Bamboo vs laminate- two options that give a delicate and smooth flooring finish. Both are aesthetically pleasing and available at a great deal. But recognize that they are completely different materials and have significant disparity. Installing laminate is not the same as installing bamboo flooring. What I mean is, one doesn’t substitute the other option.
To understand which one to choose between bamboo and laminate, you should first mark the differences and qualities. Needless to mention that both are popular flooring choices. But their suitability varies according to the external conditions and your preferences. So before you decide, let me help you in defining the differences.
From my experience in floor cleaning and maintenance, I have deeply analyzed different features of bamboo and laminate. In this article, I am presenting a comparison between bamboo and laminate to help you decide which option is better for you.
Let’s get started!
Comparison Table For Bamboo And Laminate: Key Disparities
Before I start discussing the features of bamboo and laminate flooring, let me show you some basic differences between the two. In fact, I would display some comparisons in features to provide you with a brief. In the later part, I will discuss the matters in detail and explain the disparities.
Here is the comparison table for bamboo and laminate:
|Features||Bamboo Flooring||Laminate Flooring|
|Durability||More durable||Less durable|
|Moisture Resistance||More moisture resistant||Less moisture resistant|
|Installation||Less easy installation||Easier installation|
|Environment friendliness||More environment friendly||Less environment friendly|
|Comfort||More comfortable||Less comfortable|
|Maintenance||Easy maintenance||Easy maintenance|
Now you can define the basic differences in features between bamboo and laminate flooring. But before you reach any conclusion, you need to learn a bit more about the options. Because both work well in different conditions. So let’s know more about the options.
8 Key Differences Between Bamboo And Laminate Flooring: Know In Details
The chart was just a brief about the features in which laminate and bamboo flooring differ. But there is more to say. Choosing the right flooring option requires you to know every detail about the option. So here, I am discussing 8 key differences between bamboo and laminate flooring:
First, you should know that bamboo is a natural material and laminate is a synthetic material. So obviously, they are not the same.
Bamboo flooring is made from bamboo stalks. It is not wood, but rather a hardened form of grass that is extremely hard and durable. It can be composed in different forms after extraction. For instance, you will get engineered bamboo flooring for better moisture resistance. Solid bamboo flooring is used for other rooms like the living room, bedroom, etc. Also, options like stranded and vertical strands of bamboo make the difference in the look. But the material is completely natural giving a raw and pure look.
On the other hand, laminate has different layers in it and is crafted artificially. On the resin plywood base, a photo resin layer is installed that determines the look of the laminate (can be wood, stone, etc.). On the top, a laminated layer is installed to make the laminate protected from water and scratches. But the appearance would only mimic natural floorings. It would still look artificial due to the over-polished and extremely formal look.
Bamboo is known for its hardness and durability. With a Janka hardness rating of 3000, bamboo became a trusted flooring option that is durable and long-lasting. Laminate is durable as well but not all types of laminate are as durable as bamboo.
Laminate has categories and the durability depends on these categories. For example, AC1 laminate flooring is not so durable and is suitable for very low-traffic areas. On the other end, AC5 laminate is suitable for both residential and commercial spaces with medium to high traffic. AC3, on the other hand, is compatible with medium-traffic areas. So you see, the categories define the durability of the laminate.
In terms of durability, I would vote for bamboo if you want to know the safest choice. Because it is considered to be as durable as hardwood. With such a high hardness rating, bamboo becomes a reliable flooring option. However, if you want to go for laminate, check the category and decide on its durability.
3. Moisture Resistance:
My straight verdict on this is bamboo is more moisture-resistant than laminate. While laminate is always preferred for water resistance, when compared to bamboo, it is not the preferred choice. Bamboo performs better in damp conditions than laminate flooring does.
Bamboo is not really a waterproof surface. But water or moisture can’t penetrate easily through the bamboo surface. Rather it may glide on the surface and you use a towel to clean it up. The good news is, bamboo can hold up the water for about 30 hours and it won’t go deeper in the bamboo. So if you clean the flooring by that time, the bamboo flooring remains unaffected.
In contrast to that, laminate flooring does have a protective layer that is water-resistant. But if the moisture or water manages to reach the grout lining and goes inside the planks, it would expand the plywood, which is the base of the plank. This swelling would distort the shape of the flooring as well as discolor the planks.
So bamboo flooring is a better option than laminate in terms of water resistance. However, you may find a few water-resistant laminate floors that have an extra layer to protect the flooring from moisture.
Installing laminate is easier than installing bamboo flooring. Laminate flooring is installed in a click and lock method which can be done by any DIY enthusiast. However, a certain level of skill is required to do so.
In contrast, bamboo flooring can be glued down as well as nailed down to the subfloor. Though removing the bamboo flooring after gluing is difficult, it is similar to removing glued hardwood flooring. If you are wanting permanent flooring in your house or office, gluing or nailing would make the flooring strong and long-lasting. You can click-lock the planks too if you are fond of a floating floor.
Nevertheless, if we talk about the ease of installation, laminate is the winner. While bamboo offers different options of installation, nailing and gluing them is actually time-consuming and needs expertise. So DIY lovers would love to go for laminate flooring.
