Bamboo vs Carpet Flooring

Bamboo vs Carpet Flooring

By Fortino Rosas / October 5, 2021 / 0 Comments

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    There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re choosing which floor type would be best for your house or a specific room in your house. Many people find themselves weighing the pros and cons of bamboo versus carpet. But which is better?

    Bamboo and carpet are two distinctly different products. As such, one flooring’s advantage is oftentimes a negative of the other flooring type, and vice versa.

    What this means, then, is that whether bamboo or carpet is the right choice for your home may depend on which room it will be located in and how you use that room.

    In this guide, we’ll explore:

    Side-by-Side Comparison

    CostA little more expensive; need to choose a higher-end optionCheaper than bamboo
    DurabilityVery hard material; lasts a long time and can be re-finishedNeeds to be replaced much sooner; hard to repair
    MaintenanceNeeds to be swept and vacuumed a few times each weekNeeds to be vacuumed at least a few times each week; might need deep cleaning
    ComfortHard material so not nearly as comfortableSoft and plush flooring type that provides a lot of comfort
    StyleMore distinct look and more classicLots of options in terms of style and color
    SafetyHard surface doesn't cushion falls and breaks fragile itemsOne of the safest flooring options around because of its softness
    HealthDoesn't trap dirt, pollen, etc. and it's easy to see when it needs to be cleanedTraps dirt and allergens and is harder to see what it has trapped
    Room choiceGood for living rooms, dining rooms and even bedroomsGood for living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms and waterproof basements
    Flooring GuideBamboo Flooring GuideCarpet Flooring Guide


    Cost is one of the most important factors when someone is choosing which type of flooring would be good for their home. Everyone wants the absolute best products at all times. However, that might not be realistic for some, depending on their budget.

    From an overview perspective, the price of carpet compared to the price of bamboo seems to be relatively negligible. A mid-range carpet could cost anywhere from $3 to $5 per square foot, including installation. Of course, there are higher-end options of carpet on the market that could run closer to $10 per square foot.

    Bamboo, meanwhile, ranges from about $2 to $7 per square foot, not counting installation. However, that isn’t the entire picture. The less expensive options for bamboo flooring are usually not of good quality. So you may need to choose a more expensive option if you want a quality bamboo floor that lasts.

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    The up-front cost of your flooring type isn’t the only price you should consider when choosing a flooring type. How long a floor lasts, how much it costs to fix and how often you have to replace it – or the floor’s overall durability – should be a major consideration, too. So which is better, bamboo or carpet?

    In this area, bamboo has a distinct advantage over carpet. Bamboo can handle a lot of daily wear and tear. In addition, it doesn’t need to be replaced nearly as often as carpet does.

    This is due to the fact that bamboo is one of the hardest types of flooring around (Except, maybe, for stone.)

    Typically speaking, bamboo flooring is pretty resistant to scratches and dents. That is because of just how hard of a product it is. In addition, a good bamboo floor that’s taken care of well should last for a few decades.

    Once it starts wearing down a bit, you can also sand and re-finish a bamboo floor. That is just like you can with hardwood.

    Carpet, on the other hand, doesn’t last nearly as long. It isn’t able to be re-finished. Even the best carpets that are maintained properly will usually only last about 10 years.

    And if a lift or tear occurs in the carpet, it’s much more difficult to repair and keep looking like a continuous product.

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    The daily maintenance of a flooring type is one of the most important areas to consider when you’re making your final choice. Proper maintenance is essential to keep your floor looking like new and lasting as long as possible. However, no one wants to be forced to do heavy maintenance on a daily basis.

    Like other hardwood flooring, bamboo flooring is fairly easy to maintain. A bamboo floor can be swept with a soft broom a few times a week.

    You can vacuum with a hardwood vac about the same number of times. This will keep the floor looking like new.

    Carpet, meanwhile, is simply a vacuuming job. A carpet’s fibers can very easily trap dirt, dander, dust and pollen. So it’s very important to make sure you vacuum your carpet a few times each week.

    If a spill occurs, you may need to buy or rent a carpet cleaning tool. Or, you could consider hiring an outside professional to perform a deep cleaning.

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    You will be spending a lot of time walking around on your floor. Younger kids might be spending a lot of time sitting or crawling around on your floor.

    So you’ll want to make sure you’re purchasing a floor that is comfortable to walk on. With those things in mind, which flooring type is better, bamboo or carpet?

    From a pure comfort standpoint, carpet has the advantage in this area because it is so soft. Carpet have a very plush and soft top layer. It also has a nice padding that gets laid down underneath to provide extra comfort and support. These items make carpet one of the most comfortable flooring choices.

    Bamboo, meanwhile, is not nearly as comfortable because it is such a hard material. In fact, it is probably somewhere in between traditional hardwood floors and stone floors in this regard. It’s not the most uncomfortable type of flooring, and is a bit more rough on your body than carpet.

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    What attracts most people to a specific flooring type, not surprisingly, is what the floor looks like, both in terms of its style and its color. Some people like a lot of options and colors in their floor. Other people prefer the more classical look when they are choosing their flooring type.

    Carpet has many different styles and colors available from which people can choose. This is one of the advantages that carpet has over most other types of flooring. There are quite a lot of stylistic options to choose from with carpet, which means you can match it to just about any décor style you have in your room.

    Bamboo is a more traditional look, with a distinctive twist. It is similar to the shape, style and even color of most solid & engineered hardwood floors. However, bamboo has a very distinct look to it that can sometimes be polarizing – either people love it or they hate it.

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    Safety is not often an area people take into consideration when they are making a flooring choice. However, it should be very important to you, especially if you have small children. So which is better, bamboo or carpet?

