When deciding on bathroom flooring, there are so many choices within the marketplace that making a purchase can be very overwhelming. For most people, hardwood flooring is out of the question because of its problems when put in contact with water. But if you love the look of a wooden style floor and want something more robust, bamboo could be the choice for you.
Why is bamboo a better idea than hardwood floors?
You might think that bamboo is a type of wood, but actually it's a grass. This means that it has totally different physical properties. Unlike hardwood floors, bamboo has natural resistance to water, mould, mildew, and germs – things that are easily fostered in the damp and warm environment of a bathroom. Instead of opting for a cheaper material like vinyl, or something extremely hard underfoot like tiles, bamboo might just be the flooring solution you are looking for.
So why might bamboo not be such a great choice for the bathroom?
While it is true that bamboo has more resistance to moisture than hardwood, this does not mean that it's totally immune to it. Small splashes on the floor are nothing to get panicked about, but if the bath overflows, if there is a big spill in the bathroom, or if a pipe bursts, this could be reason to worry. If water is allowed to penetrate the bamboo, it will swell up and warp, and this is something that cannot be rectified – once the damage is done, it is done.
Something else to be aware of with bamboo is that it stains quite easily. Of course, this is more of a concern with flooring in a room like the kitchen, but stains can take hold of bamboo floors in bathrooms too. If you use a strong soap to clean the floor with, this could wear away at the surface colour. And actually, even water marks can leave stains on bamboo.
Is there anything that can be done to protect bamboo from water and staining?
Fortunately, yes, you will be able to find polyurethane surface finish in all home and garden centres, which will form a protective layer between your floor and whatever it is exposed to. It's a good idea to reseal your floor every six months or so to ensure that it remains protected. And when you initially have the bamboo floor installed, don't be tempted to complete this as a weekend DIY task. It really does require a professional's eye and experience to ensure the joins are water tight.