Engineered vs Solid Bamboo Flooring

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Both engineered and solid bamboo flooring are commonly used in the building industry today. Both of them also have some unique features that you will need to be aware of. Here are the basics of engineered and solid bamboo flooring and how they compare to one another.

Construction

The major difference between these two types of flooring is in the way that they are constructed. Solid bamboo flooring is constructed by taking pieces of bamboo and gluing them together. The entire piece of solid bamboo flooring is made of solid bamboo. There are different ways that bamboo flooring can be manufactured. The most common forms of solid bamboo flooring are vertical and horizontal grain. The bamboo flooring with vertical grain uses mature bamboo stems sliced into strips that are crosscut into short pieces before being glued into strips with the grain turned vertically. With a horizontal grain bamboo, the bamboo stems are sliced into strips of specific lengths that are arranged horizontally side by side and glued together. Each of these methods provides you with a different look when you look at the floor.

Engineered bamboo is made in a different manner. They still take small strips of bamboo and glue them together to obtain a piece that is then planned and sanded into a veneer to be used as the outer layer. This top layer is laminated to solid wood, cross-laminated plywood, or fiberboard core. This means that you will not be able to tell the difference between engineered and solid bamboo once you have it installed.

Price

One of the big differences between these two types of flooring is the price. Solid bamboo flooring is going to be more expensive than engineered bamboo flooring in most cases. With engineered bamboo flooring, they will commonly use a cheaper hardwood material to make the core out of. This allows them to save money on the construction of the product and then pass this price break on to you.

Installation

Engineered bamboo flooring is more dimensionally stable than solid bamboo flooring. It will not expand and contract as much as solid bamboo flooring. This means that you can glue this type of bamboo down to concrete flooring with traditional hardwood glue. You can also nail it down to a wood subfloor. With engineered bamboo flooring, you can also install it in a floating manner like laminate. You will simply lay it on top of a pad without gluing it to the floor.

When installing solid bamboo flooring on concrete, you'll have to glue it down to the concrete with a special adhesive, while an installation to a wood subfloor can just be nailed down to the subfloor.