    Carpet is one of the safest types of flooring because it is so plush, soft and has extra padding underneath. This means that carpet isn’t really a trip hazard, plus it’s easy on bodies if a person were to fall. In addition, the cushioning of carpet helps to soften the blow when fragile items are dropped, meaning a glass may not shatter when it’s dropped on carpet.

    Bamboo is not as safe in this regard specifically because it is such a hard material. This makes it especially rough on our bodies when someone falls, and it causes most fragile items to shatter into many tiny pieces when something is dropped. In addition, the grooves in a bamboo floor could end up being a tripping hazard over time as the floor starts to wear a bit.

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    You might ask how a flooring type could contribute to or be bad for your health. You might not think about it, but each flooring type has different properties that make it either better or worse than another type of flooring for your overall health. This is especially the case if you or the people in your house are sensitive to dust and/or have bad allergies.

    Carpet has many little fibers that make up the overall product. These fibers are very effective at trapping dirt, dander, dust, pollen and other allergens (you’ll want to invest in a allergy-friendly carpet vacuum). This is not a good thing for your health, regardless of whether you are sensitive to these things or not.

    Bamboo, on the other hand, doesn’t trap anything in it. In fact, dander, dust, pollen, dirt and other allergens simply sit on top of a bamboo floor, allowing you to see them without much trouble. This makes it even easier to know when it is time to pick up that mop, soft broom or vacuum cleaner.

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    Room Choice

    Each flooring type has its positives and negatives. And these characteristics of each particular flooring type is what will help you determine what particular room each type of flooring might be good in. Therefore, just because one flooring type is better than another in a certain area doesn’t mean it’s good for every room.

    Because of its easy maintenance and classic look, bamboo flooring is a good choice for living rooms, dining rooms and other rooms on the main level of your house. Hard flooring types such as bamboo are even becoming a popular choice in bedrooms for people who want a different look. You can also “dress up” a bamboo floor by putting an area rug over top of it.

    Carpet’s soft properties make it an excellent choice in family rooms, hallways and in bedrooms, especially if kids congregate in these rooms. A lot of people will also choose carpet in a basement that is waterproof because it makes the room a lot warmer than other flooring types that don’t have insulation.

    Neither bamboo nor carpet are waterproof materials, however, so they aren’t the best choices in rooms that are susceptible to spills, humidity and liquid. This means neither is a particularly great choice for bathrooms, laundry rooms and maybe even kitchens.

    Similarly, both flooring types are susceptible to showing damage from heavy traffic and people walking with dirty footwear, so you may want to steer clear from using either in entryways or enclosed porches and patios.

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    Is bamboo flooring cheaper than carpet?

    Bamboo is a more expensive flooring option than carpet. If you opt for the cheapest version of bamboo floors, it might turn out to be the same price as carpets; however, since this material is prone to scratches and water damage, you should always seek higher-end options.
    Carpet is one of the most affordable flooring types up-front, with average costs between $3 and $5 per square foot, including installation. You can expect to pay between $2 and $7 per square foot for bamboo floors, not including installation costs.

    What are the cons of bamboo flooring?

    One of the most significant disadvantages of bamboo flooring is that the more affordable choices won’t be as resistant to damage as high-end options. Another reason why some people prefer hardwood over bamboo is that bamboo has limited style options.
    Also keep in mind that bamboo is not waterproof, and liquids can cause damage. If exposed to liquids for a long time, this flooring type can swell, buckle, warp, and change color.

    Which is longer-lasting: bamboo or carpet?

    Bamboo is a long-lasting material that can be in your home for a very long time and can be refinished if damaged. Carpets are more prone to damage and will need to be replaced sooner. The higher-end bamboo floors can go through a lot of high-frequency traffic without showing signs of wear.
    Carpets usually last around 10 years and can’t be refinished, so you’ll have to replace them, and the new ones will be another significant investment you have to make.

    Can I use Swiffer Wet on bamboo floors?

    You should never use a wet mop on bamboo floors. If you want to deep clean bamboo floors, you can use your Swiffer Wet-Jet, but only with a dry mop or a solution meant for bamboo floors. You could also use a damp mop–not wet–but you should ensure that you dry the floors right after cleaning.
    Wet mops can cause damage, discoloration, swelling, and even floor warping. In addition, since bamboo is not waterproof, it can absorb water which will change its appearance.

    Is vinegar safe for bamboo floors?

    No, vinegar is not safe for bamboo floors. Bamboo is a very delicate material, so you should only consider applying solutions specifically formulated for this flooring type. You should also avoid abrasive solutions, ammonia-based cleaners, wax solutions, acidic cleaners, oil soap, etc.
    Instead, use gentle solutions made for bamboo floors and use a microfiber mop when cleaning.

    Which takes less time to clean: bamboo or carpet?

    Both flooring types are easy to maintain; however, bamboo generally takes less time. You only need a soft-bristled broom once or twice a week and occasional vacuuming with a vacuum for hardwood floors.
    Carpets only require vacuuming, but they can trap dirt, dust, and allergens, so you must be meticulous when cleaning them.

    The Verdict

    Overall, whether you choose a bamboo floor or carpet depends, primarily, on what room you need to install the flooring in. After that, it’s really a personal preference of what type of style you like the best and how you want that particular room to look. In the end, the cost of bamboo versus carpet isn’t all that different, so you have the benefit of making the choice that you like best.

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    About Fortino Rosas

    Chief Floor Critic, 32 years of experience in flooring installation and sales

    Fortino Rosas is an independent flooring contractor with 32 years of experience in residential and commercial flooring installation and sales. He joined the Floor Critics team to share his expertise with our readers. Fortino has acquired vast knowledge and skills in the areas of product selection, space planning, and installation. He has installed flooring in residential, government, and commercial office projects in the Midwest. Visit Website.

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