So you’re interested in wood flooring, but you don’t know whether to go for bamboo or hybrid? Wood is known as one of the most durable and flexible flooring options available. But there are differences between bamboo and hybrid floors that you need to consider before making your purchase.
In Australia, you can choose between a lot of flooring options besides hybrid and bamboo. These include vinyl flooring, laminate flooring, solid timber flooring and more.
So which one should you choose over the other? Check out this article to learn more about the pros and cons of both bamboo and hybrid flooring.
What is Hybrid Flooring?
Hybrid flooring is primarily made of a mix of plastic with limestone or wood.
The plastic portion of the floor also contains recycled materials. These recycled materials are all combined with a resin that is then injected into a mould for strength and durability, which gives it its unique look. The finished look of the floor is much similar to that of laminate, it has a consistent, smooth appearance. It can mimic just about any type of wood finish that you might want.
The durability and stability are much greater than other types of floors in high-moisture areas. Typically, hybrid floors are very easy to clean and maintain. Even though they can be installed in moist areas, they are resistant to the growth of mould and mildew on the surface.
Hybrid flooring is also perfect for people with allergies or asthma because it is free of formaldehyde. The smallest per cent of this compound that occurs in the flooring is 0.09%.
There are some drawbacks to this kind of flooring that you should know about, however. It’s important for your family’s safety that the subfloor of your home is completely level before installing it. Otherwise, there could be major problems with the way it looks once installed and with any warranties you might have.
Types of Hybrid Flooring
There are many types of hybrid floors on the market, but the primary types are:
Engineered Plank Flooring
This type of floor is made up of three layers. The top layer is a high-pressure laminate, followed by plywood and finally an inner core that directly connects to the sub-floor.
This type of hybrid floor is made up of a top layer that’s capable of distributing load to the inner layers. There are several different combinations used which can include types like warm core (with polystyrene and polyurethane), cold-core (solid concrete) and steel support/sandwich construction, with an OSB board in between two solid concrete layers.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood floors have a greater thickness than other types, and this makes them more durable and resistant to dents and scratches. It has a consistent grain pattern and a beautiful matte finish.
Benefits of Hybrid Flooring
Hybrid floors have many benefits over other types of flooring, including the following
- Their warranties are much longer than that of bamboo flooring.
- They are more resistant to stains and moisture problems because they are made with a plastic base.
- The consistency in appearance means it may provide you with an easy-to-maintain, uniformed design throughout your home.
- Their strength makes them ideal for high traffic areas.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Flooring
Even though hybrid flooring has many benefits, there are also a few disadvantages that you need to keep in mind before choosing this type of floor
- Installation of these floors costs more than bamboo or other types of wood floors
- They are not as environmentally friendly as some other options might be.
- They are not made from renewable resources.
What is Bamboo Flooring?
Bamboo flooring is made using the same process used to make traditional hardwood floors, but instead of using wood, they use bamboo. This high-quality material has incredible hardness and can last up to 50% longer than traditional hardwoods. It’s also resistant to fading, moulding, warping and other types of damage that can come about in moist areas like bathrooms or kitchens.
There are two types of bamboo flooring: strand-woven and solid bamboo. Solid bamboo is made by compressing layers of the material together to form boards. This type has a distinct visual appeal with its textured appearance that gives it an antique look, but solid bamboo is less durable than strand woven.
Strand-woven bamboo flooring has an incredibly rich appearance and it’s gaining popularity for its authentic look. It also resists indentations, scratches and stains like solid bamboo.
Types of Bamboo Flooring?
Just like with hybrid flooring, there are a variety of types of bamboo floors. These also include
Solid Bamboo Flooring
This type of floor is made from a single piece of quality bamboo wood and finished in a matte or gloss finish. It has a consistent pattern and texture throughout the entire board.
Bamboo Floor Cloth
This type of material is extremely durable and offers great slip resistance that makes it ideal for areas such as kitchens, hallways and bathrooms. The top layer can be recycled vinyl over an underlay layer that offers comfort and noise insulation. This product offers you exceptional durability while still being easily renewable and eco-friendly at the same time.
Raw/Natural Bamboo Flooring
This is a low-cost option that can be installed by anyone who knows how to lay flooring. It may cost far less than other types of bamboo floors, but it’s not as durable as any of the other options on this list.
Benefits of Bamboo Flooring
The benefits of bamboo flooring are much like those of hybrid, however, they do offer some additional features:
- Bamboo’s strength makes it ideal for many different applications including under heavy furniture.
- Bamboo absorbs moisture more quickly than most other types of materials (recommended in humid areas).
- Bamboo floors are low-maintenance.
