Hardwood Floor Favorites (Still): Oak, Maple
Once upon a time — like 5 years ago — it seemed like bamboo floors were The Next Big Thing.
Bamboo was touted as cheap, long-lasting, aesthetic, and — best of all — environmentally friendly (technically, it’s a grass, not a tree, and grows much faster).
Marketplace as Ultimate Lab
Unfortunately, at least in that ultimate laboratory — the marketplace — bamboo floors aren’t faring as well.
Anecdotally, I’d estimate that bamboo’s market share is less than 5%, and static at best.
More popular: old favorites such as oak and maple, and — in higher price brackets — cherry, teak, cedar, and even hickory.
What explains bamboo’s failure to take hold?
I’d guess a mix of the following: inertia (“if it ain’t broke . . .”); negligible cost savings relative to traditional hardwoods (labor to install accounts for a bigger piece); questions about long-term wear/endurance; and occasional waviness (contours, really) and a distinctive grain that can be confused with Pergo or laminates.