Bamboo Flooring Vs Laminate

Bamboo Flooring Vs Laminate

Laminate flooring(LF) and bamboo flooring(BF) are both of wood flooring. But they have their own features. 1. Abrasion resistanceLF is strong abrasion resistant. AC4 and AC5 rating LF can be used for heavy commercial purpose. It can be used in many high traffic indoor places such as gymnasium and supermart. Bamboo flooring is not strong abrasion resistant. It can’ be used in high traffic place. 2. PriceLF is much cheaper. The prices of bamboo is usually 3-4 times higher than that of BF.3. Moisture resistance Both of the products are strong moisture resistant. But BF is much better. BF even can be used in kitchen. The swelling rate of BF is very low. 4. DurabilityRegarding durability, BF is better than LF. LF can’t be repaired if the top layer, abrasion resistance, is broken as there is no layer to protect the decorative layer and support material. BF still can be used if its surface is broken because there is still bamboo under the surface. 5. The content of formaldehydeBF is mainly made up of glued bamboo planks, while the support material of LF consists of glued wooden fiber. So the content of formaldehyde in laminate flooring(LF) is times of that in bamboo. But LF is also safe as long as it meet the standard of formaldehyde release. 6. Colors availableAlmost all the colors can be available to LF: pine, oak, birch, beech, cherry, oak, teak, walnut, ceramic tile, granite, marble and even including bamboo. But the colors for bamboo flooring(BF) are just natural color, carbonized color and several other colors. 7. AppearanceBF gives a natural, elegant and comfortable feel. It makes your house more valuable. Common LF can’ t offer such feel. But now there is some type of LF with hardwood like appearance such as V groove type and hand scraped surface. 8. Noise.LF is of a floating type. There is some noise when people step, while there is only a little noise from BF as its installation method is quite different from LF. It is not a floating type. But attached underlayment on the back of LF can reduce most of the noise.
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Bamboo Flooring Vs Laminate

Bamboo flooring can be made from many different species of bamboo with differing properties, but Moso bamboo is the most popular high-quality option. Harvested at its peak density at 5-6 years of age, it is harder than even maple and oak hardwoods. Engineered bamboo (also called stranded bamboo) flooring material is more durable than natural bamboo, but is highly processed from its natural state, being stripped, boiled, cut, bonded and pressed. Lighter-colored bamboo is harder than darker bamboo, as the carbonization process used to darken the wood makes it softer.
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Bamboo Flooring Vs Laminate

Mark D. Elwell, owner and operator of Bamboo Flooring Hawaii in Honolulu, says there are over 1,000 types of bamboo species, but Moso bamboo is a good one to look out for. “There are some stores selling very cheap, immature bamboo flooring that is coated with only a few coats of finish that are unfortunately giving bamboo flooring a bad name,” he says. “We tell people you get what you pay for, and make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you are buying your flooring. Be educated, and ask about the bamboo maturity, finishes, and warranties.”
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Bamboo Flooring Vs Laminate

Bamboo flooring has a number of practical benefits. Many bamboo flooring options can last upwards of 50 years if maintained properly, although the average lifespan ranges from 20-25 with normal family wear-and-tear. Likewise, bamboo is harder than most hardwoods, which makes it extremely durable. Additionally, bamboo is water and termite resistant and comes in a huge choice of stains and widths. The cost is generally less than traditional hardwood, and like engineered hardwood, bamboo flooring is easy to install for DIYers.
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Bamboo Flooring Vs Laminate

Bamboo planks are composed of strands of raw material that are weaved together and then pressed. The strips are first boiled to remove any starch or sugars, then dried and planed. Natural bamboo is a very light color similar to blonde. Should a darker color be desired, the bamboo may go through a carbonizing process where the bamboo strips are steamed under controlled pressure and heat, and bamboo is also stained many different colors.  There are many types of surface treatments available for bamboo flooring as well.
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Bamboo Flooring Vs Laminate

However, bamboo flooring has a few detracting points as well. For example, bamboo flooring that isn’t properly boiled, steamed, and dried can shrink after installation, causing unsightly gaps. In addition, bamboo flooring doesn’t have a grading scale like most hardwood floors. This lack of scale can make choosing a quality bamboo flooring brand more difficult.
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Bamboo Flooring Vs Laminate

