Despite bamboo being a renewable, ecofriendly, and cheap flooring option, it still has some drawbacks that affect its use. Some of these problems and concerns arise during harvesting, transportation, installation, maintenance, or even on the daily use of bamboo strained floating floors.
Flooring is an investment that should enhance the look and preserve your home value. Get your bamboo flooring from trusted honesty and ethical supplier of sustainable and guaranteed flooring planks. This can help you avoid common bamboo flooring problems caused by water and humidity, liquids, staining agents, off-gassing toxins, scratches, and high-traffic use.
Bamboo Flooring Issues and Problems
1. Moisture and Humidity Issue
Bamboo tends to be denser, and more water-resistant with natural antimicrobial properties than hardwood floors. Like any other wood floor, it’s still vulnerable to water damage.
If your floor is prone to flooding, the bamboo floor will end up warping, plumping, bubbling, and staining. It can enhance the growth of mold and mildew especially when installed in basements or as the subfloor.
Humidity remains a problem for bamboo flooring. It can seep into your floor cracks and crevices and cause long-term damage to the planks. Long term seeping and nestling to the subfloor enhances the growth of microbial menaces.
2. Scratches and Stains
While bamboo is somehow scratch-resistant, it will scratch, dent, and the stain still when subjected to extreme conditions. Dirt, dust, and grime particles that are not swept away will build-up dulling and scratching your bamboo flooring.
For the pet lovers, pet nails or un-padded furniture and high heels can cause unsightly marks on the floor. Careless dragging and unresolved water spills, pet and kid urine will leave black stains on your floor or even cause permanent damage that requires new flooring.
The process of darkening the appearance of bamboo for aesthetic appeal and to offer a variety of shades and hues (Carbonization). This process does weaken the bamboo floor increasing their susceptibility to scratches, abrasion, staining, and impact damage. Heat carbonization process weakens the material.
3. Rating and Standardization
One major issue facing the bamboo manufacturing industry is lack of internationally recognized standards and rating. This has lend to low-quality products that use formaldehyde adhesive. Formaldehyde is a toxic substance that can off-gas, if above …. it is considered very toxic. However for few regulated manufactures that adhere to set standards, the small amounts of volatile organic chemicals may not be a health hazard.
4. Cleaning and Maintenance
When considering how to clean the bamboo floor, you cannot immerse or wet mop your flooring. Select your bamboo cleaning solution carefully to avoid abrasive chemicals that can damage your floor or even leave it sticky after mopping.
Sweeping and vacuuming regularly with dust vacuum cleaners will help to get rid of dirt, dust, and grime particles that would leave scratches. Then damp mopped occasionally as you wipe out any accidental spills immediately to avoid cloudy haze on your floor. However, you can still get rid of black and white stains on your old-dull floor with the right cleaners.
Can You Seal Bamboo Floors?
With a few steps, the bamboo floor can be refinished, sealed stained. The bamboo floor can be Sealed to help it to last longer. Sealing prevents premature deterioration and protects it from normal wear and tear on a daily basis.
In many cases, bamboo will need no sealing sanding of being stained. You can protect your bamboo floors from water damage by sealing it with a waterproof sealer. This can make it more waterproof by applying it immediately after installation to set into the bamboo itself.
With the right sealer, we recommend you periodically reseal your bamboo floor semi-annually, or annually to ensure that water doesn’t seep into any floor cracks.
Is Bamboo Prone to Moisture, Cupping and Swelling?
Bamboo floors tens to be water-resistant and can allow you to look for a duster to wipe the accidental water spill. Excessive moisture can damage and creates warping, cupping, and swelling floor problems.
Solid bamboo is more susceptible to warping and buckling from excessive moisture. We don’t recommend to install this type in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and below-grade basements.
Engineered bamboo flooring is less susceptible to moisture. You can install in any room, including below-grade basements. But, chronically damp basements can still pose a problem for engineered bamboo planks. Installing a vapor underlayment or barrier under your floating floor system can help ward off moisture and mold problems.
Tip: Don’t install engineered bamboo planks in your basement if your area does flood or has had visible wet areas.
