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.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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