Natural vs Carbonized Bamboo Flooring

  • Intermediate

If you’re looking for a wider variety of color shades in bamboo flooring, carbonized bamboo flooring is sure to meet your needs.

Bamboo is carbonized by undergoing a boiling process during manufacture subjecting it to high heat thus "caramelizing" the wood fibers giving it a rich brown color almost coffee-like, but available in varying shades. Natural bamboo flooring is however light-colored, typically falling between yellow and blond shades. Below is a comparison of natural and carbonized bamboo floors.

Pros of Natural Bamboo Flooring

It costs much less than the carbonized variety. This makes it easier for homeowners to achieve bamboo floors without price imposing a restriction. The natural straw color appeals to homeowners who desire the un-tampered natural bamboo color. The floor also enhances the natural lighting effect indoors which adds to the ambiance. Natural bamboo floors are also extremely durable.

Unlike the carbonized variety that is softened significantly during manufacture, natural floors are a lot harder. They can withstand heavy usage and will not easily develop dents, scratches, or other marks. You can install them in whatever area of the house you choose without worrying about the effects of high traffic. Natural bamboo flooring also holds up better to water and moisture than the carbonized variety. You can confidently use it in the kitchen or bathroom.


Dust and dirt show easily on natural bamboo floors due to the light-colored surface. This necessitates more frequent cleaning. The light color, although ideal for those who prefer the natural color shade may limit color scheme choices where décor is concerned. Generally, the darker shades of the carbonized variety give more flexibility when trying to attain the desired décor.

Pros of Carbonized Bamboo Flooring

The rich dark color of carbonized bamboo adds a luxurious and elegant touch to rooms. This helps achieve a uniquely fashionable décor for your home. You’ll find you have greater flexibility with carbonized flooring when décor changes become necessary. Due to the dark-colored floor, dirt and dust will not easily show. It makes it easier to maintain a clean and neat look for longer without frequent cleaning.


The carbonization process adds to the overall cost of the floor. This may push it out of range where the budget is tight. Carbonized bamboo floors aren’t as durable as the natural bamboo variety. The boiling process during manufacture weakens the bamboo considerably, by about 30 percent. Certain activities or heavy impacts will easily cause dents or scratches on the floor.

You need to be extremely careful when moving heavy furniture around the room. This type of floor will not hold up well in high traffic areas. It is best to use it where floor usage is not as frequent. More restrictions are associated with carbonized bamboo because it is susceptible to water. Frequent moisture or water also causes wear and tear on carbonized floors. It is best not to use carbonized bamboo floors in the kitchen or bathroom.