Bamboo flooring vs vinyl plank flooring- the dilemma starts right here. When you have two options in your hand, you struggle to choose one. But this mostly happens as you are not sure about their qualities and disparities. When you are unsure, choosing between two popular flooring options becomes difficult. And to make the final decision, you need to know the differences.
Both bamboo and vinyl flooring are aesthetically beautiful. But the judgment doesn’t end here. You need to consider a lot of other factors before choosing one. Starting from durability to maintenance, many other factors are concerned with buying the right flooring material. Now when the confusion is between bamboo and vinyl, let me solve this for you.
To choose wisely, you need to learn about the two options in detail. In this article, I intend to explain both options and compare them. This would help you understand whether vinyl or bamboo is better for your conditions. So let’s get started with the discussion!
A Comparison Between Bamboo Vs Vinyl Plank Flooring: 8 Differences
Before I discuss the differences in detail, I would present a comparison table mentioning the basic differences between bamboo and vinyl flooring. The comparison table will give you a brief about the properties we are going to talk about.
|Parameters||Bamboo Flooring||Vinyl Plank Flooring|
|Durability||Extremely hard and durable||Less hard and durable|
|Installation ease||Can be difficult if glued or nailed||Easy to install|
|Maintenance||Require intense maintenance||Easy maintenance|
|Eco-friendliness||More eco-friendly||Less eco-friendly|
|Comfort||More comfortable to walk on||Can be uncomfortable during winter|
|Appearance||Natural and exotic||Artificial but versatile|
The chart was just a summary of the factors that I will be discussing later. I request that you keep reading the article till the end to know more. In the later part, the disparities would be explained. Also, their suitability would be discussed.
If you are investing in flooring, you should first learn about its durability and longevity. The more durable the flooring, the better service you get and the longer the flooring stays intact.
With a Janka hardness rating of 3000, bamboo has been tagged as one of the most durable flooring options. In fact, bamboo is more durable than some hardwood options. It is fairly scratch-resistant and doesn’t get affected easily by impacts and pressures. Denting, scratching, breaking, or cracking are very rare in bamboo flooring. Also, it can easily last more than 25 years if maintained properly.
On the other hand, vinyl flooring is quite soft. It is a form of plastic that can be scratched easily. Though the composition makes vinyl strong enough to install in medium to high-traffic areas, it is still susceptible to scratches and cracks. With a hit of a sharp object, vinyl flooring can be scratched or cracked.
Therefore, undoubtedly, bamboo flooring is more durable than vinyl plank flooring.
Before we talk about any other properties, know that bamboo is a natural substance but vinyl flooring is not. Bamboo planks are made from hardened grasses called bamboo. These stalks of bamboo are cut and split to make bamboo sheets. These sheets are composed together to make hard and durable bamboo planks.
On the other hand, vinyl plank flooring is made from a form of plastic. With several layers of plastic, vinyl flooring is made. Some luxury vinyl planks contain a sheet of wood on the top. But none of the raw materials are completely natural. Also, the entire plank is factory-made. Thus the look is also artificial (that doesn’t mean bad!)
So if you want a natural flooring option, bamboo is your cup of tea. Otherwise, you can consider vinyl plank flooring too.
3. Moisture Resistance:
Both bamboo and vinyl plank flooring are fairly water and moisture resistant. They can handle a great deal of moisture for a long time. But when compared between the two, vinyl plank flooring is better in terms of moisture resistance.
Bamboo flooring can withstand water for around 30 hours. If you don’t clean the spills or water for 30 hours, the moisture won’t affect bamboo flooring. In fact, the silky smooth texture of bamboo glides water and prevents it from going deeper. But if it manages to go inside, it would cause swelling to the bamboo flooring.
On the other hand, water on vinyl planks won’t put any effect on it. You can even keep the spills and let them evaporate naturally. It still won’t put any mark or stain or do swelling to the vinyl planks. Because we all know, plastic is water-resistant. This same theory applies here.
So vinyl plank flooring is more water-resistant than bamboo flooring.
In terms of installation, vinyl flooring is the winner. It is very easy to install by the click and lock installation method. This can be used in bamboo flooring as well. But one additional benefit makes vinyl a better choice.
Vinyl flooring doesn’t need a flawless and flat surface for efficient installation. You can install the vinyl planks in a click-lock method even on an uneven or unpolished surface. However, the dampness from the subfloor should be cleaned before installation. Otherwise, it would damage the base of the vinyl flooring over time.
On the other hand, bamboo flooring needs a flat, dry, clean, and proper surface to be installed. Also, if you are choosing the nailing or gluing method, the process becomes complicated. You can only use these methods with the help of an expert. But vinyl planks can be installed by DIYers too. Therefore, installing vinyl is easier than installing bamboo.
Cleaning vinyl flooring is more flexible and easier than cleaning bamboo flooring. However, the maintenance mechanisms and patterns are more or less similar for both options.
The basic maintenance includes sweeping and mopping the flooring. While you can steam mop vinyl floors, you can’t do it on bamboo flooring. Also, a very mild cleaning agent has to be used on bamboo flooring. Slightly harsh agents can be used on vinyl flooring. Nevertheless, mild cleaners are always preferred for regular cleaning. Note that spills should be cleaned as soon as possible (before 30 hours) from bamboo flooring while no such obligations are there with vinyl flooring.
