Timber and Bamboo are both fantastic options when it comes to choosing a type of flooring for your home or business. However, there are clear differences between the two.
In this blog, we explore some of the main differences, from which type is most durable and which is best suited for your application.
Bamboo is one of the most economical and hardwearing flooring options available today, however not all Bamboo floors are the same, nor is Bamboo suitable for every application. The thickness and construction of the product itself can have a bearing on how the Bamboo performs. The size of the rooms also needs to be taken in to consideration.
What is Bamboo and how is it produced into a flooring?
Bamboo is a fast growing grass. The method of production for Bamboo flooring involves weaving the Bamboo fibres into an adhesive base and compressing them, forming a very strong plank material.
Engineered Timber Floor
While there are many options of “Engineered Flooring” available, they are not all the same. For the purpose of this discussion we will focus the comparison on the Lamella system. This is considered the best system and is how Trojan Timbers PROFLOOR is constructed.
Lamella is simply a three-part construction, firstly the 4mm face or decorative floor surface, then a 9.5mm hardwood core, then backed with a balancing layer of veneer.
What is Engineered Flooring and how is it produced into flooring?
The word engineered is not and should not be viewed as a product name or marketing term. Wood is a living building material, a wonderful piece of nature. However, if wood is to be used to make sturdy quality flooring, nature will also have to be harnessed. Nobody wants curved or warped floorboards.
Timber, regardless of the end product, will react to its changing environment; generally timber that is absorbing moisture will follow its own natural structure which can be a random thing. However, a timber floor properly engineered using a Lamella system allows us to predict and control this movement and this avoids warping. An engineered Lamella floor is far more stable than any form of strand woven bamboo.
Why is Bamboo so popular?
Simply it is extremely well priced and its surface is very user friendly and resistant to impact damage
If you are looking for a wide board timber plank then Bamboo is the most economical option at around 30% cheaper than natural timber.
Bamboo flooring is coated with an alum oxide coating (the same coating put on paper laminate); this coating, together with the density of the Bamboo flooring, makes Bamboo highly resistant to impact damage.
Bamboo is available in various thicknesses and types. However we have found strand woven Bamboo to be the most stable in our Australian environment. The thickness is also vital in helping the floor stay stable, we have found 14mm Bamboo to be the most reliable.
Is bamboo suitable for all applications?
The short answer is NO
All timber flooring, as well as Bamboo, reacts to changes in humidity, however Bamboo reacts considerably more than Engineered Timber Floors (TROJAN PROFLOOR) . Put simply it grows more so this has to be allowed for during the installation. We would recommend that gyprock is set up or undercut to create additional space for the Bamboo floor to grow and expand as it reacts to changing atmospheric conditions. However there is a limit to this solution, we would recommend you consider an engineered floor (TROJAN PROFLOOR) over Bamboo if the width of the room is over 5 metres. Note – You can go over 5 metres if you use a joining strip on the floor, however this takes away from the overall look.
In stating the obvious in terms of colour tones or surface texture for timber flooring, its look depends on the species you choose – natural timber with its natural variations offers a wide range of options. However there is more to it, some engineered floors are produced with a rotary cut veneer and while the colour for the various options is right, the look and texture is not authentic. Trojan engineered PROFLOOR are all produced from sliced timber logs as they would have produced them 100 years ago. The end result is the floor appearance is 100% authentic and totally traditional.
The options for natural Bamboo floors are essentially colour tone with the main three being Natural, Coffee ( darker brown colour ) and Balinese (coffee with a black tone)
All of Trojan Timbers products are COC (chain of custody). As far as the market goes, no product can claim a green status simply because it is a processed product. It is important for the ethical supplier to ensure COC and for each customer to ask the question, is this COC certified?