Can Bamboo Floor be Easily Dented and Scratched?
Light white scratches do occur where sharp-edged items are dragged across the bamboo floor. Scratches and dents occur due to grime, grit, sharp kid’s toys, furniture legs, and cleaning machines like vacuum cleaners. The scratches are less visible on the light-colored finish than dark-colored floors. However, they will disappear with just normal buff out created by normal friction when walking on the floor.
Permanent dents and scratches hardly occur, though not to mean they can’t happen. However, the permanent dent and scratches can occur when a lot of force is exerted on the strand woven bamboo floor. This feature has made bamboo to earn a lot of reputation due to its density, hardness, and as one of the toughest hardwood flooring. It can withstand active children, high traffic, high heels, and pet crawls.
Is Bamboo floor from Grass or Hardwood?
The bamboo flooring basically is a plank of engineered wood. Its manufactured from the strands of grass sliced and shredded-then pressed back together with heat and glues to form the flooring planks.
Therefore, Even if its termed as hardwood flooring, bamboo is actually a grass that has been highly processed to produce flooring boards and other home improvement products.
Can Bamboo Floor Fade or Change Color?
Yes, bamboo can fade on exposure to sunlight for a longer period of time. The use of abrasive chemicals can leave your floor discolored. The use of improper cleaning products can dull your bamboo floor as well as leave a lot of residues or even be left with sticky after mopping. Avoid using concentrated or strong acid and bases on your floor.
Can Bamboo Floor be Sanded or Re-Finished
Bamboo like any other flooring tends to be susceptible to bubbling, bucking, warping, and stains. It’s prone to scratches, dents, get discolored, and swells to form uneven bumps and crevices. Sanding and refinishing of the top layer would help bring a new even look to the floor again.
But, can the bamboo floor be sanded and refinished? Sanding and refinishing bamboo floor will greatly depend on its thickness. The more the thickness, the higher the chances for sanding and refinishing.
Is Bamboo Flooring Eco Friendly?
Bamboo has a many properties that makes it ecofriendly flooring. Bamboo ia made from regenerating grass that grows much faster than hardwood trees. Its a renewable resource, prevent erosion, are recycleable, biodegradable and generetares about 35% oxygen than normal trees. These charatcteristics makes it sustainable and environmentally friendly. Howvever, there arestill issues of regulation, illegal harvesting that need to be look at, Always ensure you purchase bamboo floor planks from an FSC Certified brand to put an end to illegal harvests and save forests around the world.
FSC Certification and Quality Standardization
Most bamboo flooring planks are made from overseas where oversight to the manufacturing process might be sketchy. This makes it hard to regulate the market and prevent the use of illegally harvested products.
Whereas they are manufacturers of top quality floorings that are Forest Stewardship Council(FSC) certified there still exist poor quality flooring planks. Look for FSC certified product as a starting point for formaldehyde- toxic-free product
It is mostly grown and shipped from Southeast Asia. This has increased carbon emission during transportation. However, the bamboo flooring problems notwithstanding, the material is recognized by LEED (Leadership In Energy and Environment Design) program as an ecologically friendly building material
Is there Formaldehyde in Bamboo Flooring?
Yes, the bamboo floor has formaldehyde adhesives, But, is bamboo floor toxic? This depends on your budget and choice of flooring. Bamboo is an engineered wood floor that uses adhesives and heats too compact pulp.
Strand woven bamboo which is one of the top brands uses only phenolic formaldehyde. However, the lower cheaper options and the unregulated manufacturers do use urea-formaldehyde. Phenolic formaldehyde doesn’t have a bad reputation like Urea formaldehyde is used in most engineered and hardwood bamboo flooring.
Bamboo does have a couple of benefits as well as downsides. It is an ecofriendly option, durable, versatile, hard than hardwood floor, and manufactures from a fast-growing grass. The flooring is more affected by moisture and humidity than other floorings – rem its grass. It does swell more than wood, take precaution and avoid installing it in damp and flood-prone areas. Avoid wet mopping and steam cleaning to enjoy the benefits of it. Bamboo can never be sanded down and refinished.
Sources and References
Fsc.org: What are the FSC standards