Vinyl Plank vs Bamboo Flooring

Vinyl Plank vs Bamboo Flooring

You want to replace your old flooring with new, updated flooring. You’ve narrowed it down to just two choices: vinyl plank vs. bamboo flooring. Both types of flooring look great, so which is best for your home? This guide is the first step to helping you decide.

We’ll explore characteristics of vinyl plank and bamboo flooring that go beyond just physical appearances. We’ll take a look at which flooring is the most durable for busy households. We will also explain which is the most budget-friendly, and other factors to consider before making your purchase.

In this guide, we’ll explore:

Side-by-Side Comparison

 Vinyl PlankBamboo Flooring
DurabilityExtremely durable but is vulnerable to rips, gouges, and dentsExtremely durable but is vulnerable to scratches
Water-ResistantYesNo
CleaningDaily cleaning with broom, dust mop, or vacuum. Can be wet mopped or steam mopped.Daily cleaning with broom, dust mop, or vacuum. Can be cleaned with a product designed for use on hardwoods. No wet mopping.
RefinishingNoYes
InstallationFloating floorFloating floor, glue-down, nail-down
Pet-FriendlyYes but nails should be trimmed to prevent rips in the flooringYes but nails should be trimmed to prevent scratches
Price$1 to $4 per square foot$5 to $7 per square foot
Installation Costs$1 to $4 per square foot$4 to $5 per square foot
Lifespan10 to 20 years30-50+ years
WaxingYes, for some floorsNo
Flooring GuideVinyl Plank Flooring GuideBamboo Flooring Guide

Durability

One of the most important factors in choosing your new flooring is its durability. For example, if you have kids or pets, a floor that scratches easily will be quickly damaged. That will require pricey repairs or replacements.

Before pulling out your wallet to pay for your new flooring, understand the durability of the flooring type you’ve selected. Then you can ensure you find the best fit for your home.

If you’re shopping for vinyl plank, one word may come to mind: soft. After all, vinyl is much softer than other materials like hardwood. Is this softer material more prone to damage when it’s used as your flooring?

Vinyl is a soft material, making for a more comfortable walking surface. However, today’s vinyl flooring is surprisingly durable. Manufacturers are using higher quality materials and new technologies. They are creating vinyl plank that’s designed to last for years.

With that being said, though, there are some issues you may face with vinyl. It isn’t completely impervious to damage. Dropping something sharp, dragging appliances, or even wearing high heels can result in punctures or rips in your flooring.

Another issue is that heavy furniture and appliances can cause denting. This can be prevented by using inexpensive furniture coasters. You can also rearrange your furniture often.

Over time, your vinyl flooring may fade if exposed to sunlight. To prevent this problem, use shades or blinds on your windows to prevent excessive sun exposure. You can also place area rugs in parts of your home that have the most sunlight.

On the other side, bamboo flooring is very durable. Natural bamboo or stand woven bamboo can be as durable as the strongest hardwood flooring.

Unfortunately, bamboo flooring is still susceptible to some of the damage that can occur with hardwoods. Scratches in particular can be a problem, Pet claws, high heels, particles of sand, or furniture legs can all put scratches in bamboo floors.

Dents, dings, and fading can also occur over time with bamboo floors. The great news is that unlike vinyl, you can refinish bamboo flooring when damage occurs. That makes it look good as new again without having to replace the entire floor.

You can take some precautions to prevent damage to bamboo flooring. Start by purchasing a higher quality flooring. Then, take steps such as keeping your pet’s nails trimmed. You can also take off shoes while walking on the flooring. Many people use furniture coasters and protectors.

Vinyl plank and bamboo flooring are both extremely durable. These floors can be installed in homes with kids, pets, or heavy traffic. However, bamboo has the edge in this category. That is because it is more resistant to damage and can be refinished as needed.

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Water Resistance

If you’re going to install your new flooring in a room with high levels of moisture or humidity, you have to make sure that the flooring you select is up to the task. Between vinyl plank and bamboo, which is the most water resistant?

If you want to install a flooring that can become wet without worries, you can’t go wrong with vinyl plank. When installed properly, vinyl plank is completely waterproof and resistant to moisture. This means you can install it in bathrooms, kitchens, or rooms that are below-grade such as basements.

However, the key words here are “installed properly.” Vinyl flooring that has gaps or that people installed over a subfloor that does not have a vapor barrier or has not been properly prepped may grow mold or mildew underneath or between planks. However, if a reputable professional has installed the flooring or you’ve taken the time to do the job correctly, this is typically not an issue, but it is something to be aware of.

Bamboo flooring is slightly more resistant to water than other hard flooring types like traditional hardwood. However, it isn’t waterproof. When you expose it to water for long periods of time, bamboo flooring may become warped, discolored, or show other signs of damage.

If you spill water or liquids on a bamboo floor, it is important to wipe it up immediately. You also want to avoid installing this flooring in rooms with high levels of moisture, such as bathrooms.

When it comes to water resistance, vinyl plank comes out on top. As long as you make sure that you installed the flooring properly, it can withstand spills and excess moisture.

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Price

When you’re shopping for new flooring, price is an important factor to consider. Most homeowners have a budget for their home renovation projects, so it’s necessary to determine which flooring best fits within your own budget. When comparing vinyl plank and bamboo flooring, which is the more cost-efficient option?

Vinyl plank flooring is one of the most affordable types of flooring. Vinyl plank costs range from around $1.50 to over $4 per square foot, with the average cost about $3 per square foot.

Of course, price depends on a variety of factors, including the brand name, the style, and the overall quality. Prices in your local area may also vary.

Bamboo flooring is slightly more expensive than vinyl. On average, you should expect to pay between $5 and $7 per square foot. Just like with vinyl, the price varies on the brand you select, the pricing in your area, quality, and the style/color of flooring.