Quick general knowledge! Most natural flooring options are costlier than synthetic flooring options. Yes, you have guessed it right! Bamboo is costlier than laminate. However, investing in bamboo is still economical as it is durable and long-lasting.
Bamboo flooring is costlier as manufacturers need to wait until bamboo grows back. Though the growth is fast, the production rate is still lower than the production rate of laminate. Also, bamboo flooring can’t be reused readily after being disposed of. Moreover, the processing and production cost of bamboo flooring is higher than laminate.
On the other hand, laminate flooring used cheap raw materials to make the planks. As the whole process is done in factories, the production cost is minimal and thus available at affordable prices. However, some high-quality laminates would cost the same as bamboo flooring.
On average, the price of bamboo flooring would cost between $4- $10 per square foot. In contrast, the cost of laminate flooring will range between $1 to $10 per square foot.
6. Environment Friendliness:
When we talk about emission during flooring installation, we mean the release of volatile organic compounds. VOC causes severe issues due to the toxic fumes.
In terms of environmental friendliness, bamboo is a better option than laminate. Bamboo releases very minimal dust and VOC due to the adhesive used. On the other hand, laminate releases more VOC than bamboo flooring.
Note that bamboo flooring is biodegradable and can be recycled completely as it is natural. In contrast, not all laminate flooring can be recycled. Some laminates can be recycled up to 85%. So yes, bamboo is more eco-friendly than laminate.
The comfort level after installing the flooring matters for a lot of people. In fact, I always touch and feel the texture before judging any flooring material. That just determines whether you will be comfortable walking on the flooring surface or not.
My experience says that bamboo has a better texture and warmth than laminate. Though comfort level would definitely vary from person to person, bamboo has a very fine and silky texture. Your feet won’t hurt while walking on it. Especially if you are living in cold areas, bamboo is a suitable choice for you. As it has excellent insulation power, it mostly remains warm. So you can comfortably walk barefoot on bamboo flooring on a cold day.
Laminate flooring has a smooth finish too but it feels hard on the feet. At least to me, bamboo touch felt better than laminate. Also, laminate may get chilled on winter days making your walk uncomfortable. But then again, your comfort should be determined by you only.
Both bamboo and laminate flooring requires an equal level of care and maintenance. They only need minimal but regular care.
Just sweep and mop the flooring regularly to remove the specs of dirt and spills. In case of severe spills, you should remove and clean them as soon as possible. Any stains should be treated carefully to keep the flooring flawless and shiny. Besides that, you would need to deep clean and seal the flooring from time to time. In the case of bamboo, you may consider refinishing the surface.
However, spills on laminate can put on stains and swell them. So it is necessary to clean any wet surfaces on laminate immediately. You can stay a bit relaxed during such situations if you install bamboo flooring. But otherwise, the maintenance parameters are similar for bamboo and laminate flooring.
Does Bamboo Appear Better Than Laminate?
In terms of appearance, most people would prefer bamboo. With its natural and raw strands, streaks, grains, and consistent stretches, bamboo gives an all-natural look that is irreplaceable.
But laminate has more design, color, and texture variation than bamboo. As laminate flooring can replicate the look of wood, stone, etc. you get a great deal of diversity to choose from. But all the looks would seem unreal as they are factory-made. On the other hand, the variation in grains, tones, and streaks on bamboo flooring looks very delicate and pure.
In general, bamboo does appear better than laminate. But people looking for multiple options should check out laminate flooring too.
Does Bamboo Last Longer Than Laminate?
Bamboo is an extremely durable and hard material. It is harder and more resilient than laminate. Therefore, it lasts longer than laminate.
Not only is bamboo flooring hard, but it is moisture-resistant as well. Scratches on bamboo don’t affect it much and you can maintain the flooring easily. With proper care and maintenance, it can last more than 25 years (similar to that of hardwood). On the other hand, laminate may get damaged by water, sunlight, and high pressures as it is not as durable as bamboo.
Therefore, bamboo has greater chances to last longer than laminate.
Is Laminate More Scratch Resistant Than Bamboo?
This is a tricky question as both bamboo and laminate are fairly scratch-resistant. Bamboo is extremely hard and can handle scratches well. On the other hand, laminate has a scratch-resistant layer on it.
As bamboo can be refinished, I would say it is better if you are finding a scratch-resistant option. Minor scratches can be polished out of the surface of bamboo. But laminate flooring can’t be refinished. So in case of any major dents or scratches, you would need to remove the entire plank. However, laminate can handle minor scratches very well.
Both bamboo and laminate are scratch-resistant. So choose according to the durability of the materials.
Which Is Pet-friendly, Laminate Or Bamboo?
If you are having a pet in your house, you would need a scratch-resistant and durable flooring option.
Bamboo is a great flooring option for houses with pets. It is extremely durable and moderately scratch-resistant. In fact, with bigger scratches, you can refurbish the flooring to scrape off the layer of scratch. In contrast, laminate is scratch-resistant too but repairing them in case of severe damages is difficult.
Therefore, I would recommend bamboo flooring for houses having pets.
My task was to put a comparison between bamboo and laminate flooring. Now your task is to judge the parameters, check their compatibility with your home condition, and then choose the suitable option.
Reread the differences once again and decide whether you should choose laminate or bamboo flooring.