Hardwood vs Bamboo Flooring: Which is Easier to Maintain?

Your choice for a new hard flooring comes down to two– hardwood and bamboo. You’ve considered other factors like the price, lifespan, and cost of installation that the decision now comes down to which is easier to maintain.

For many years, hardwood flooring was considered the gold standard in bare flooring. Hardwood is considered a classic pick and peerless when it comes to beauty. Yet bamboo flooring has suddenly re-emerged as a solid alternative to traditional hardwood.

Water-resistance

Water-resistance is an important consideration when shopping for hard flooring because spills can happen anytime. It can also determine how you should clean the floor.

One of the advantages of bamboo flooring over hardwood floors is that it is more water-resistant. After all, bamboo is a type of grass and hence it is resistant to moisture.

If there’s a spill and it is wiped right away, then it would not make any damage on the bamboo floor.

Yet if there is a large amount of water left to soak into the floor for an extended period, then the water damage may follow. This can cause the flooring to swell, distort, or have some discoloration.

On the other hand, water-resistance or the lack of it is one of the few chinks in the armor of hardwood flooring. It can stain or warp if spills are not cleaned up immediately. Using a wet mop can also cause discoloration on hardwood flooring.

Many homeowners consider the water-resistance of flooring to be critical. Spills can happen anytime, after all.

Hardwood flooring won’t be able to resist water. If you fail to clean up a spill right away or utilize a wet mop, the spill can warp or stain. This can damage the good looks and shiny surface of the flooring.

Warping and staining are not the only issues that can occur as a result of spills. Moisture underneath a hardwood floor can also cause molds and mildew to develop. This can affect the health of your family members. Moreover, hardwood will eventually rot and affect the lifespan of the flooring.

On the other hand, bamboo is capable of repelling the growth of mold and mildew. It is, thus, a more practical option for people who are concerned about health issues such as cough and upper respiratory tract infections.

Cleaning

Cleaning of hardwood and bamboo floorings are quite similar. For one, daily vacuuming can keep both hardwood and bamboo floors clean.

Vacuuming is more recommended than sweeping because the latter just pushes the dirt around. Dirt eventually settles into the nooks and crannies. On the other hand, vacuuming sucks up the dirt and dust particles.

It is not recommended to use an upright vacuum with a beater bar on both hardwood and bamboo floorings as this can scratch the finish. But you may ask– what type of vacuum should you use on a hardwood or bamboo floor?

The ideal vacuum for hardwood is small and lightweight like a canister vacuum. It should not be heavy so as not to pound and potentially scratch the shiny finish of hardwood flooring.

Cordless stick vacuum can also be considered as the best vacuum for hardwood floors. The absence of stiff brushes on the head of this type of vacuum means it won’t scuff and damage the floor finish. Moreover, you should be able to easily pullout a cordless stick vacuum for a quick cleaning task.

If you are willing to spend more, then get a robot vacuum for hardwood. It may be more expensive but it can make your life easier. Cleaning of hardwood floors can be accomplished with a simple tap of a button. The robot vacuum can do all the work for you.

Mopping can also do wonders for both hardwood and bamboo flooring. In high-traffic areas like the kitchen and living room, mopping should be done 1-2 times a week. For more information on cleaning hardwood floors, please watch this YouTube video.

If mopping is not your thing, then you can get a robot mop. Like a robot vacuum, a robot mop can make your life a lot easier. Simply fill up its tank, press the start button, and watch the robotic piece of equipment do its thing.

Maintenance

Hardwood is naturally more robust than bamboo. It can last up to 100 years because it can be sanded down and refinished multiple times especially if the wood is solid.

On the other hand, bamboo can only be refinished 1 to 2 times. The veneer would eventually wear out after that. Depending on the type of bamboo floor, it may also scratch or dent easily.

It is said that bamboo floors can only last up to 35 years.

Still, there are plenty of things you can do to prolong the lifespan of your hardwood flooring. Remove your shoes when you enter the room to prevent scratches on the floor. You may also politely ask your guests to do the same.

If you have pets around the home, trim their nails all the time to minimize the likelihood of the floor surface getting scratches. You should also avoid dragging heavy furniture across bamboo or hardwood floors.

It is also a good idea to place the thick fabric under the legs of sofas, cabinets, and other furniture so as not to cause dents into the floor surface. Remove or replace casters of furnishing with felt backed casters.

Conclusion

So which is easier to maintain between hardwood or bamboo flooring?

The truth is that it’s a toss-up. Bamboo flooring is slightly more water-resistant than hardwood floors. As long as you wipe spills right away, then a bamboo floor should be able to retain its nice appearance over a long time.

On the other hand, hardwood can be sanded and refinished numerous times, unlike bamboo. Thus, hardwood floors tend to last longer than their bamboo counterparts.