It's beginning to look a lot like I need new floors

After the little flood at my place, I thought I'd handle having concrete floors for a while just fine. Well, let me tell you that this stuff is C-O-L-D! I'm tired of it! It's time to make a decision about my flooring.

I've gotten a lot of advice, read a lot online, and even consulted Consumer Reports (which I'm not a huge fan of since they factor "value" into some of their ratings, which skews the results). The floors were laminate when I moved in. I hated the blond color, but it grew on me. I personally prefer very dark floors, but in a tiny condo, they would probably make the place seem like a cave. My options seem to be: engineered wood, bamboo, or laminate.

Laminate is out. If I sell my condo in the next few years, I might be competing with units that have never had an occupant and those units have laminate and/or carpet. I'll probably need something better to compete.

Engineered wood is an options, but I didn't like the feel of the samples I saw. What's more, when the market slowed, the owners of the complex started offering upgrades to buyers and one of them was the engineered wood floors. So, I might be competing with owners who had the engineered wood put in.

Bamboo was the last option. I liked the idea of's different and might appeal to buyers. In addition, Consumers recently tested wood floors and mixed the bamboos in with the hardwoods. EcoTimber's stranded bamboo came out ahead of all wood floors and their non-stranded bamboo came in 4th place. It sounds like they are using old-growth bamboo, which is more durable and whatever process they are using to make the floors is a good one.

So, I think I might go for bamboo, but I haven't gotten enough opinions from owners of bamboo floors to make a final decision. Anyone have bamboo floors? Know someone with them? What do you think?

Just for fun, here are the samples I'm considering. I'd love to get the darker stain, but the darker bamboo floors aren't as durable as the natural ones. The process used to stain them weakens them, for some reason. There are two kinds of solid bamboo floors. There is the flat or horizontal variety, which is the kind that shows the bamboo's knuckles like this:

And there's the vertical kind that line the bamboo up so the knuckles aren't visible. The effect gives the boards long longs. I thought this kind might make my place look longer. What do you think?


  1. I'll bet it's cold!!! I think I'm liking the "knuckled" wood - I'm always a fan of wide plank and think that type is really interesting looking. Can't wait to hear what you pick!

  2. I say go with the vertical bamboo floor. I've seen the horizontal shape w/ knuckles before and I've always thought it breaks up a space too much. I think the vertical bamboo is more elegant and sophisticated whereas the horizontal pattern says "I've got kids/dogs and I don't want you to see the scratches in my floor so I choose this pattern" haha....but maybe that's just me!

  3. I like bamboo flooring but have never lived with it; so no real experience here. From a design perspective though, I like the vertical kind.

  4. Personally........I too love DARK wood floors. If you have ever seen the show Income Property (where they renovate basement apts) they always use dark floors, white woodwork and doors and a light tan on the walls and it looks fantastic.

    Good luck with whatever you end up doing!!

  5. I love bamboo! they are a soft wood, so think little circles from your heals!
    but all wood is going to scratch..

  6. One of my good friends used Bamboo in a condo she bought and she (and I) both love the end result!

  7. Vertical! Too bad you can't have them dark, though. I love dark wood floors with white trim.

  8. I have the blond horizontal and I love it. It comes out of the box a little yellow...but fades within a few weeks to a pale blond. The verticle was too busy for me in person. The horizontal knots are very faint and it resembles more closely a wood plank, to me.

    It does dent when you drop things on it...and we take out shoes off in the house but I bet spiked heals or boots with rocks stuck in the soul would damage it too.

    After a few scratches and dents you get over it and call it "lived in".

    To be fair we dented our maple floors and oak floors (in previous homes) pretty quickly as well. So it could be a user issue :)

  9. Don't forget, you have that nice upgraded bathroom, plus your general good design will make your place show much better than any 'competition' when you decide to sell!
    My office has the dark bamboo floor and it was a big mistake - it looks bullet-riddled from all the high heel pock marks!


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