Bamboo flooring has been touted as one of the best flooring options available. It is affordable, a great option for saving the environment, harder than other hardwood floorings, and as aesthetic as they come. All of these have some truth to them, but unfortunately, they is also another side to the coin.
Bamboo is considered environmentally friendly because it is a renewable resource. It grows to maturity nearly 10 times faster than regular hardwood, and does not have to be replanted. Once the bamboo is harvested, it is available for harvest again in seven years. This is all great, but the downside to bamboo flooring is that it is not always processed in an environmentally sound way. Formaldehyde is nearly always used for the binding, and formaldehyde is extremely bad for the environment. Also, hardwood forests are often being REPLACED by bamboo, which is not good either. We will still run out of forests, and bamboo cannot be the only replacement.
This type of flooring is also usually produced in China. Workers are often paid poorly and have to work under undesirable conditions. The cheap prices we pay for bamboo flooring are coming at a cost to these workers.
Regular bamboo flooring is actually fairly soft, and can dent and scratch fairly easily. To get a truly solid, durable floor, it is much better to purchase strand woven bamboo. It is one of the most durable flooring options available, and actually looks better than regular bamboo. It is more expensive, but in the end, it is worth it.
Before choosing what floor you would like to install, it is important to look at both the pros and cons of bamboo flooring. It can be a great option, but it is recommended you find a reliable dealer, who uses flooring produced in an environmentally sustainable way.