The interest in Bamboo and Cork flooring has never been higher and the sale of these products continues to rise rapidly. Many new suppliers and channels of distribution for these flooring products arise monthly. As beautiful and, many times, as eco-friendly as these products are, there are many reasons to become an educated consumer and protect yourself from unscrupulous business practices. Let’s take bamboo to start. Certainly anywhere on the internet you can find bamboo flooring that pricing starts as low as $2 – $3 per square foot but what are you really buying? As a raw material bamboo can be harvested in as little as two to three years, and almost all of the $2 – $3 bamboo flooring is harvested in less than three years. Trouble is that three year old bamboo is actually softer than pine which makes the durability very poor. When bamboo is harvested at six to nine years it becomes as hard as Brazilian Cherry and is very, very durable and also more expensive but well worth it.
What about the offers you see for very low priced wood flooring from leading National suppliers. You really want to make sure that the floor you are buying is not ranked as a second. You may save money initially but then find that you have to throw away half of the flooring because of warped boards, poor finishing, or poorly milled edges. Another major thing to be aware of is what is known in the industry as short boards. Sure you can get a great price on the flooring but who wants a wood floor that has boards that are two feet or less in length. Some mills sell off the leftovers from their production and they are repackaged and sold at “bargain” prices.
Purchasing a new floor is usually a major expense so it really pays to do your homework and investigate exactly what you are buying. It is a great idea to investigate the company from whom you are considering purchasing your flooring via online customer reviews. Make sure you consider their reputation, as well as how long they have been in business, should you need help a few years down the line.
Like anything else, with flooring you get what you pay for and because flooring can add value to your home and is permanent it pays to be wise.