Even though both types of flooring are competitively priced when compared to other types of hard flooring, vinyl plank is the more budget-friendly option.

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Installation

While we’re discussing pricing, it’s important to also consider installation costs. Having your flooring professionally installed will add to your renovation budget, so which flooring is the most affordable to have installed?

Labor costs for the installation of vinyl plank flooring is about $1 to $4 per square foot. Factors that influence the cost include average pricing in your region, as well as the size and difficulty of the job.

To have bamboo flooring professionally installed, you’ll pay an average of $4 to $5 per square foot. Again, the prices in your area, the size of the job, and the difficulty level of the installation may influence price.

If you want to save money, you may consider installing your flooring yourself. If you’re a DIY-er and you want to tackle the project, which is the easiest to take on?

Vinyl plank flooring is fairly easy to install, even for a beginner with no flooring experience. Vinyl plank has a tongue-and-groove design so it easily clicks together without the need for adhesives or nails.

You will not need any special tools for installation. (Other than a measuring tape, chalk line, and utility knife. You will need that for cutting planks down to size.)

If you want to install bamboo flooring, there are a few ways to do it. If you purchase flooring with a tongue-and-groove or uniclic design, you can install it as a floating floor without using adhesives or nails. There are also flooring options that you can glue or nail to the subfloor.

If you’re new to flooring, the easiest way to install bamboo flooring is by installing it as a floating floor. No matter what type of installation you choose, you’ll need a few tools, including a hand saw or power saw, a crow bar, and a hammer or mallet.

For this category, vinyl plank flooring takes the win. Not only is vinyl plank less expensive to install if you hire a contractor, but it’s easy and requires no special tools if you choose to install it yourself.

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Cleaning & Maintenance

Another factor to consider when purchasing new flooring is how easy it is to clean and maintain. If you have extra time on your hands and don’t mind putting the work into keeping your floors looking their best, how easy it is to clean may not be that important to you. But if you work, have kids at home, and lead a busy life, you may want flooring that is low-maintenance.

Vinyl plank flooring is one of the best if you want flooring that doesn’t require any special care. For daily vinyl plank care, you can use a broom, dust mop, or vacuum cleaner designed for bare floor use to pick up dirt, dust, and debris. When your floors need a deeper clean, you can use a wet mop or cloth with a mild cleanser to restore the beauty of vinyl.

If you’ve selected a no-wax vinyl floor, you can’t use wax or wax-based products or else buildup will occur and make your floors look dull. With some types of vinyl, you may be able to use a floor wax to restore the vinyl’s shine.

Daily bamboo floor cleaning is similar to vinyl. You can use a broom, dust mop, or vacuum cleaner designed for use on bare floors.

When it’s time for heavier cleaning, avoid using a wet mop. Instead, use a cleaning product designed for use on bamboo floors, cleaning a small area at a time with a dry mop or cloth. Wax or wax-based cleaners should not be used on most bamboo floors, and oils designed for use on bamboo can be used to restore shine.

Because no special products or considerations should be taken when cleaning vinyl floors, it is the best choice for anyone looking for a low-maintenance flooring option.

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Lifespan

Installing new flooring is a big project – and one that comes with big expenses. When you install new flooring in your home, you want to make sure that it’s going to last. Is vinyl or bamboo able to withstand years of heavy traffic, kids, pets, and everyday living?

If you install vinyl plank flooring in your home, you can expect it to last for an average of 10 to 20 years. Of course, this lifespan can vary based on the quality of the flooring used and how well you care for it throughout the years.

While this may be sufficient for some homeowners, others may want floors that will last a lifetime. This is possible with bamboo flooring.

With proper maintenance, bamboo flooring can last 30 to 50 years. Very high-quality bamboo flooring that you maintain well throughout the years can last for even longer than 50 years.

If the lifespan of your flooring is one of the most important factors for you, bamboo is the superior choice when compared to vinyl plank.

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Final Verdict

Whether you decide to choose vinyl plank or bamboo flooring, you won’t go wrong with either choice. Both of these floor types have big benefits, look great in any home, and come in a variety of colors and styles.

However, if you want a more affordable option that’s low-maintenance, easy and inexpensive to install, and can be exposed to water without getting damaged, vinyl plank may be the best choice for your home.

If you’re looking for an extremely durable floor with a long lifespan that is comparable to hardwood flooring, bamboo is an excellent choice. This flooring can be just as durable as hardwood but with added advantages, including a more water-resistant design and a lower price point.

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Nikki Seppala

About Nikki Seppala

Nikki is an experienced writer and editor and has worked in industries that range from home improvement to entrepreneurship. For over 10 years, she's used her unique talent and love of the written word to uncover the stories that people want to read.

1 thought on “Vinyl Plank vs Bamboo Flooring”

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    I am a flooring contractor and own a retail showroom. Luxury Vinyl Flooring, with a rigid core is far superior to bamboo in every way. As a matter of fact, bamboo is so problematic that most companies no longer sell it and many flooring contractors do not want the liability associated with installing defective products. Bamboo is a grass. It has to grow at least 6 to 10 years to reach flooring grade hardness. The bamboo flooring that is sold here may or may not be flooring grade bamboo. As with anything else, the quality of the product you purchase determines how well it will hold up. Premium Luxury Vinyl Flooring can cost more than hardwoods. It is waterproof, dent and scratch proof, fade resistant and will not require any maintenance. It will last much longer than bamboo flooring, which you incorrectly stated will last between 30 to 50 years. As far as VOCs go, the premium luxury vinyl floors are phthalate free and have lower VOCs than some hardwoods and bamboos. Every flooring manufacturer is not in the Luxury Vinyl business. This is the flooring of the future.

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