Disadvantages of Bamboo Flooring
Even though bamboo flooring may have some additional benefits over other types of flooring, it does also have a few disadvantages
- Installation of this type of floor costs more than budget options like carpet or laminate
- They are not as environmentally friendly as wood (although it is still much friendlier than other alternatives).
Difference Between Hybrid and Bamboo Flooring
Hybrid floors have a plastic base, while bamboo does not. Also, their warranties vary greatly. Hybrid floors have a lifetime warranty on the finish of the floor and 30-year warranties for moisture issues, whereas bamboo has a one-year warranty for finish defects and no moisture warranty at all. The quality of each type of flooring is comparable but may vary from home to home because of environmental conditions that impact materials from time to time.
Bamboo vs Hybrid Flooring
When we compare these two flooring options, there are many similarities and just a few differences. The main difference between these two materials is their base material, but they both offer the same aesthetics, durability and strength that you might be looking for in your next flooring option. If you ask a flooring expert to compare them, they may tell you that bamboo is typically more durable, but they do vary from home to home. Although the durability of these two flooring types can vary, one thing you can be sure of is that both bamboo and hybrid floors are extremely eco-friendly, unlike other flooring options like carpet. They require up to 80% less water than other types of flooring and the installation process is very eco-friendly as well.
Difference Between Bamboo and Hybrid Flooring
When looking at both flooring choices, there are a number of similarities and a few differences. The main difference between these two materials is the base material, but they both offer the same aesthetics, durability and strength that you might be looking for in your next flooring option.
Hybrid vs Bamboo
When picking between these two types of flooring for your home, it is important to look at the similarities and differences.
Bamboo vs Hybrid
In terms of ease of installation, bamboo is very similar to most hardwood floors, so it’s relatively easy. Bamboo needs only a few tools and minimal knowledge to install.
For bamboo flooring, you may need a mop or broom, a knee kicker (if using engineered bamboo), measuring tape, a pull bar, a tapping block and a rubber mallet.
For hybrid flooring, you may need the same tools as bamboo, with the addition of a power drill.
Hybrid Flooring vs Bamboo Flooring
When comparing the overall price in Australia, the bamboo flooring is generally more expensive than the typical hybrid floors you may find.
When it comes to price, hybrid and bamboo both come up as relatively inexpensive options compared to other types of flooring such as real timber. The average price for bamboo flooring in Australia is around 60$ per square metre for the materials alone and another $25 per square metre for installation of the flooring. The average price for hybrid flooring can be as low as $30 per square metre and reach around $55. The installation price varies but is usually around $30 per square metre.
Bamboo Flooring vs Hybrid Flooring
In terms of looks, bamboo does have a more rustic look to it and the wood grain is very prominent. Hybrid flooring has a sleeker, smoother finish and a much more modern feel to it.
The choice between these two materials may come down to personal preference. If you are looking for a smooth, sleek finish with minimal upkeep required, then hybrid floors may be right for your home. But if you want the look of natural timber but with all the strength and durability that comes with it, then bamboo might be perfect for you as well as being kinder to the environment as well as your wallet.
Other Flooring Options You can Choose from
In Australia the choice is vast. You can choose
- Laminate flooring
- Stone tile flooring
- Timber flooring
- Solid timber flooring
- Vinyl flooring
- Vinyl plank flooring
When is Hybrid Flooring the Best Choice?
If you’re looking for a floor with the natural feel of timber and all the durability and strength of man-made materials, then hybrid floors are definitely worth considering. These floors are perfect for high traffic areas, kids’ bedrooms and even foyers.
When shouldn’t You Consider Hybrid Flooring?
If you’re looking for something that is easy to maintain, then the hybrid flooring option might not be your best choice. This type of floor may have a great look but can require more work during the cleaning process.
When is Bamboo Better?
Bamboo flooring offers many benefits over other types of hardwood floors. It comes from sustainable sources, does not require any type of artificial gluing or chemicals to keep it together, looks beautiful when finished properly and has great wearability.
When is Bamboo the Worst Choice?
Bamboo is not the best option if you have pets that spend time in your living room or are looking for a floor that is easy to match with other styles of furniture. Bamboo has a beautiful natural feel but it does not come in different finishes like some of the hardwood floors made from real timber.
The Verdict – Hybrid Floors or Bamboo Floors
Hybrid flooring and bamboo both come with their own unique sets of benefits. If you’re looking for a floor that is durable, has great wearability and requires little to no maintenance, then the hybrid floors might be for you
However, if you want natural beauty combined with all of these benefits as well as being kinder to the environment, then the bamboo floors may be for you.
At first glance, both flooring options can appear to be fairly similar and it may come down to personal preference as to what is right for your home. Make sure you do your research and contact a number of different suppliers in order to get an idea of all the options available to you.