Photo: Ambient Bamboo Floors
Since moving house in December, life has been dominated by interior design and decor. I’m not complaining since it’s obviously something I love to talk about (my blog wouldn’t be here otherwise!), but I’m finding decision-making overwhelming. Which paint colours to choose, which mattresses to order, what colour curtains I want in the bedroom….these are all fun decisions but they carry a weight with them. Any mistakes could be costly, not to mention time-consuming. So I’m taking all decisions seriously.
One of the biggest decisions I need to make is what to do with the living room floor. Currently downstairs is open-plan and flows from the living room to the dining room. It will eventually also flow in to the kitchen, once we take a wall down to open the area up. The floor space is fairly large and currently has a laminate flooring. I’m not averse to it, but it is damaged in some areas. It also feels very flimsy and bends when you walk on it. Parts of it are also unfinished and it doesn’t extend all the way to the wall at all edges.
We’ve been weighing up our options for what to do with the floor. Laminate is obviously a lot cheaper, and it’s a large area to cover so this would be a huge benefit. However, I am a big fan of hardwood flooring for both the look and the feel. We had a solid oak floor in our flat where we lived before, and I loved it. Recently I’ve been hearing more about hardwood bamboo flooring, however. It seems the properties of this type of flooring material are very similar to real wood, and in some cases the benefits of it surpass wood.
Below is my dining room as you look through the archway towards the lounge. Taken not long after we moved in, so please ignore toolbags and boxes! (Not to mention garden furniture instead of dining chairs….we found some great dining chairs recently for a steal on eBay and I’ll post when we’ve revamped them, and the table).
Here’s the opposite end of the dining room, showing the laminate floor and the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. It makes the kitchen so dark and I can’t wait to get rid of it!
It might be that bamboo flooring is an even better choice than standard hardwood flooring. Here’s a list of the benefits of bamboo flooring:
We know that oak and other hard woods can last for many years. Bamboo is just as strong, and some say it’s even stronger. Many manufacturers of bamboo flooring give it a guarantee of 25 years, which makes it a very cost effective material to put down in your home.
Bamboo flooring was once only available in its natural golden hue. However, it’s come on in leaps and bounds, and you can now get it in pretty much any hue and finish you desire. It can be matte, satin or high gloss. Bamboo has a very serene and stylish feel to it that can surpass even that of solid oak.
The kind of bamboo used to make flooring is not the same species that the pandas eat, so we needn’t worry that we’re depriving them of their food source. In fact, bamboo has over 1000 species. It grows to maturity very quickly, within 5 – 7 years. It’s quickly replaceable, therefore, unlike most hardwood trees which can take up to 25 years to mature. It also regrows quickly from the root, so once it’s harvested, it doesn’t need to be replanted. Just make sure your bamboo flooring is FSC-certified to ensure you’re buying from the most trusted growers.
Easy to clean and care for
Nothing special is needed to keep bamboo flooring looking its best. Just a broom to sweep it, and a mop and ordinary floor cleaner if it gets dirty. Bamboo is also highly water resistant, more so than hardwood, so it’s versatile for many areas of the house.
Bamboo can be damaged, just like hardwood, by heels, chair legs and anything else abrasive. The good thing about bamboo flooring is that you can sand it down and refinish it again and again.
Easy to install
Bamboo flooring comes in different formats. You can install it as a ‘floating floor’ where the clickable units lay straight over the existing floor. No adhesive is needed making for quick and easy installation. It also does not contract or expand like hardwood, so can be laid directly over a range of surfaces like stone and tile.
If you decide to go ahead and install hardwood bamboo flooring in your home, it’s wise to check what species of bamboo is being used. Something like moso is a good choice. Lower quality bamboos have a higher risk of nasty chemicals being used to bond the grasses together. It also means they’re not as inherently strong as superior species. Ensure that the company you buy from can guarantee the species, quality and environmental care of their products.
Bamboo flooring is looking like a great choice for our house. If we do go ahead, I’ll be sure to post my experiences and photos here on the blog.
Photo: Ambient Bamboo Floors
This is a collaborative post. All words and opinions expressed are my own.
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