Bamboo Flooring – 5 Things You Should Tell Your Customers

By Ben Nystrom, 10/20/11

Environmental responsibility is quickly becoming one of the most important features consumers look for when searching for new wood flooring, and the industry has done pretty well keeping up with the trend. One of the most popular products in the green flooring trend is bamboo. It's easy to see why – bamboo is technically a grass, and it can be quickly and efficiently grown and harvested. Bamboo flooring is also available in different forms, from solid bamboo flooring to engineered flooring to strand-woven. Yes, bamboo is certainly gaining in popularity, and for good reason. But there are still a few things about bamboo flooring that most consumers don't know and should. Here are five of the most important points to stress to customers when they are considering bamboo flooring.

1. Bamboo flooring will expand along its length.

Hardwood flooring installers often leave space along the sides of boards to allow for expansion of the wood. Bamboo flooring, however, can sometimes expand along its length as well. If this type of expansion is not accounted for your customer may end of with warped or buckled floors.

2. It's not as hard as you think.

Janka hardness is one of the most traditional forms of determining how durable a hardwood floor will be. But because bamboo floors are made of many different bamboo fibers bound together by adhesive, this rating isn't always accurate. True, the individual strands of bamboo may be quite hard, but the adhesive used to bond them together may be weak. This makes some bamboo flooring more vulnerable to scratches, dents, and scrapes.

3. Humidity affects bamboo differently than solid wood flooring.

When bamboo flooring experiences changes in moisture, the fibers naturally want to expand or shrink away from each other. With engineered flooring, however, the fibers are held together by the cross-ply structure and can't move. This can cause the bonding agent to break and cause cracks in the wear layer of the floor.

4. Different bamboo flooring types qualify for different LEED points.

Many builders choose bamboo flooring because they believe by doing so they will earn multiple points with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system. This isn't always true. The type of bamboo flooring you use determines what kind and how many points or credits you can earn. Visit the US Green Building Council website to learn more about LEED rating systems.

5. Bamboo still requires acclimation.

Many customers assume that because bamboo flooring is made of many joined fibers it doesn't need to be acclimated. This is not true. Different types of bamboo flooring require different acclimation times – solid bamboo flooring tend to be finished in 4 or 5 days, while strand-woven bamboo flooring can take as long as a month.

Suggesting or selling bamboo flooring to your customers without informing them of the many ways it varies from traditional hardwood flooring is irresponsible. Visit Nova USA Wood for information on other environmentally-friendly hardwood flooring options.

By Ben Nystrom, 10/20/11

"We have been planning to install bamboo flooring in our home but came across different pros and cons of bamboo flooring while researching on the internet. I have found this article informative and helpful in deciding whether bamboo flooring can be a good match for my home or not. Also, you can go through this article ( to know more about bamboo flooring, its types and different brand options."

By Sherry Fisher on 04/22/22

"I don't think what you said here is totally true or objective or impartial. As a bamboo flooring supplier from China, I need to say something. First of all, we all know Amazon Rainforest, our earth lung, has been damaged irreversibly due to deforestation. Because human needs so much wood and trees take anywhere from 40 to 60 years to mature. And we should know bamboo just needs 3 years to mature and the its resources are pretty abundant. There is accurate data to prove bamboo is harder than most of wood, and it is more durable. And the cons you mentioned about acclimation, humidity, I think they depend on the technology of manufacturers. Our company has never been troubled by these problems. There is no doubt that bamboo products are gaining in popularity."

By Betty Wang on 04/10/23

"Hi Betty. Thank you for your comment. This article was written back in 2011, in the early days of the Bamboo business. Bamboo has improved massively in the past 12 years. Composite Bamboo decking products are performing extremely well and have gained a strong following in the US. These newer Bamboo products have similar densities to tropical hardwoods such Ipe and Cumaru. Please contact me at with any questions."

By Steve G on 04/10/23

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