Flooring Duel: Bamboo vs. Hardwood

When it comes to flooring, bamboo and hardwood often get mentioned in the same breath. They look similar and feel alike underfoot.

But are they the same? The answer is no. Let's find out the key differences between bamboo floors and hardwood floors.

FeatureBamboo FlooringHardwood Flooring
Material🟢 Grass🟢 Wood
bamboo vs hardwood

Both bamboo and hardwood flooring have their merits, but they cater to different needs. If you're looking for a more eco-friendly and budget-friendly option, bamboo is the way to go. However, if you want a wider range of styles and a long-standing reputation for quality, hardwood is the better choice.

What is Bamboo Flooring?

First off, bamboo isn't wood; it's a woody grass. It grows in tropical places where there's a lot of rain. You might think that makes it waterproof, but it doesn't. If bamboo is not properly sealed, water can damage it just like it can with hardwood.

Hardness Level

Bamboo can be even harder than some hardwoods. The hardness of wood and bamboo is measured by something called the Janka Hardness Test. This test shows how tough a material is. Bamboo usually scores between 1,300 and 1,400 on this test. That's harder than most oak floors!

But, some bamboo floors are treated to change their color. This makes them a bit softer. Even then, they're still pretty hard compared to some hardwoods.

What is Hardwood Flooring?

Hardwood comes from trees like oak, maple, and cherry. These trees take a long time to grow, unlike bamboo. The term "hardwood" doesn't always mean it's harder than other woods. It's just a way to talk about wood from certain types of trees.

Hardness Level

Hardwood's toughness varies. For example, hard maple has a Janka rating of 1,450, while red oak scores 1,220. Some hardwoods are even softer than softwoods, which come from different types of trees like pine and cedar.


Hardwood offers a lot of choices. Each type of wood has its own look and feel. You can also choose from different grades and cuts. This means you can find a hardwood floor that fits your style perfectly.

Bamboo doesn't offer as many choices. But it does come in different styles. Some bamboo floors have a striped look, while others look more like plywood. There's also a type made from shredded bamboo fibers.

Bamboo vs wood flooring


When it comes to cost, bamboo is usually cheaper. Hardwood can cost between $4 and $8 per square foot.

Bamboo costs around $3.80 per square foot on average. But remember, you get what you pay for. Cheaper isn't always better.

Environmental Impact

Bamboo is often called eco-friendly because it grows fast. You don't even have to replant it after cutting it. But, it's not perfect. It takes a lot of energy to turn bamboo into flooring. Some bamboo farms also replace forests, which is bad for the environment.

Hardwood trees take a long time to grow back after being cut. But they can be grown in many places, which cuts down on shipping costs and energy use.

Moisture and Mold

Both types of flooring can be damaged by water and mold. If you live in a damp place, you'll need to take special care of either type of floor.

Quality Control

Hardwood has been around for a long time, so it's easy to find quality options. Bamboo is newer, so it's harder to know what you're getting. Always buy from a trusted seller.


When it comes to refinishing in this bamboo vs. solid wood comparison, both bamboo and hardwood can be refinished if they get scratched or dented. This helps your floor last longer.

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