Solid Bamboo Flooring vs Engineered Bamboo Flooring

Solid bamboo flooring and engineered bamboo flooring are 2 major types bamboo in the market. They are different from processing, structure, material and usage.

Structure

Horizontal solid bamboo flooring is 3 layers bamboo with about 5mm thickness each layer. Vertical solid bamboo flooring is 1 layer bamboo with 15mm thickness.

solid bamboo flooring

Solid Bamboo Flooring - 100% Bamboo

Engineered bamboo flooring in horizontal and vertical is all 3 layers. Face layer is bamboo, core and bottom are wood. Bamboo layer will have horizontal grain and vertical grain. For horizontal grain bamboo, we press single layer of bamboo with 5mm thickness, and then laminate with wood. For vertical grain bamboo, we press single layer of bamboo with 15mm thickness then slice the block into 5mm thickness and laminate with wood.

engineered bamboo flooring

Engineered Bamboo Flooring - Bamboo + Wood

Material

Solid bamboo flooring in horizontal and vertical is bamboo only, no wood or other material, 100% bamboo. Solid bamboo flooring is 100% bamboo glued and pressed. In the past 10 years, solid bamboo flooring is the only flooring which was sold well in every country because people can identify the real bamboo from the flooring. Solid bamboo flooring is the most cost-effective flooring.

Engineered bamboo flooring in horizontal and vertical is all 3 layers but bamboo laminated with wood, not pure bamboo, but bamboo wood flooring.

Installation Area

Solid bamboo flooring can be installed both nail down and glue down, even floating. Solid is suitable for most of places.

Engineered bamboo flooring is mainly for heating installation and floating installation. The backing of engineered bamboo is thin wood, like fir, poplar, this kind of wood is much lower density than bamboo. And the backing is no glue at all, moisture can go through the back into the flooring core easily. Engineered bamboo flooring will get swollen after a certain time of high moisture condition. This will make the flooring cupping very fast and it must be replaced.

Basement is always high moisture and water is the emny of flooring, not only bamboo, but 99% of flooring. Solid bamboo is not also the best choice for basement, but at least, solid bamboo can be installed in basement because it is sealed with lacquer for the backing.

The key in the basement installation is to choose nail down installation because nail down installation will use sub floor underneath of bamboo flooring. Subfloor can prevent moisture very efficiently even there is a little moisture, it won't make bamboo flooring twisting or bending.

The best choice for basement is strand woven bamboo flooring because strand woven has really high density than solid and engineered. Solid bamboo is 750 kg / m3, engineered is 450 kg / m3 and strand woven is 1100 kg / m3. Another point is strand woven bamboo flooring can be glued down on the cement directly in the basement, no need of subfloor. Just laying down the foam underneath of strand woven, you can make the installation right away. The foam is a must for most of bamboo flooring installation. It is very helpful to separate bamboo out of moisture.