A Guide to Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring may not be that a popular choice compared to other kinds of hardwood flooring. But it does have benefits that may not have been known by many. It has an exotic, natural appeal with many other beautiful qualities that can lead to creating different kinds of environments. There are vulnerabilities, too, just like any other types of flooring. And just like any other types of flooring, understanding its benefits and drawbacks is crucial to ensuring that this certain flooring works well with your lifestyle.

Bamboo is kinda peculiar because it is considered a kind of wood flooring but it is actually not a wood. In a nutshell, it is a kind of natural surface covering material made from bamboo, which is a type of grass.

If you are in search of the right flooring for your interiors, then read this Bamboo Flooring guide. Maybe, you can add this to your options.

Durability

Bamboos are known to be strong enough to bend. Some types of bamboos are extremely durable. Bamboos that are natural, not carbonized, were harvested properly and manufactured can be as strong and hard as red oak. Some strand-woven bamboos can even be much harder. And compared to traditional hardwood flooring, bamboo is a little bit more resistant to water damage.

But then, bamboo is still an organic and natural material. Too much wetness can cause deformation, discoloration or even moldiness. If installed in the humid area, the planks will tend to plump up, but if glued in to dry areas, it can shrink. Both can cause bamboos to crack.

Maintenance

Bamboo flooring is quite low maintenance which is very advantageous for busy homeowners. It’s very easy to clean using sweep, vacuum or mop.

However, even if it is somewhat easy to maintain, it is quite hard to keep it look perfect and free from scratches. When used regularly, a lot of things can damage its surface – pet claws, pointed heels, metallic objects and furniture legs. Even tiny particles of dirt can cause scrapes as time goes by.

Style

Bamboo flooring can raise the bar when it comes to the elegance of a space. It looks almost the same as hardwood, but you can see its difference. Bamboos can make rooms look unique and visually appealing.

On the other hand, bamboo tends to be less versatile. It may look chic in contemporary homes but could be less appealing if you choose this flooring for a vintage interior. It also has limited tones and shades so you may have limited styling options.

Cost

Bamboo flooring is less expensive. Some of these costs as low as $2-$5 up to $8 per square foot. Be careful of the inexpensive ones as these are usually of low quality.

Can Be Refinished

While we know that bamboo floors can be worn out, discolored and scratched over time, the surface of the material can be refinished.

But it would still depend on the thickness of the planks. So, you need to consider the thickness of each piece you want to install in your room.

Want to install your Bamboo flooring?

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Cork Flooring, Its Characteristics and Maintenance

Cork flooring was popularly used from 1880-1940. As they say, it is legendary, well loved and well known since it is being used for almost two centuries in Europe. Let us discuss cork flooring.

Cork’s Durability

This type of flooring is known for its durability. Once compresses it returns to its original shape. This is because it has a cellular nature that is made of about millions of microscopic air pockets. These air pockets act as natural shock absorbers. Also, cork has a substance that is called Suberin – a waxy substance normally found in most plants. Cork has a lot of this substance that gives a lot of benefits such as – waterproof; fire and insect’s resistance; as well as anti-microbial. Take note that this type of flooring needs to be refinished every 3-7 years.

Resilience

This is one of the characteristics of cork, being resilient – its ability to recover from damage. But don’t get me wrong, it only means that cork is less likely to suffer permanent damage or dents. And when cork dents, it can be ironed out with hot steam – like hot wet towels being applied to the area of a dimple.

Cork flooring has a cushion when you walk and stand on it.  This cushion allows it to sustain foot traffic and the heaviness of furniture legs, taking its original shape after impact. Ideally, good for the kitchen where you stand for long periods of time preparing and cooking food. It also has the added benefits of being an insulator, which is great for noise and temperature control.

Safe

It is anti-microbial, thermally-insulating, made from renewable materials/sources, moisture-resistant, and non-toxic. Also, it is water resistant and naturally fire resistant because it doesn’t release any toxic chemicals or gasses when accidentally burnt.

The Maintenance

Like other types of flooring, cork is easy to clean. It only requires periodic vacuuming and damp mopping. For us to have a better grasp of the proper maintenance, let us enumerate the tips.

  • Always vacuum or sweep the floor weekly. This way it will stay clean and fresh and all the dirt and sand vanish. This is the most vital thing that you can do to help maintain the reliability of a cork floor.
  • Then monthly have your floor damp mop BUT do not use a lot of water
  • Take note that, when moping the floor use a PH-balanced detergent or mild soap to clean the floor to remove the dirt or sand.
  • And always remember DO NOT use harsh cleaners such as oil, abrasives, or ammonia-based cleaning products.  Always check or consult the manufacturer for their approved cleaning products.
  • Lastly, NEVER submerge cork floor in water. When spills happen, wipe them up right away.

Like any other type of flooring, when taken cared of, cork flooring can last for decades, even in areas with continuous activities.