Bamboo Flooring Problems – Tips for Getting Around Them

This is a sponsored post in association with Bambozzle contributed by Mark Hutchsion. There were no requirements that I express a particular point of view also known as all opinions I expressed are my own.

Note from EIC Yoli: I love bamboo everything. It is an extremely eco-friendly option since it grows so quickly (as it is a grass) and is readily available. I will definitely opt for bamboo flooring when eventually becoming a home owner and this guide will be a helpful resource.

Bamboo flooring is an elegant and eco-friendly solution for any indoor environment, but it is also inherent with problems. For this reason, homeowners should tread with care.

What problems exist with bamboo flooring? There are quite a few, and they are easy to overlook despite their obvious nature. The four most common issues are below.


Warping and Distortions

Warping denotes deformation when the construction material remains open to wetness over long durations, especially when involving inadequate cleaning chemicals.

Distortions are close in appearance, but are possibly due to other causes as well, such as poor construction by the manufacturer. This feature can equate to melting and swelling, among other things. Placement and installation of bamboo flooring plays a significant role in the damage that occurs.

The number-one preventative solution when it comes to warping and distortive effects is to select a place free of moisture and extreme temperatures. Never apply bamboo flooring in areas where spills, seepage and flooding occur frequently, like the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, basement or wherever heating devices are situated. If moisture accumulates on bamboo flooring, homeowners should dry it immediately with a clean rage or slightly damp mop. Rugs without rubber backs, if laid strategically under windows or near a door, can stop this from happening. The ultimate solution would be to coat the bamboo with a recommended non-formaldehyde finish or sealant. If the compound is quality, and its application periodically maintained, the flooring should deflect threats brought on by any troublesome environmental factors.

Cracks and Scratches

Cracking and scraping result from high traffic involving sharp-soled or high-heeled shoes and/or pet claws. Careless spilling and/or dragging of metallic items like nails, tools or silverware can also contribute to the problem. Damage like this is very difficult to repair depending on the degree of severity, and it often leads to an expensive replacement of the flooring.

This type of problem warrants extra care here when homeowners and others interact with bamboo flooring on a regular basis. Rugs near the door, for example, can allow guests to remove their shoes before venturing in, or hosts should advise said guests ahead of time to wear soft-soled footwear like sandals or sneakers. Of course, the non-formaldehyde finish or sealant suggested above would render any precaution unnecessary or minimal. When furniture requires relocation, homeowners should set legs on plastic or rugs for sliding, or they can lift-and-carry to eliminate the risk altogether.


Discoloration involves any process where the original tone and hue of the bamboo changes as an outcome of some condition. This kind of damage consists of staining and fading caused by excessive exposure to wetness and sunlight respectively. Although discoloration is less serious than other forms of damage, it is a common occurrence and quite an aggravation for many homeowners. For that reason, it bears mentioning here.

As ridiculous as it may sound, placement of furniture can hinder the fading process caused by the sun. Occasional shifting and relocation of said furniture can even out the fading by preventing already affected areas and expose previously unaffected spots. This practice reduces the awkwardness in appearance when fading occurs and is less likely to attract attention. To prevent discoloration altogether, homeowners need to address all wetness threats right away and periodically clean bamboo with an appropriate chemical solution on a slightly damp mop. Under no circumstances should homeowners apply ANY chemical directly to bamboo. As for fading, bamboo flooring should remain safe indoors and out of the reach of excessive sunlight.

Toxin Emissions and Fumes

This kind of damage is by far the most serious because it threatens human health and life. For that reason, it should take priority. Many companies continue using a formaldehyde adhesive in the production process, but the chemical has a reputation for giving off fumes that, if inhaled over time, can cause respiratory and other health issues. Even low-quality treatment chemicals can release toxins in the air on a continual basis.

First, homeowners should always use recommended cleaning and finishing agents on bamboo flooring and situate said flooring in a well-ventilated area. In the end, though, homeowners need to be selective with the company from which they purchase bamboo and make certain of the material’s chemical consistency. Some manufactures do use non-formaldehyde adhesive. That should be the main consideration. The flooring and its application must conform to OSHA/EPA standards, so homeowners need to research that as well.

The one crucial point to which all of these issues allude is that homeowners need to think ahead before deciding on bamboo flooring. They need not avoid it altogether, just be careful. Taking your time and educating yourself, saving you time and money.

Hopefully our guide has helped you understand how to get around potential problems with bamboo flooring. Please check out Why Bamboo? for more benefits of this wonderful flooring.

Mark Hutchsion


Images: via Bamboozle


YGL staff