Two flooring types that are gaining in popularity nowadays are concrete and bamboo floors. They are both hard, solid surfaces, providing for a long-lasting, low-maintenance option for your home. But when comparing concrete versus bamboo flooring, which is better?
As always, there are plenty of factors that should go into your decision-making when trying to choose a type of flooring. While both concrete and bamboo are hard surfaces, they are very different products. Some of their pros and cons are the same, but some are completely opposite.
In this guide, we’ll explore:
|Appearance||Many options for color and design with stained polished concrete||Fewer options; more of a classic yet unique hardwood look|
|Cost||Inexpensive at its baseline, but much more expensive for stains and designs||Could be half the price of high-grade concrete floor|
|Durability||Lasts forever; very difficult to cause even minor damage to it||Could last for more than 50 years, but more susceptible to intermittent damage|
|Maintenance||Worry-free flooring type that is waterproof||Easy to maintain, but a little more complicated than concrete|
|Comfortability||Very hard and cold, not easy on the feet||Hard and cold, but less so than concrete|
|Safety||Hard surface with no cusion and hard on bodies; not a tripping hazard||Slightly softer than concrete but still rough on bodies; can be tripping hazard|
|Room selection||Good for entryways, bathrooms, laundry rooms, enclosed porches, kitchens||Good for hallways, main living areas and bedrooms|
Often the main draw to a certain type of flooring is how it looks. If a flooring type doesn’t look good to a homeowner, then most likely it will not be chosen, no matter what its other benefits are. So which is better, concrete or bamboo?
When people think of concrete, they often think about what is outside – the steps to our home, the sidewalks outside our home and buildings we pass by every day. In that regard, concrete isn’t very pretty. But that’s not exactly how concrete would, or could, look as a flooring in your home.
Instead, there are a lot of options nowadays when it comes to concrete flooring. Stains and even intricate patterns can be put into the concrete to give it a polished look. In this regard, concrete will give you more options in appearance, similar to that of carpet.
Bamboo, meanwhile, will not give you the option for as many variations in appearance. It is a classic look since it is hardwood, yet it is a unique look compared to some other traditional hardwood types. You can stain bamboo different shades, of course, but the overall appearance will be more traditional.
Often the next most important factor for most people when making a choice on flooring types is the upfront cost. While most people would like to not be constricted, the price of a flooring type will more times than not be one of the top determining factors on what someone can afford. So is there a cost benefit to either concrete versus bamboo?
At its baseline, concrete is a much cheaper flooring option than bamboo. It can start as low as $2 per square foot for the product itself. However, there are other factors that could bump the price quite considerably.
First, the stamped, stained and designed polished concrete floors could run you all the way up to $15 per square foot. In addition, there could be other additional costs to the sub-floor or structure if it isn’t up to snuff to handle the concrete. Concrete is a heavy product, so it needs a solid support underneath.
Bamboo can range anywhere from $5 to $8 per square foot. This price for bamboo includes the stain that you are choosing that will ultimately determine the final look of the product. In this regard, an exquisite bamboo floor could be half the price of a similar grade of concrete floor.
The durability of a floor will have a long-term impact on its cost. That’s because the true cost of a flooring type can only be determined by taking into consideration how durable it is and not just what it costs to purchase and install. So which flooring type is more durable, concrete or bamboo?
In its purest sense, durability is the main benefit of a concrete floor. Concrete is almost indestructible. It takes a lot to dent, chip or mess up a concrete floor, and it should outlast the lifespan of everyone who lives in the house, old or young.
Bamboo, on the other hand, is extremely long-lasting. A good, solid grade of bamboo flooring should last for more than 50 years with the proper care and maintenance. However, the day-to-day durability of the floor is where the difference comes in.
Because bamboo is a wood flooring type, it is susceptible to scratches, dents, lifts and chips. True, the scratches can be buffed out, and the other blemishes to the flooring can be fixed with a simple replacement of a board or two. It should be noted, though, that when just comparing it to concrete, bamboo would be considered the less durable flooring type.
