Just purchased an older three unit, two of the three units need some flooring on the 2nd and 3rd floors. I have been installing LVP after a few years of laminate due to vinyl’s “waterproof” quality. (Investing in the northeast, melted snow is an issue). I have about 1300 sq ft to cover all together.
I was about to do a full LVP install again but came across a great deal on 14mm solid strand bamboo plank floating floor treated with 9 layers of aluminum oxide for $1.69 a sq ft.
I am considering using this in the living areas, bed rooms and dining room, with LVP in the bathrooms and kitchens for protection against water.
I’m looking to spend $2-2.50 a sq ft for material and primary focus is not on increasing value to sell, as this is a buy and hold property. I like the idea since it is nicer than LVP at a lower price. I read up on the pros and cons of bamboo, but was wondering if anyone can provide some insight into their experience with it or even other suggestions.
Is this a lock together floor like laminate or does it need to be glued or nailed down? If it a lock type flooring it sounds like a good route to go. If it requires gluing or nailing, consider installation costs/labor.
Despite what you’ve probably heard from advertisements and all the other hype around bamboo flooring it’s very very soft. The stuff scratches and dents extremely easily. I would never put that in a rental or my own house, just my two cents.
Bamboo floors look great, but you can't refinish them so it's not the best long-term move. And I agree with @Jason White that bamboo is much softer than the purported Janka hardiness score. Stick with the LVP and make sure to bulk up on extra material so you can replace any damaged areas, years down the road. LVP has been holding up very well in the rentals I've put it in. If you really want, go with unfinished oak and then get it finished...except for basements. Oaks is the true "bomber" of flooring. Was just showing 100 year old homes to a client a couple days ago and sure enough, original oak flooring still there. Now that's ROI!
@Lee Kozokas it might be the worse flooring for a rental ever. It scratches and dents very easily, and you cannot refinish it to fix it, so 1 bad tenant and it is junk.
For your rental I think sticking with the LVP is the route to go. I did research on flooring types for months before settling on LVP. Bamboo was a close second. I'm really happy with my choice. I have dogs, moisture issues, and nieces who stay over frequently and spill/drop things like it's no one's business. No issues yet. I got mine from Lumber Liquidators. Hay Bale Oak 5.3mm.
To answer your question Lee,
I would steer away from Bamboo. It tends to be very temperamental and over time has more tendencies to warp, especially with exposure to water.
$2/sqft - $2.50/sqft budget should be able to easily net you a click lock waterproof vinyl.
Feel free to PM me if you like and I can help shed some light on a few options or make a few alternative recommendations for you.
We had some leftover and put it in a bedroom at one of my rentals. That was a few years ago and it still looks good.
Huge quality difference between cheap bamboo and expensive bamboo!
But for a rental property second place to LVP for sure. I sguuest you stay clear of big box stores and go to a flooring outfit and take a look at their LVP - typically much better quality for similar price.
Also, saving 1$ per sf at the cost of quality is not a smart move. Labor is the same. Spend an extra buck, if you do it cheap you will do it twice.