Bamboo Flooring is NOT Eco-Friendly

Don’t fall for the  marketing hype.  Bamboo flooring companies are out to make money, and in today’s world of environmental awareness bamboo’s fast growth cycle provides an opportunity they can’t resist.  But to say that bamboo flooring is eco-friendly just because it is a rapidly renewable resource is a gross oversimplification.

Bamboo Flooring

First, the good point: bamboo is a 100% natural plant that fully matures and hardens within 7 years.  However, bamboo companies add chemical fertilizers and pesticides to speed up growth, which can harm the environment, and harvest the crop as early as 3 months, long before it has had a chance to harden into a suitable flooring material.

This constant harvesting leads to a major problem: erosion.  This problem is further aggravated when bamboo companies clear out large sections of natural forests to make way for bamboo plantations.  Not only does this increase erosion, but it also decreases biodiversity and creates a monoculture that is not healthy for the ecosystem.

When it comes time to actually manufacture the bamboo flooring, lots of toxic chemicals are used in the process.  These chemicals can be harmful not only to the environment, but also to your own health.  Additionally, because the bamboo flooring industry is based almost entirely in China, the final product must be shipped across the Pacific Ocean.  This consumes a lot of fuel and creates lots of carbon emissions.

Finally, because bamboo flooring is highly vulnerable to scratches and dents, and impossible to refinish, its lifespan is unimpressive.  When the floor is replaced, all those toxic chemicals will end up in landfills, and you will have to buy more flooring, which means more harvested wood.

In the end, yes, bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, but poor management and production practices and a low-quality product outweigh this advantage.  If you want a truly eco-friendly floor, take a look at Staybull Flooring®.  This unique brand of flooring takes recycled wood scraps and, using only 100% environmentally safe procedures, creates a one-of-a-kind product.



September 22, 2011

Interesting reading! I am just curious, though, about your background and the reason why you are writing this blog? Do you have any references so I can look more closely into it?
I’m sure most of this is correct, but as you say, you can’t trust the salesmen.. you always got to be critical…

Hens Night Bristane

March 6, 2012

I wasn’t aware of such stuff. Do you really say these with a valid proof.


    March 6, 2012

    You can see a few of my sources in reply to the first comment.


June 15, 2012

Wow, is there anything safe anymore? I think we are coming to the end of the line where anything can be free of pesticides and harmful agents. Thanks for this eye-opening information.


August 4, 2013

Thank you so much for this info, in definitely not getting bamboo floor now. I got a bit suspicious of how eco it ready is when I was trying to work out the difference between solid and stand woven and they talked about glue and laminating! Thank goodness I found your site! Is there a UK equivalent to Staybull flooring?

    Bamboo Flooring Reviews

    August 5, 2013

    I don’t know of a UK equivalent to Staybull Flooring, but I believe Staybull sells internationally.


February 2, 2014

We just installed on our bedroom wall, like a paneling, strand plank bamboo from lumber liquidators. Now I am hearing about all the negative heath issues related to bamboo flooring and I’m concerned about our safety and health. Is there a way to seal it so the formaldehyde won’t leach through? For us it was a big investment so removing it isn’t an option right now.


August 3, 2014

Our recently installed strand plank floated bamboo flooring looks very nice. I have not seen this complaint. It makes sounds when you walk on it. Something like when you pop your knuckles or the snap of Rice Krispies. I know that temperature and humidity affect natural materials however I am very disappointed in this unexpected aspect. Also, the sound is more like walking on Pergo flooring rather than hardwood. The installer and the company are reliable and I don’t find fault with them. I would discourage selecting this type of flooring.

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