When we bought the house that we’re renovating, we knew one thing – there would be NO carpet in the house when we got done. My experience with bamboo products was limited to those cheap old bamboo roll-up shades, and a set of bamboo wind chimes. However, a lot of research turned up some interesting facts and also turned us into bamboo flooring believers. If you’re concerned about minimizing your impact on the environment, bamboo flooring is a choice you can feel good about.
Glue down is just what it says – the flooring planks are glued down to a concrete subfloor or nailed down to a plywood subfloor. Floating means that the flooring planks are manufactured with tongues and grooves that click together and hold them in place over a concrete or plywood subfloor. Flooring manufacturers will indicate which type of installation is recommended for a particular product. Since living in the house, we have had ZERO problem with wood floor in the kitchen.
If you’re a Do-It-Yourselfer, you may find that a floating floor is much easier to install – glue down could be quite messy for the new flooring installer! For example, on one of our quotes for a glue down strand bamboo, the glue cost almost 40% as much as the flooring itself! Also, engineered flooring has traditionally been considered a better choice for high moisture environments, such as kitchens, below-grade or basement installations.
Solid bamboo has the advantage over engineered flooring when it comes to refinishing, simply because there is a greater thickness of the bamboo to work with. Now that you’ve decided between solid and engineered bamboo flooring, you will need to decide on the structure or grain of the bamboo itself. The joined bamboo is then glued together in layers to form a multi-ply plank of the desired thickness. This is the edge of a flooring sample of solid horizontal bamboo mounted on a piece of plywood.
When making a choice between horizontal, vertical or strand, be sure to consider the traffic that the flooring will get in your house. If you have kids, big pets, or host frequent gatherings where guests may be wearing heels like stilettos, strand bamboo flooring will be the most durable, but it will be more expensive. Natural, of course, is the natural color of bamboo, while carbonized means that the bamboo has been subjected to pressure heating.