Both hickory and bamboo are durable floors, but only hickory is actually wood. Bamboo is a grass that’s made into strands and then processed and pasted together to create floorboards. Hickory, on the other hand, is among the toughest domestic hardwoods; it is so durable that it’s a preferred material for axe handles and baseball bats. Both materials are cheap and blend with most decor.
Sixteen species of hickory grow in the USA, but the many commercially important — and also the one most frequently used for flooring — is shagbark hickory (Carya ovata). It’s a mild- to medium-brown shade, a straight grain pattern with occasional waves and a Janka hardness of 1,800 pound-feet, which makes it harder than rock maple. Hickory isn’t rot-resistant, nevertheless, and is vulnerable to decay in moist environments. Shellbark hickory (Carya laciniosa) has the exact same general characteristics, but it has a more dramatic color variation, with contrasting dark brown heartwood and tan sapwood streaks.
Manufactured bamboo floorboards have a Janka hardness of between 1,180 and 1,380 pound-feet, which is based on whether the strands are darkened by carbonization; carbonized bamboo is softer. Organic bamboo includes a uniform light tan color, and following carbonization, it takes on a hue nearer to coffee or chocolate. Manufacturers utilize among three unique procedures to procedure bamboo floorboards, and each produces a distinctive grain pattern. Soaking little bottles in a phenolic glue and squeezing them together produces strand-woven boards, which will be the toughest, most dimensionally stable kind. They have a delicate, linear grain layout that appears much like hickory.
Not Hard on the Budget
Hickory is 25 percent harder than bamboo, and both are far harder than pine, that’s the number one hardwood floors substance in the USA. Neither hickory nor bamboo are tough on the budget, nevertheless. The typical cost for hickory flooring ranges from $2 per square foot in the low end, to about $6 per square foot for superior stuff, at the time of publication. The 2014 cost range for bamboo flooring is from about $2 to about $4 per square foot, which can be comparable to oak. You won’t observe any substantial cost differences on the installation of the two materials, because the installation procedures are essentially the same.
Hardwood flooring traders often advertise bamboo as one of the most durable of flooring materials, however hickory has much better resistance to dents and scrapes. Because hickory lacks resistance to rot and is vulnerable to moisture absorption, it’s not as suitable for installation in an environment with high humidity, in spite of a permanent finish. Although it may take 15 to 20 years, the finish is bound to wear. Bamboo boards, for their part, don’t have the propensity to swell sloping in moist conditions, but they are able to swell longitudinally. You must provide an expansion gap at the ends of the floor to avoid buckling at the end joints.