There are 5 main types of bamboo flooring: Solid strand bamboo, solid strand “floating” bamboo, tongue and groove engineered bamboo, click-lock engineered bamboo, and solid horizontal and vertical bamboo.
Solid Strand Bamboo
Solid strand bamboo (tongue and glue) is perfect because of its toughness, beauty, and price. This bamboo flooring type is nailed down or glued down. It is resistant enough to be placed in high traffic areas such as kitchens.
The click and lock variation is harder than oak and easy to install. But it is only suitable for indoor spaces with stable humidity. Thus, it is not recommended for homes in low humidity regions due to shrinkage.
Engineered Strand Bamboo
Engineered Strand Bamboo (click and lock) is great if you want to float a hardwood floor. It’s easy to install, beautiful, and resilient.
The recommended wear layer is 2mm with a 3 in 1 underlayment that has a high STC sound rating. The end result is a floor that looks and feels like solid hardwood.
Like the click lock engineered bamboo floor above, the tongue and groove version is also very stable for floating installations. The con is that it is a bit harder to install as you have to apply the bead of glue along the inside of the grooves of each plank. You can also nail it down or glue it down.
Classic bamboo adds a modern look to floors. But they don’t do well in high traffic areas. They are also less resistant to scratches and dings. For aesthetics they are great but they are not as durable as strand woven bamboo floors.
Bamboo flooring is both durable and comparable to the strength of Oak flooring. Strand woven bamboo is much stronger and has been tested to be over twice as hard as Oak flooring.
All types of bamboo flooring are eco-friendly. Bamboo is a grass, it grows much faster than hardwood so it can be harvested without the need to replant; bamboo is self-regenerating.