Everyday maintenance is an important factor to consider when making a choice on a flooring type. How often you have to clean it, and how exactly you need to clean it, are essential pieces of information to know when you’re making a purchasing decision. The better your floor is maintained, the longer it will last and the better it will look.
Concrete flooring is about the simplest and most maintenance-free version of a floor that you can get. This type of flooring only takes a simple dusting and/or vacuuming and a mopping to keep it clean. Spills won’t stain the concrete floor, either, which is another great benefit.
Bamboo flooring, meanwhile, is easy to maintain but is a little more complicated. Like any hardwood floor, bamboo takes at least a weekly dry mop and/or vacuuming to keep it clean of dust and dirt. You shouldn’t use liquid products to clean a bamboo floor, because it could cause it to warp over time.
In addition, bamboo floors take some extra care when it comes to maintenance. Spills could cause the floor to warp, or could even get in through the cracks of the floor and leak down below it, so addressing a spill immediately is essential. Over time, nail heads rise up from the floor, so you’ll need to nail them back down.
Another important factor in choosing a flooring type is the comfort of the material that will be below your feet. This may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you are making a flooring decision, but you need to keep in mind what a floor will feel like. So which is better for comfort, concrete or bamboo?
Concrete flooring is one of the hardest flooring types you could choose. As such, it doesn’t provide a lot of cushion or support for your feet, and is an uncomfortable surface to stand on for long periods of time. In addition, concrete doesn’t absorb heat well at all, so it is also one of the coldest flooring types on the market.
Bamboo is also a hard material, so it, too, doesn’t provide a lot of cushion or support for your feet. It also doesn’t absorb heat well, so a bamboo floor could tend to be on the colder side. However, when you compare it only to concrete flooring, bamboo is the softer and warmer flooring option.
Safety is an important factor to consider when making a flooring choice. How your home, or at least that room, will be used and by whom should be an important part of your decision-making process. After all, the safety of the people who are in your home is ultimately more important than simply how a floor looks.
Concrete floors are very hard surfaces, so they don’t cushion falls well. They also cause most fragile things to shatter when you drop them on the ground. Similarly, concrete floors are not friendly to your feet, the joints in your legs and even your lower back. The one nice thing about concrete is that it is a solid slab, so it’s not much of a trip hazard.
Bamboo is a hard surface as well, so it will have similar downsides when it comes to a lack of cushion for falls and fragile items dropping to the ground. It’s a little easier on your body than concrete is, so that is one advantage it does have.
However, unlike concrete, bamboo can sometimes be a trip hazard. It is prone to boards or nails lifting over time if you do not properly care for and maintain it.
Where the flooring will go in your house is an important determining factor when you are choosing between two products. What makes a flooring type good for one room might make it not good for another room type. So which rooms are best for concrete and bamboo flooring?
Because of its durability and waterproof properties, concrete floors are a really great option for entryways, bathrooms, laundry rooms, enclosed porches and even kitchens. These are all rooms where there are a lot of liquids are found. The properties of a concrete floor make it a good fit for these rooms.
On the flip side, bamboo flooring is usually not a great option in any of those rooms simply because of the fact that it is not waterproof. As such, people more often choose bamboo floors for hallways, main living areas and even bedrooms. The classic look of a bamboo floor is what makes it stand out so much in these rooms of your home.
Overall, when you’re making a choice between concrete or bamboo flooring for your home, it’s important to take all factors into consideration – from appearance to cost, durability, maintenance, comfort, safety and room selection. Ultimately, because the two flooring types are similar in terms of being hard surfaces, the decision could come down to a personal preference of style.
On the other hand, the simple fact of which room you intend to install the floor in could also make the decision for you. That’s because the rooms where a concrete floor is good – such as bathrooms and laundry rooms – are not really great for bamboo. Conversely, where bamboo flooring is ideal – in main living areas and bedrooms – is not the perfect place to install a concrete floor.