Choosing the ideal flooring for your home or office can be a difficult task. There are so many options, each with their own list of pros and cons. Vinyl vs bamboo flooring? If you find yourself going back and forth between the two, we’ve created this guide to help you narrow it down.
Vinyl vs Bamboo – Durability
Vinyl flooring is both durable and water-resistant, so it works well in bathrooms and laundries. This material withstands pressure in high traffic areas. Having said this, scratches and tears are difficult to repair, when they do show up.
Cheap vinyl rips easily and tends to fade under prolonged exposure to strong sunlight. Luxury vinyl brands, on the other hand, work better to resist stains, water and foot traffic.
It’s worth noting that traditional vinyl is difficult to repair (unlike bamboo). If you damage it, you probably need to replace the entire platform, unless you purchase vinyl plank flooring.
Although it’s a softwood flooring material, bamboo is still durable, though susceptible to water damage. It works well to withstand pressure from animals, children and sharp objects, but tends to fade under sunlight.
If you’re looking for a strong option that resists scratches, your best bet is natural un-carbonised and strand woven bamboo. Lighter varieties tend to be stronger than darker bamboo types.
We recommend buffing and recoating bamboo in high-traffic areas every three to four years, to keep it looking fresh.
Vinyl vs Bamboo – Maintenance
Vinyl is extremely easy to clean, thanks to its water-resistance and high durability. You’ll probably need more than a damp cloth to clean it properly, but it handles heat and moisture from a steam mop.
Keep in mind the softness of vinyl flooring makes it difficult to repair if sharp objects damage it. The entire floor needs to be replaced when scratches and grooves show up. Vinyl planks prove the exception. You don’t need to remove the entire platform if one plank gets damaged, since these aren’t glued down.
Bamboo is also easy to maintain, making it the perfect option for those who shy away from cleaning. You can remove small particles using a broom or vacuum cleaner, and mopping delivers an effective polish.
But don’t get carried away. It’s important to steer clear of certain chemicals and oversaturation when cleaning your bamboo.
Bamboo is cheaper to repair than vinyl. You can create a fresh, damage-free look by refinishing and sanding down bamboo – a major part of its appeal.
Vinyl vs Bamboo – Style
You’re better off with vinyl instead of bamboo flooring, if it’s variety you seek. You can choose from a striking array of colours and patterns that allow you to create your favourite look. It’s also easy to imitate pricier materials such as stone, wood and tile. Technology has become so advanced in this area, it’s now difficult to tell the difference between materials!
If you change your mind, you can easily install tile, bamboo, carpet or hardwood over your vinyl to replace it.
There are fewer styles to choose with bamboo flooring, but it’s perfect for creating a natural look. Bamboo can also be refinished many times to freshen its look over the years.
The natural colour of bamboo is sandy blonde and you can choose the warmth of its finishing. Bamboo’s simplistic wood tones and earthy colours complement most rooms perfectly.
Bamboo looks and feels very similar to hardwood timber, although it’s a type of grass.
Vinyl vs Bamboo – Comfort
Luxury vinyl flooring is growing in popularity, when it comes to providing comfort. Although vinyl comes across as hard and thin, it can actually be quite supportive and soft, depending on what you place beneath it. Vinyl adopts the feeling and texture of the material it covers. You can install foam padding or a cork floorboard under the vinyl, to make it warmer and cushiony.
As a bonus, vinyl doesn’t feel cold to touch in winter. You can also purchase brands with a padded underlayer, if you want to boost comfort even more.
If you’re seeking warmth and a soft landing, you’re better off choosing vinyl instead of bamboo. Many people say bamboo is too cold and hard for areas such as bedrooms and playrooms.
Having said this, allergy sufferers love bamboo because it has hypoallergenic properties and doesn’t collect dust (look for options with non-toxic adhesive). Bamboo also delivers peace of mind for those looking to make ecological choices, since it’s a renewable and natural material.
Vinyl vs Bamboo – Climate
Luxury vinyl is well-suited for any climate (especially subtropical and mediterranean). If you live in a humid area, this is your best bet, since it’s water resistant. But it’s important to seal the vinyl perimeter effectively with a silicone caulking compound. Keep in mind that cheap vinyl flooring will fade when exposed to strong sunlight over time, so it’s worth spending more on quality.
The beauty of vinyl is that it serves as an excellent moisture barrier. This means you can lay tile, bamboo, carpeting or hardwood over it, should you later change your mind.
Bamboo is perfect for subtropical climates, since it’s laminated and native to tropical environments. Having said this, it’s best to avoid placing it in a room that gets a lot of direct sunlight. As with vinyl, bamboo flooring fades when exposed to strong sunshine.
Excess moisture, humidity and dryness can cause bamboo to warp, crack or split over time. If you live in an area that’s susceptible to flooding, it’s best to steer clear of bamboo, since it can become severely damaged in extreme conditions. Vinyl would be the best option in this case, because it’s water-resistant.