Pros and Cons of Hardwood Vs Bamboo and Cork Flooring

Are you planning on renovating the flooring of your house? Wood is the preferred choice of many homeowners when it comes to flooring. This is because it looks good and gives a warm feeling apart from being versatile and sustainable. But over the past few years, hardwood has popular competitors – bamboo and cork. Although bamboo has been traditionally used in South East Asia and South Pacific for building furniture, fences and floor, cork is fairly new. We have complied a list of pros and cons of hardwood vs bamboo vs cork flooring so that you can consider these points before making a decision. We have also compiled a comparison chart for you to follow it easily.

Hardwood vs. Bamboo Flooring

Hardwood flooring may possibly be the most popular choice for a flooring material. Recent trends are dramatically banishing fully carpeted floors and embracing the idea of having the clean and sleek look of a house filled with hardwood. It not only gives off a feeling of warmth in your house; hardwood flooring is also extremely sustainable, which is an idea that is only becoming more significant as new trends arise.

Bamboo vs Hardwood flooring

Bamboo vs Hardwood Flooring

One of hardwood’s newest competitors is a material almost everyone is familiar with: bamboo. Bamboo as a material has a lot of similarities to wood except for the fact that it is not wood at all. Technically, it’s more of a grass. A clear advantage here is that grass grows much faster than trees. Growing faster results in its production time being cut down dramatically which means this stuff has the potential for coming in cheap.

Practically speaking, bamboo is a naturally tougher material in nature than most hardwoods. A tougher material essentially means that once it’s turned into your flooring, bamboo will resist dents much easier. Wood is more vulnerable to this threat and dents extremely quickly without the right factory finish.

Bamboo does have something to be concerned with though. It’s color variation is much more limited than hardwood. Bamboo makes it difficult to get away from lighter tones and usually only offers either a whitish-yellow or honey-gold hue. Hardwoods have an entire scale of color options which is a lot more beneficial to the picky shopper.

There is lastly the consideration of installment. Luckily, the process of installation for each of these flooring options happens to be almost exactly the same. The only difference is laying it out. Like its variation in color, wood also has variation in sizing which can make layouts something of a puzzle but also adds a creative edge compared to the one size bamboo offers.

Hardwood vs Cork Flooring

The crossroad of choosing either a hardwood or cork floor is where many people find themselves. These two types of flooring can both provide wonderful looking durable floors but what considerations should you really be thinking about?

Cork flooring

Cork flooring

Think about where you are planning to place this floor in your home. Cork flooring is used more for well used areas because of its durability. Kitchens are usually the most popular room and bathrooms too, as humidity changes are so frequent. Real hardwood can also be suitable for bathrooms since it is better equipped to handle moisture as long as it is sealed appropriately.

Environmental friendliness also varies between these two materials. Cork is considered very eco-friendly since it does not require an entire tree to be chopped down but only a portion of the tree removed. It is also taken from a portion of the bark that re-grows easily, making it a renewable resource. Hardwood floors, unfortunately, come from a less renewable source as they require the whole tree to come down for production. Individuals with strong environmental feelings can easily be swayed towards cork options over those of hardwood.

People who want to do this project on their own over a DIY weekend are definitely more likely to go with a click and lock cork installation. Cork installations in this form do not require the whole glue and/or nail down flooring process. Hardwood floor installments usually call for higher levels of experience and can take more time.

Comparison between hardwood vs bamboo vs cork flooring

Hardwood FlooringBamboo FlooringCork Flooring
Looks more professional than most other types of flooringLabeled the most aesthetically pleasing wood flooring by most interior decorators.Requires little maintenance
Has more aesthetic flexibility, allowing for more decorative options than other types of flooringSlightly water resistant. Can withstand excess humidity, but cannot be submerged indefinitely without severe damageIt is able to withstand foot traffic very well. Offers a cushioned walking surface as compared to other flooring options
Able to be resanded to improve appearance or fix broken tiles, but only to a certain extentEasy to maintain and much lower cost than almost all other wood flooring optionsIt is hypoallergenic. Available in a variety of man-made colors and natural tones, thereby suiting any home décor
While solid hardwood flooring is expensive, engineered hardwood flooring is a cheaper optionBamboo flooring is cheaper than hardwood floorsOften more expensive
Does not insulate during cold seasons; will make your home slightly colder if you are used to carpets. Most hardwood floors are resistant to water damageAlthough somewhat resistant to humidity, floods and similar situations will almost always destroy bamboo flooring, causing it to expand and tearSusceptible to flood and water damage if in water for an extended period of time
Installation of most hardwood floors can be a DIY project, but some like hickory and oak require professional assistance.If the bamboo is not properly treated prior to manufacturing, flooring may be irregularly soft and not durableNeeds to be professional installed

Here’s an article you can read for more information – Bamboo vs Cork Flooring

Author: John Clax

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