Besides cleaning, bamboo flooring may need sealing and polishing in case of scratches, and poor water resistance. A few vinyl flooring requires waxing to bring back the shine. You should go for these options as you can always keep the glossy effect on vinyl by waxing. To deal with scratches on vinyl flooring, click here and know the solutions.
So you see, cleaning and maintaining both vinyl and bamboo need attention. But vinyl flooring would need less care than bamboo.
A quick reminder for you! Prices of natural flooring options are always higher than the synthetic and artificial flooring options. The same rule applies here. Both for the materials and installation, bamboo flooring would cost more than vinyl.
In fact, one of the major reasons why people choose vinyl flooring is its affordability. Vinyl flooring costs around $1.50 to $4 per square foot. As it is made of plastic, the production cost is low and the raw materials are not costly. Besides that, plastic can be recycled and reproduced to make more and more vinyl planks.
But bamboo flooring can’t be recycled immediately after the disposal. Also, you need to wait until the bamboo stalks grow again. So the production cost and supply of bamboo become expensive. Thus the overall cost increases as well. Bamboo flooring ranges between $5 to $7 per square foot of area.
Therefore, if you are finding an excellent flooring option within your budget, vinyl plank flooring is a fair deal for you.
Nature wins when it comes to the eco-friendliness of flooring material. So as usual, vinyl plank flooring is not as eco-friendly as bamboo flooring.
The main issue appears during installation. New vinyl planks release toxic VOC fumes in the air during installation. This can cause various breathing diseases. The release of VOC from bamboo flooring is so minimal that it won’t harm you much. But note that some luxury vinyl planks are now eco-friendly with a very minimal release of VOC.
Another point is, if vinyl planks are not recycled, they would harm the environment. As plastic is not biodegradable, it would severely damage the land as well as water life if exposed to nature. The only solution is to recycle the planks to make new planks. In contrast, bamboo is recyclable as well as biodegradable. So there is no chance of harming the environment by using bamboo.
Therefore, bamboo flooring is more eco-friendly than vinyl plank flooring.
The appearance of the bamboo flooring is all-natural and each plank is unique from the other. Each streak, stripe, grain, and stretch are different from each other. This gives a subtle raw look that no other option can replicate.
Bamboo flooring has a warm and light color tone with strands and stretches that look exactly like solid wood or bamboo. The entire design is natural and you won’t find a second piece of it. But vinyl flooring is artificial and has a very formal and proper look.
Note that vinyl flooring can provide you with a lot of options. With different designs, patterns, colors, and variations, vinyl flooring gives you a lot of options. You not only get the look of bamboo but also of hardwood, stones, etc. Also, different matte and glossy finishes are available. But then again, all the looks are so polished and proper that they can never replicate the natural look of bamboo.
Anyone looking for a bunch of variety must go for vinyl flooring. But a person loving a natural flooring appearance must buy bamboo flooring.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Bamboo More Comfortable Than Vinyl Plank Flooring?
If you are living in a cold climate, your primary choice would be bamboo flooring. Not only gives a soft touch to your feet but also provides warmth.
Bamboo flooring has better insulation capability than vinyl. Thus in cold climates, you can get a soft and warm barefoot touch on bamboo flooring. But vinyl flooring lacks this quality. Vinyl flooring can stay cold on winter days (except for a few luxury vinyl planks) and won’t provide much comfort to your feet. Also, most vinyl floorings are not as smooth as bamboo flooring.
Therefore, I would say bamboo flooring is more comfortable than vinyl plank flooring.
Does Bamboo Floors Last Longer Than Vinyl Flooring?
Bamboo is a very durable and hard flooring material. They don’t scratch easily or break under impact. Also, the thickness and hardness make the bamboo last for a long time.
With proper care and maintenance, bamboo flooring can last more than 30 years. But the longevity of vinyl plank flooring is between 10 to 25 years. As vinyl is softer than bamboo, it is more susceptible to damages, scratches, and impacts. Also, the maintenance has to be regular and proper if you want to extend the longevity of the flooring.
Therefore, bamboo flooring is more durable and long-lasting than vinyl flooring.
Is Bamboo More Scratch-resistant Than Vinyl Planks?
Bamboo is extremely hard and durable. They don’t scratch easily and can survive for more than 30 years. On the other hand, vinyl is soft and may get damaged easily by scratches.
There are several ways to protect vinyl flooring from scratches. Using a protective coating can protect the vinyl from scratches. But in general, it is less scratch-resistant than bamboo. In fact, if you see scratches on bamboo flooring, you have the option to refinish and polish the bamboo flooring to reveal a new layer of flooring. So you see, scratches can be minimized easily with bamboo flooring.
Thus I can say that bamboo is definitely more scratch-resistant than vinyl plank flooring. However, necessary steps can make vinyl moderately scratch-resistant as well.
You can now easily differentiate between bamboo and vinyl plank flooring. When the differences are clear to you, I believe you can now decide which one is better for you. Note the disparities once again before you finalize your choice.
Examining the differences, which one seems better to you? Bamboo or vinyl plank flooring?