If you have your heart set on bamboo flooring, you need to be aware that not all bamboo flooring is the same. Do your homework, and you are sure to hear that phrase a lot. Often it means that some companies produce better quality flooring than others, but there are also different types of bamboo flooring that you need to be aware of.
Solid Bamboo Flooring is, as you may have guessed made up of several solid pieces of bamboo that have been glued together (most likely using formaldehyde). It is also what most likely comes to mind when you think of bamboo flooring, complete with the characteristic nodes.
Engineered Bamboo Flooring is made of a solid bamboo wear layer glued over a substrate. This type of bamboo flooring suffers from reliability issues. Because it is laminated to a cross-ply backing, the top layer of an engineered bamboo floor does not have the ability to shrink when the floor is exposed to dry air. Even though bamboo fibers are very strong, the bonding material between them is weak, making engineered bamboo floors much more susceptible to cracking.
Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring is the strongest type of bamboo flooring. However, it loses the traditional look of bamboo, coming closer in appearance to some exotic hardwoods. The bamboo is shredded then compressed with adhesives to create a solid plank. While this does create the strongest bamboo flooring, it is also impregnated with glue, which as we’ve already discussed is commonly toxic. As long as you are throwing out the traditional look of bamboo, you may be better off choosing a hardwood, which can be more eco-friendly, more durable, and healthier for you.