“It is the rapid growth and natural regeneration properties of bamboo that are primarily responsible for the ‘green’ reputation for bamboo,” the university says. “However, many of the environmental benefits of bamboo are shared by wood. Natural regeneration is not limited to bamboo stands; it is a viable and widely used practice in tree forestry also. The longer rotation times for trees compared to bamboo can actually be considered to be an advantage for wood. Some tree species produce as much biomass per year as bamboo, but trees store this production for longer (in the living tree) so fewer harvesting resources (fuel, machinery, labor, etc.) are required for each ton of crop collected.”
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Bamboo Flooring Vs Laminate

Flooring identified as hardwood is probably just that — solid hardwood milled into flooring boards. Bamboo flooring, on the other hand, is usually engineered by gluing together strands of bamboo to make a material that can be milled into boards resembling hardwood boards. Laminate flooring, like bamboo, is engineered, but it is more akin to plywood than solid wood. The boards usually consist of a core of relatively inexpensive material with a surface coating of real or simulated hardwood. Laminated boards can be milled exactly in the same way as solid hardwood boards, or as thinner snap-together floating floorboards.
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Raw Materials Flooring identified as hardwood is probably just that — solid hardwood milled into flooring boards. Bamboo flooring, on the other hand, is usually engineered by gluing together strands of bamboo to make a material that can be milled into boards resembling hardwood boards. Laminate flooring, like bamboo, is engineered, but it is more akin to plywood than solid wood. The boards usually consist of a core of relatively inexpensive material with a surface coating of real or simulated hardwood. Laminated boards can be milled exactly in the same way as solid hardwood boards, or as thinner snap-together floating floorboards.
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Good quality bamboo flooring can compete with expensive hardwood flooring in terms of durability and appearance. Modern processing techniques allow for all sorts of colors and textures. In terms of comparing hardness between bamboo and hardwood flooring, bamboo is the cheaper option. Because it is a grass, bamboo performs slightly better than wood in terms of repelling moisture and mold growth.
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“Hardness is the main factor in durability,” says Teragren in Bainbridge Island, Wash. “How hard is the bamboo? Bamboo flooring can be as soft as pine and harder than maple depending on the species of bamboo used and when it was harvested. Teragren specifies only Optimum 5.5 Moso bamboo harvested at maturity (five and a half to six years) when fiber density peaks. As a result, Teragren bamboo averages 25 percent harder than red oak and 12 percent harder than North American maple.”
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Bamboo comes in two types: strand and vertical. Most people in the industry say the strand stuff is much stronger than traditional bamboo flooring. “On a hardness scale a good quality bamboo in either the horizontal or vertical cut is around 1,450 p.s.i. on a Janka Hardness Scale,” Elwell says. “The stranded bamboo is compressed and bonded with resins so is over 3,000 p.s.i. We sell the strand bamboo frequently for high traffic situations such as retail stores, restaurants, galleries, etc.”
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Bamboo is another attractive alternative to traditional hardwood floors. These floors are known for their strength and durability and also their resistance to bugs and water. The hardness of bamboo planks can start at 1,500 (carbonized horizontal) on the Janka harndess scale, and newer manufacturing methods like strand woven bamboo flooring can score upwards of 4,000. These impressive numbers indicate that strand woven bamboo is several times harder than oak, maple and Brazilian cherry.   Bamboo comes in a variety of styles and construction that are comparable to hardwood.
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The recent surge in the use of bamboo flooring partially be attributed to its being marketed as a green product. It is certainly highly renewable in the sense that it only takes 3-5 years for bamboo plants to mature, as opposed to 70 or 80 years for some hardwoods, and the bamboo plants that are trimmed can regrow. But the environmental considerations are not that simple. As most bamboo is imported from China, there is some regulation on the environmental impacts of bamboo growth and processing.
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Laminate floor is plastic and sounds as such.  Other options are engineered wood floor which uses a plywood base with a wood veneer. Many of these can be refinished.  They come with a durable factory applied finish.  Engineered woods stretch the supply of slow growth woods.  Bamboo is not harder than some hardwoods.Bamboo has diferences in quality, naturally color is more durable. As bamboo has become more popular lower quality products have flooded the market. Whether Bambo, engineer hardwood or laminate there are many different quality levels on the market. It is up to the consumer to pick product that matches their needs. In a price war laminate probably wins.

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