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Why Bamboo Is Taboo for Arizona Homes

A lot has been made of bamboo flooring as an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice for home remodels, and lots of people wonder if it’s the right choice for their home. I’ve heard lots of horror stories about installing bamboo in the Arizona desert, and so I’ve avoided it. While you may like the modern look of bamboo, Arizona homeowners should steer clear of this product. Healthy Home Flooring provides you the best home remodels materials

Simply put, bamboo is not made for life in the desert. Here’s why:

Bamboo is a Grass, Not a Tree

To understand the drawbacks of bamboo, it’s helpful to know a bit more about this material. From a botanical standpoint, bamboo is a grass. This means that its cellular makeup is flexible and fast growing, just like the grass in your back yard — though it can grow much bigger. Wood from trees, on the other hand, is made from cellulose that holds its shape naturally and resists compression.

In order to turn grass into flooring, manufacturers slice or shred the flexible stalks and then press the fibers back together with resin-based glues. While the types of bamboo used for timber and flooring can be just as strong as wood, bamboo’s tensile strength depends greatly on how it is manufactured. Wood, on the other hand, just needs to be cut to shape.

Bamboo Acts Like a Sponge

Because bamboo is a flexible grass rather than a cellulose-heavy tree, its fibers are more susceptible to the humidity in the air. This means that bamboo flooring will expand in humid areas — but it also means that it will contract in dry areas.

Contraction of floorboards is a big problem in arid areas like Arizona. Because it’s so dry here, bamboo floors are likely to shrink. This means they could separate from each other and leave gaps between the boards. Manufactured bamboo boards with a composite base and a bamboo veneer are also in danger of having the top bamboo layer separate as it shrinks. And then there is the Monsoon.

Bamboo floors arizona

The best way to avoid problems for any natural wood or in this case grass flooring product is to be sure that it has reached equilibrium moisture content, or EMC, with the space in which it will be installed. This is especially critical with bamboo. Unlike other wood flooring options, it can expand along its length, as well as its width, and strand-woven bamboo can take dramatically longer than another flooring to acclimate.

The room must be at service conditions, and sufficient time must be allowed to let the floorboards reach EMC before installation begins. This could be a few weeks.

Do complete checks with an accurate wood moisture meter, and don’t begin installation until the product has reached a stable MC level. Talk with a professional about this as we have super dry months and then super humid periods of the year.

If you’ve been having trouble finding bamboo flooring in Phoenix or Tucson, this is why. Lots of flooring retailers and installers won’t touch it, because it just doesn’t hold up well in the ultra-dry conditions of the desert Southwest and the liability involved with the proper care and maintenance after the installation is too great.

Some Bamboo is Susceptible to Scratches

Stay away from low-cost bamboo flooring with a poor finish. If you are dead set on having a Bamboo floor, make sure it is with several layers of an aluminum oxide finish, as that makes it extremely scratch-resistant. Otherwise, this makes it less than optimal in high-traffic areas or in workhorse rooms like the kitchen, where pet claws, moving chairs and even high heels can cause gouges and dings.

One of the joys of living in Arizona is being able to take advantage of indoor-outdoor living year round. That means that you and your guests will be frequently tracking in sand and grit from the outside as you walk across those bamboo floors.

This will cause micro-abrasions that will alter the look of the flooring over time. Bamboo can be refinished, but it’s better to choose a floor that can handle your lifestyle in the first place.

Also, those who are committed to having bamboo get a humidifier, and then your pretty much married to it. There’s two kinds of humidifiers in the market; stand alone and attached to your HVAC unit. Going on a vacation? You will need to keep the humidifier and HVAC running to maintain a constant temperature range so your gorgeous bamboo flooring doesn’t expand or contract too much.

Low cost bamboo flooring

Alternatives to Bamboo Flooring for Arizona Homes

Most people who are interested in bamboo flooring like its wood-like look. Fortunately, there are several ways to emulate the look of hardwood while choosing a material that is well suited to the intensely dry air in Arizona. Consider these options:

  • Wood Tiles: Wood grain tiles are a popular trend in flooring right now, and they’re ideally suited for bring a wood look to your home. These ceramic or porcelain tiles are made to look like wood, but they don’t expand or contract with changes in humidity.
  • Laminate Flooring: Because laminate floors are an engineered product, they are less susceptible to the shrinkage that occurs with bamboo in dry climates. Laminate has come a long way, and there are plenty of high-quality options that look just like wood — or even bamboo! — at a fraction of the price.
  • Vinyl Planks: Vinyl floors are a completely synthetic flooring option. Unlike laminate boards that have a wood-product core, vinyl planks are plastic all the way through, so they’re very stable. Today’s wood-like designs are very convincing, and they’re a great choice for bathrooms and kitchens, where they can get wet without consequence.


