. The finish applied to flooring whose intended usage is indoors has very little protection against day-to-day exposure to elements. While it is reasonable to expect that a properly installed floor can withstand the ravages of a family doused with a rain storm, it should not be expected that the floor itself can withstand direct exposure to open downpours, year round.

In addition to weather, exposure to water can dramatically affect a floor, especially bamboo, or any veneered flooring surface. Applications of wood floors in a shower setting are limited, due to the added care and protection of directly exposed areas. While it is reasonable to have a bathroom with bamboo floors, the level of care needed to keep the floor in top condition may negate the stylistic advantages. In essence, you may be better off with tile or marble in an excessively wet shower area, rather than attempt to keep up a wood floor. If children or pets are present, the stress of all that moisture may cause your floors to warp, crack, buckle or wear prematurely.

Making the decision to install a bamboo floor is one that takes careful consideration. While the application is really the deciding factor, it is ultimately up to you to determine if the upkeep of certain extreme conditions will outweigh the style needs of your particular décor. While it is best to confer with your local flooring professional, there are certain particulars you can investigate on your own to make your final decision as to whether bamboo is right for you.

Sean O'Halloran worked for several years as a Tile and General Contractor throughout the tri-state area. After retiring from the industry, he now focuses on his professional writing career.

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