Bamboo flooring is a relatively new alternative to standard hardwood floors. It offers similar and perhaps superior qualities of strength, hardness, and appearance. Using bamboo (which is actually a grass, not a tree), and modern processing, beautiful hardwood floors can be made that offer the added bonus of saving many of the exotic trees and forests that are cut down for standard hardwood floors. Typical bamboo flooring can cost around $6.25 per square foot, plus installation and preparation charges. The range is usually between $4 and $8 per square foot but there are wholesale bamboo flooring companies offering it as low as $2 or less per square foot.
When buying discount, you need to make sure that you are not getting a product of inferior quality. This is true of everything including discount bamboo flooring. Though not always the case, some discount bamboo flooring is sold cheaply because it has a defect in the finish or the moisture content is high. Here are some things to look for in quality bamboo flooring:
Bamboo flooring mills may try to cut costs by buying immature bamboo stalks and do not take the time to dry them properly. This results in moldy, high-moisture bamboo that will not last.
Many bamboo mills will not dry the bamboo sufficiently, which will cause problems in dry climates or places with seasonal humidity fluctuations. Properly dried bamboo should have a moisture content of less than 10%.
Adhesives made in many discount bamboo flooring mills are of inferior quality and will off-gas in the home.
It is important that the finish be of high quality so that scratches wont be a problem. Inferior finishing is one of the most common problems in discount bamboo flooring.
Shopping online for discount bamboo flooring is a good idea; online dealers can sell at a lower price because they have little overhead. Make sure to read the fine print, however, and be sure your new flooring is guaranteed for at least a year. In general, businesses want referrals and repeat business, so they will want to make you happy no matter what they are selling. There are always a few bad apples though. A good gauge is to check how long the business has been around. Businesses that make their customers happy have staying power. If you find a great deal online, check the shipping costs. Some dealers will try to deceive consumers by posting cheap deals and then charging almost double the required shipping costs, therefore canceling out any discount.