Bamboo Flooring for the Kitchen

Trendy and earth-friendly, bamboo is durable and harder than many types of wood.

SP0792_island-over-floor_s4x3 Rich, dark horizontal-grain bamboo floors lend drama and elegance in a kitchen.

A hot trend for cutting-edge kitchens, bamboo floors blend style and durability. Though it's technically a grass, bamboo is actually harder than many types of wood. Bamboo comes in tiles or planks in a variety of sizes, colors, patterns, and textures.

The eco-chic surface stands up well to water and traffic, and it's quite comfortable to stand on. So you can cook comfortably. Like hardwood, it's available in solid or engineered styles.

What You Need to Know

Dramatic Finishes View Photos View 4 Images of Bamboo Kitchen Floors

The Lowdown: Bamboo is a rapidly growing, hardy grass that is harvested to produce flooring.

Tough Enough? Bamboo floors are long lasting and durable, but they can scratch and dent. Keep pets' nails clipped, and be careful when holding heavy items.

How to Clean. Wipe up spills immediately. Sweep, dust, or vacuum regularly, and occasionally wipe the surface with a damp mop or cloth.

Underlayment. The subfloor must be perfectly smooth, as bamboo will show imperfections. Because bamboo is susceptible to moisture, a waterproof underlayment is vital if it is being installed over a concrete slab.

Considerations When Choosing Bamboo Floors

Styles. Bamboo comes in a range of construction styles.

  • Horizontal construction features strips laid flat to showcases the grass stalk's "knuckles" for a richly grained appearance.
  • Vertical construction features strips turned sideways for a clean, contemporary look.
  • Woven or stranded construction. bamboo, the hardest type available, is made from shredded strands of bamboo compressed with resin. This surface is exotic and beautiful.

Colors. Bamboo comes in many colors, but these are the primary options.

  • Natural bamboo is blond.
  • Stained bamboo comes in a variety of colors; stains can be translucent or opaque.
  • Carbonized or caramelized bamboo is pressure-heated to brown the sugar compounds. This produces a warm color without using stains or dyes.


Bamboo is a great choice for environmentally conscious homeowners. It’s made from a renewable resource. Unlike wood, bamboo is rapidly renewable and matures in around six years (rather than 60).

Harvesting bamboo does not kill it: When shoots are cut, the roots are left intact so new shoots can grow. And some bamboo floors contain water-based, solvent-free, low-VOC finishes, which contribute to better air quality in the home.

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