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If you are looking to upgrade the interior flooring of your home, you may be considering bamboo or laminate. Both flooring types offer a bevy of benefits, as well as some drawbacks, which might sway you in one direction or the other.
To make that choice a little easier, we compared bamboo vs laminate here. You can now make an informed decision as a homeowner.
Bamboo flooring is made from the bamboo plant. It is a very durable flooring surface that comes from China or other areas of Asia. Moso bamboo is typically used for flooring surfaces as it is very similar to hardwood.
Bamboo flooring is known for its strength as well as its environmentally-friendly qualities. It has a high hardness level compared to traditional hardwoods. This floor is commonly made by using thin bamboo stems which are cut to be flat.
They are then cut to length. They are stained, varnished, or used in their natural form to create your flooring surface.
Urea-formaldehyde is typically used in the adhesion process of bamboo flooring to create the laminated surface. The flooring can be nailed down or can be constructed with a lock-and-click system.
Bamboo flooring, like many other flooring types, can be used in virtually any room of your home. Its extreme durability allows it to be used in areas where there is high foot traffic.
It is also a good flooring surface for those who have pets, as its hard nature can resist scratching.
Caring for a bamboo flooring takes some additional effort as you need to treat it similar to a hardwood floor. Mops and brooms can clean the surface easily.
You should avoid getting it wet or using a cleaner that is not approved for hardwood floor use.
Related: Should You Dust or Vacuum First?
Laminate is a type of flooring that resembles hardwood but is constructed with multiple synthetic layers which are laminated together for strength and durability. While laminate flooring simulates wood, it has an inner core that is made of melamine resin and fiberboard. On its surface is a clear protective layer that stands up to wear.
Laminate is a popular choice for homeowners looking for a wood-like flooring that is economical and easy to install. It is a good alternative to hardwood as it can withstand high traffic patterns and can be maintained easier than other types of flooring products.
It also can be more hygienic than traditional wood surfaces as some models contain an antimicrobial resin that resists germs that can also prevent allergen build-up.
We've put together a comprehensive review of the top rated laminate floor vacuums on the market.
Laminate is used in a variety of applications. Many homeowners choose to add laminate to their living room or kitchen. Laminate also works well in a rec room as you can cover a lot of floor space at a relatively inexpensive cost.
Laminate flooring looks very similar to hardwood floors as it has the imperfections of wood without being sensitive to scratches or dents.
You also do not have to be as careful cleaning laminate flooring. A mop or vacuum can be used on its surface with a cleaner made for laminate floors.
Choosing between bamboo and laminate flooring doesn’t have to be difficult. You will find bamboo flooring has a more natural look to it that is more contemporary in its design.
Laminate flooring, on the other hand, has a more manufactured appearance that doesn’t retain the quality bamboo flooring has.
Both floorings are durable in their design. Because of the bamboo material that is used in bamboo flooring, it has an additional hardness that laminate can’t compare to.
You will find bamboo flooring can hold up better to scratches and show less wear than laminate surfaces, allowing you to have it in your home longer.
Another benefit of bamboo flooring attractive to many homeowners, is the eco-friendliness of the floor. Because bamboo is a fast-growing material that can easily be replenished, it has a low carbon footprint with less impact on the environment.
With the trend in green materials in homes, many homeowners are gravitating to bamboo flooring as a way to protect the environment as they upgrade and remodel their home.
As environmentally friendly as bamboo flooring is, there are some models that are toxic in their construction. Some manufacturers use VOCs to construct the floor, which can release toxic chemicals into your home.
It is always best to buy your bamboo flooring from a reputable company you know, and one who takes pride in its construction.
Laminate, on the other hand, offers you more material at a lower cost. It is an economical way to add a hardwood-like flooring to your home without spending a fortune to do so.
It will cost you more to install bamboo flooring, as the price is higher per square foot than laminate surfaces. The bamboo appearance is a higher quality, however.
Related: The Top Cleaning Products for Your Floor
Cleaning both bamboo and laminate flooring is an easy process. You do need to take some care with both surfaces as water can cause damage easily. Use a cleaner that is approved for laminate or hardwoods to ensure you don’t ruin the surface of the flooring.
Laminate flooring, in some instances, can reduce the value of your home. It is not the most desirable flooring choice and doesn’t add the value that bamboo can to the resale of your home.
When comparing bamboo vs laminate, it is obvious bamboo is the higher quality flooring surface. It may cost you a bit more to install in your home, but it will last longer and look better than laminate.
We highly recommend you choose bamboo flooring for your home when you update a room. Bamboo is durable, relatively easy to clean, and requires very little maintenance to keep its integrity.
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Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.