Bamboo Flooring is growing rapidly in popularity. Praises for this natural flooring option can be found anywhere from HGTV to DIY home reno blogs, but how can you tell if this is the right option for your kitchen? Read on to see our top 6 reasons to use bamboo flooring in your kitchen, and our opinion on when bamboo flooring may not be the right choice for you.
Six Strong Reasons You Should Consider Using Bamboo Flooring In Your Kitchen
Like most hard woods and their variations, bamboo flooring is available in a range of styles. The sleek design of bamboo has made it a favorite contemporary flooring option. The natural coloring can be very light, but the flooring can be stained to suit any style or color scheme in your kitchen, and the flooring can be refinished in a different stain if desired. The trendy, wide plank style is highly sought after, which makes bamboo flooring a popular option in new homes and also in home renovations. Different manufacturers also offer a variety of styles, including a “zebra” style of bamboo plank which combines the lighter, natural style bamboo with the carbonized, dark finish bamboo flooring to resemble higher end hardwoods.
One of the main reasons bamboo flooring is so rapidly growing in popularity is due to a greater demand in the industry for eco-friendly and sustainable options. Bamboo flooring is the highest renewable natural flooring option available today. Because bamboo is technically a grass, it takes significantly less time to mature for harvest than traditional hardwoods. Bamboo is ripe for harvest in only 3-5 years and, even more importantly, does not require replanting. This flooring option is also naturally water resistant and insect repellent, reducing the need for treatment with insecticides and other ecologically harmful chemicals.
Perhaps the greatest reason that bamboo is a popular choice for kitchens is that bamboo flooring is both naturally water repellent and less absorbent than hardwood. Wax or urethane finish (usually the latter, as wax will need to be reapplied using specialized equipment) is applied to the bamboo flooring to seal it, which helps protect the floor from scratches and water damage.
Starting in price from as low as $2 per square foot and ranging in price up to as much as $9 per square foot at the higher end for the flooring alone, bamboo flooring is on the cheaper end of the natural flooring options. Also, because it can be installed by nailing or gluing the flooring directly on the subflooring, it is possible to save additional money by installing the bamboo flooring yourself. The comparatively low cost of bamboo flooring makes it a very attractive option for flooring throughout the home, but especially in some of the larger rooms of your home, such as the kitchen.
Bamboo flooring is surprisingly low maintenance for a natural hardwood flooring option. As the kitchen is the most highly trafficked room in your home, selecting a flooring that is especially easy to maintain is supremely important. To maintain your bamboo flooring, periodic buffing of the wax is required if wax was used to prevent absorption of moisture. Most bamboo flooring, however, is treated with a polyurethane layer that protects it surface. Regular cleaning of dust/grit/particles, etc. with a stiff-bristle broom will help prevent scratching. Because bamboo flooring is susceptible to water damage, the floor should never be soaked when mopping; use of a damp mop to clean the floors is all that is needed.
Bamboo flooring is one of the softer hardwood flooring options. While this can be a negative, especially in wet or humid conditions, the flexibility of the floor makes it simpler to install, more versatile, and easier to update or refinish.
Cons to Bamboo Flooring
With all of the positives listed above, I'm sure you're ready to rn out and invest in bamboo flooring for your kitchen immediately. However, there are a few cons to bamboo flooring you should consider before committing:
While bamboo flooring is one of the least expensive and softest of the natural flooring options, if you purchase bamboo flooring that is on the cheaper end, you may end up with bamboo flooring that is too soft, leaving it extra prone to scratches and possibly water damage. Most bamboo flooring is listed as either Grade A or Grade B, however there’s little to no actual regulation of bamboo flooring, leaving it up to the manufacturers discretion as to what makes second quality flooring. If you are choosing to purchase bamboo flooring for any room in your home, it’s important that you investigate any company before you purchase to find out general customer satisfaction, details of any warranty they may offer, and their purchasing and bamboo harvesting practices. Many companies will also provide samples of their different products, which is a good way to test the flooring in your home prior to purchasing.
Another reason to reconsider installing bamboo flooring in your kitchen is if you have larger pets, especially dogs. Pets’ nails are not great for bamboo flooring, or for most hardwood options, as they are much more likely to leave scratches in the softer wood. If you do have pets and are wanting bamboo flooring, you should consider extra layers of the polyurethane finishing to protect them.
And finally, one last reason you may be hesitant to install bamboo flooring in your kitchen is that, while bamboo flooring is very trendy, the contemporary design may not fit the style of your home. For this reason, bamboo flooring is an especially attractive option in new construction, but possibly not the best choice in a renovated older home.