There are several misconceptions being waved around regarding the durability of bamboo flooring. First of all, whenever a person learns that bamboo is not actually wood, but rather a variety of grass, they automatically assume that it cannot possibly be resilient.
But is that really the case?
Not at all, because unlike the standard wood flooring, there are other criteria that determine the hardness of bamboo. In essence, the additive solutions that are utilized in the production of bamboo flooring determine the hardness of the resulted material.
In order to understand floor durability better, you should know that the hardness of the materials is typically measured using the Janka scale. Because the production process determines the hardness of the bamboo, it can be regarded as an extremely versatile flooring material and its hardness varies between 900 and 5000 on the Janka scale.
When it comes to wood flooring, the default resistance of the fibers constitute the decisive factor in the durability of the floor. Although sealing it helps a bit, it will not significantly alter the structure of the floor. On the other hand, this does not apply for bamboo, because the resilience is influenced by three major factors: the default quality of the bamboo used, the placement of the stalks and the adhesives utilized in the construction.
The standard approach of constructing bamboo flooring comprises of placing several rows of stalks over each other perpendicularly. However, the most resilient type of bamboo floor is the one referred to as strand. In this case, the manufacturers will basically weave strands of bamboo and supplement the cohesion of the fibers with adhesives. Therefore, the end product is a significantly more durable floor, even though the material is not actually wood.
Probably the most important factors affecting the hardness of the floor comprise of the type and quantity of adhesives utilized. The adhesive quantity and quality determines how firmly the fibers of bamboo are tied together. At the same time, the adhesive is the easiest variable to control for the manufacturer.
The type of bamboo
As a customer, it is incredibly difficult if not downright impossible to determine the quality of the bamboo, because various assortments look strikingly similar. The best type of bamboo grass is the one that was allowed to reach maturity before being harvested. Because bamboo is grass and therefore renewable, some manufacturers rush the harvest. However, extremely young bamboo will not have the same resilience as mature bamboo.
The peak of durability
While technically bamboo flooring can be engineered to reach the 5000 rating on the Janka scale, experts generally believe that exceeding 3600 rating will not bring any special benefits to the table. Therefore, if you are aiming to buy a durable floor made from this eco-friendly material, it is advisable to take the 3200-3600 Janka rating as a guideline. While woven bamboo flooring can rise up to these specifications, standard construction bamboo will generally not exceed 1300 Janka rating and therefore, it may not be suitable for your purpose.