Bamboo Flooring Durability

Bamboo Flooring - 2013

How to Determine Bamboo Flooring Durability

Most people often speculate on bamboo flooring durability and this could be primarily due to bamboo, as a plant, is classified as grass and wood. For those who may not know what these terms mean in terms of durability and toughness, wood is considered a more durable and tougher, material than grass. A great example of wood is pine and walnut. While this statement on toughness may be true, when it comes to bamboo flooring durability, it does not apply.

Bamboo flooring durability is determined by three main factors. These are the quality of bamboo used, the stalk placement and the added materials. Depending on these three factors, the durability of the bamboo floor may vary. In some cases, it may be considered as soft while in others, it may be considered quite hard. The hardness of bamboo flooring and any other flooring for that matter is measured through the use of the Janka scale. Soft bamboo flooring reads about 900 on the Janka scale, while hard bamboo flooring can ranges from about 3600-5000 on the same scale.

As stated earlier, bamboo by itself is a grass and is not on the same level of hardness as other woody plants such as walnut or hickory. Proper stalk placement helps in reinforcing the hardness of the bamboo. Bamboo flooring that is found in most flooring stores features woven strand bamboo flooring which features bamboo stalks interwoven in a cross-directional pattern. Stalk placement by itself does not fully reinforce bamboo flooring durability. Added materials, mostly man-made adhesives, play a huge role in this. Bamboo flooring is made harder and more durable by reenforcing the bamboo material with adhesives. Lastly, the type of bamboo also affects bamboo flooring durability. Though it is difficult to determine the quality of bamboo when selecting the flooring, higher quality bamboo that has aged for a while forms more durable flooring.

The type of bamboo flooring may also depend on its durability. There are two types of bamboo flooring; engineered bamboo flooring and stranded bamboo flooring. It is important to note that of the two, engineered bamboo flooring is not 100% bamboo. This type features high bamboo flooring durability. It is more commonly used in areas whereby there is a lot of humidity due to its high moisture resistance factor. The second bamboo floor type, the stranded bamboo floor features higher durability than the first. It is, however, one of the most difficult to install.

As can be seen, the scale of bamboo flooring durability depends largely on the technique used to make the flooring material as well the material requirements. Typical traditional bamboo flooring may have a durability range of about 900-1200 Janka which matches that of other hardwood materials. However, the stranded bamboo flooring material ranges from 2300-3600 Janka. As bamboo flooring durability increases, the installation process becomes much more difficult. The cost of the bamboo flooring material also varies considerably with the durability of the flooring material.