Bamboo flooring is a popular option for homeowners who want real timber floors, but who also want to make eco-friendly choices when it comes to their home's building materials. Bamboo is very sustainable, meaning that it grows quite quickly, so any bamboo harvested for flooring will grow back easily. Bamboo is also very dense and durable, so it may be less prone to denting or cracking over the years. If you're thinking of having bamboo flooring installed in your home, note a few questions you might have about this material, so you can determine if it's the right choice for you.
Can it be installed in a bathroom?
While bamboo flooring is very dense and durable, and more resistant to moisture and humidity than other timber species, it's not waterproof. Because of that, this timber is not recommended for bathroom floors, even with a strong sealant applied to its surface. It's often best to use a type of ceramic, vinyl, or stone tile in the bathroom, kitchen, basement, and laundry room, and then use bamboo flooring for other rooms of the house.
Do you need an underlayment for bamboo flooring?
Most real timber flooring will need an underlayment of some sort, as real timber, including bamboo, is not soft enough to absorb footsteps; without an underlayment, the floor can be very loud and downright uncomfortable when you walk across it. Bamboo flooring also needs an underlayment for stability, so that the timber doesn't slide around and the slats don't pull away from each other. This underlayment will also help to absorb some humidity and moisture, protecting the bamboo from any potential water damage. If your home has a concrete subfloor, talk to a flooring contractor about the type of underlayment needed for your new bamboo flooring.
Can bamboo floors be painted or stained?
The density of bamboo is one reason it's so popular as a flooring; it won't scratch, scuff, or dent as easily as other woods, as mentioned. However, this also means it's very difficult to sand the surface of the flooring in order to remove its sealant and put down a layer of paint or stain. While a professional flooring contractor can manage this job, it is very difficult, and not something you should plan on having done repeatedly. In turn, it's good to choose a species and variety of bamboo that is the colour you prefer, rather than expecting that you can simply sand it down and repaint it a new colour over the years.