Bamboo is a wonderful natural floor covering that is environmentally friendly, relatively inexpensive, and fairly easy to maintain. Bamboo is similar to other hardwoods, and the type of bamboo that you get will range in relative hardness from durable Red Oak, all the way down to soft Black Walnut depending on the process that was used to manufacture it.
Regular Cleaning of Bamboo Floors
Dust, sand, and other small particles represent the greatest threat to the surface beauty of a bamboo floor. These tiny grains act like the grits of a piece of sandpaper, and as people walk across the floor they will inadvertently press them down into the surface of the bamboo and or drag them across the finish, scarring and scratching it.
In order to prevent scratching you should either sweep or vacuum a bamboo floor regularly. Do not allow the tiny abrasive materials to build up on its surface or they will mar the surface of the floor over time.
Rugs and mats can also be placed at any entrances to the room in order to cut down on the amount of small particle debris that comes into the space. These rugs should be dusted out regularly.
There are a number of cleaning products which are specifically designed for cleaning bamboo floors. You will also find that most hardwood floor cleansers are also appropriate for bamboo, provided that they are non-alkaline, and are not a wax.
Water on a Bamboo Floor
Bamboo is more resistant to damage from moisture than most hardwoods, however, it is still a danger that needs to be addressed. Never wet mop a bamboo floor or immerse it in water for any reason.
A damp mop can be used to remove surface stains and pick up small debris, but do not allow the bamboo to remain moist for more than a few minutes. If you are using a bamboo floor cleaning product that requires mixing with water you should carefully follow all manufacturer instructions.
If a liquid is spilled on the floor it needs to be wiped up immediately. Bamboo is porous and liquids can penetrate its surface, causing deep stains that will be impossible to remove. Excessive moisture will also cause warping in the wood.
Excessive humidity or lack thereof can cause damage to a bamboo floor. In moist environments, the material tends to plump up, while in dry environments it is prone to shrinking. The use of a humidifier or a dehumidifier can help to cut down on this problem.
Preventative Maintenance of Bamboo Flooring
A woman in high-heeled shoes can do a lot of damage to a bamboo floor. If you have to wear high heels, make sure that they are in good repair and that there is padding on the tip of the heel.
Having a policy of asking people to remove their shoes when they enter the room will help to prevent scuff marks and scratches on the floor, and will cut down on the amount of small particle debris tracked through the room. It will also add to the cultural atmosphere that is evoked by this flooring material.
Keeping your pet's nails trimmed is another way to help cut down on scratches in the floor's surface. This is especially true of larger dogs who can cause relatively deep gouges in the wood.
Heavy furniture should never be dragged across a bamboo floor. You should also put thick fabric or felt furniture pads under the legs of heavy pieces so that they do not sink into the floor and cause divots. If the furnishing has casters they should either be removed or replaced with felt backed casters.
Sunlight can discolor certain types of bamboo. This is especially true when a concentrated beam of sunshine comes in through a window and hits a specific place on the floor each day. You can cut down on discoloration through the use of shades or blinds.
In wet environments, place rugs or mats in front of high moisture areas such as in front of sinks or bath stalls. Make sure that these rugs do not have rubber backing, as that will suffocate the bamboo, making it unable to breathe, causing it to discolor.
The color of a bamboo floor can fade slightly over time. By periodically rotating your furniture you can ensure that this fading happens evenly across the entire surface of the bamboo floor.
Bamboo Floor Wax
A wax coating requires periodic buffing using large, expensive, and complex machinery. This is too much effort for most people. Because of this, a wax surface coating is only recommended for a bamboo floor in certain commercial applications. A urethane finish is more appropriate for most installations. Once a wax treatment has been applied to bamboo no other type of coating can be used.