Of course, you can also consider bamboo alternatives that aren’t trying to look like wood at all. If you’re interested in adding completely different colors or patterns, don’t forget about these desert-worthy flooring choices:

  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile: A staple in kitchens and baths, tile floors stand up to stains and aren’t easily marred by foot traffic. They’re perfectly stable in wet or dry areas and can be combined to form intricate patterns for a modern look in any room of the house.
  • Natural Stone: Stone tiles are a great way to add texture to your home and increase its value. This natural material is available in a range of colors and adds a high-end look throughout the home.
  • Carpet: Nothing beats plush carpets in bedrooms to provide plenty of comfort. You’ll find any color you can imagine, plus loads of different textures from Berber to shag to get just the right look.
Bamboo flooring for arizona homes

Shop for Flooring at Home

When you’re shopping for flooring for your Arizona home, it’s always best to view your options in the room where it will be installed instead of in the showroom. This allows you to see the colors and feel the textures in the right lighting and to experience how each material interacts with your existing decor.

Fortunately, bringing your flooring options home is easy when you choose Healthy Home Flooring — we bring the showroom to you! To get an up-close look at all your flooring options, schedule an in-home appointment with Healthy Home Flooring today. You may even qualify for a Vacation Voucher!

Healthy Home Flooring is the best flooring company in Arizona for providing your all needs in good quality and materials.

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    Repeat Customer

    Haley Barrington

    We used HHF on our last home and the process was so easy. We used them again and they were just as wonderful. Thank you to Brandon who gave us an excellent deal, Porter who answered my many many phone calls and questions/concerns and Cheryl for making sure I got an earlier install! Everyone here has been nothing but friendly and professional! I will gladly continue to use them for future projects. The flooring looks amazing and we are so happy we used HHF again!

    Amazing Installation Team!

    Sally Underwood

    I liked these guys from the get-go. Didn’t even bother getting additional quotes. I had SO much tile to remove and the installation team had it removed in less than an hour. They installed new flooring throughout my entire house and the whole process took only 3.5 days. I have friends that had another company come out to remove one room of wood flooring and that took 3 days! If you are looking for a reference for Healthy Home flooring, reach out to me!

    Flooring Project

    William Turner

    I give a 5 star rating because the job come out great and I am now enjoying the new floors.

    Great installation

    John P Farkas

    A couple years ago Healthy Home Flooring installed new floors in my home. It did not turn out as I wanted and there were a few issues. I was not pleased. About a month ago Healthy Home Flooring reached out to me and sent a representative to my home to get eyes on . They felt the best coarse of action would be to replaced the entire flooring. They worked around my schedule and came back out and installed a brand new floor. The crew was professional completed the job in two days. The floor came out exactly how I wanted it and looks amazing. Thank you Healthy Home Flooring for working with me the customer to make sure I was happy with my purchase. I recommend Healthy Home Flooring as a 5 star flooring company. Thank you

    Gorgeous carpet

    Gay Kohl

    Dense and comfy carpet. Love the color and wonderful warranty. Quick service.

    Vinyl flooring

    Cindy Bartolotto

    I was very pleased and so happy when I got my new floors and I had been waiting quite a long time before I finally pulled the trigger and went with healthy home and they didn’t let me down. The installers did it quickly and I didn’t think they were going to be able to do it quickly as they did but they got it done in two days time the whole house and they moved all the furniture and heavy things they were very confident and did a great job. Healthy home flooring gave me a great price great service and I would recommend them to anybody who wants new flooring they actually beat a competitor’s price.

    Post Installation Repair

    Thomas C Miller

    Post installation service call. Team arrived and was very professional, even helping move furniture out of room where flooring needed repair. They worked quickly and were in and out in less than 2 hours and even returned the furniture. Great service and professional flooring techs

    Floor looks great

    John Moran

    Your floor job is a big hit / attraction , everyone wants to check it out. Workers were great, Lenny checked in to see how things were going. I would recommend Healthy Homes.

    Exceeded My Expectations

    Barbara Eder

    From start to finish I was 100% satisfied with all aspects of interacting with Healthy Home Flooring. The salesperson was very helpful with suggestions on different types of flooring that would suit my needs. Customer service follow-up was timely. The installers were here on the date and time agreed upon. They were efficient and considerate, best of all, they cleaned up all remnants before leaving. I would highly recommend doing business with Healthy Home Flooring.

    Job well done!

    Lorri Hensley

    The 2 workers that came to install our new plank flooring were great!
    It only took 4 days to remove a house full of tile, and lay down the new planks. The guys cleaned up everyday to make it dog safe before they left for the day. The last day when they were done, they put back all the furniture and hooked up everything. We couldn’t be happier with the job they day.

    New floors

    Sam Roberts

    Floors came out great we are extremely happy with the work thus far. JD our product specialist was top notch as well Eddy in customer service. We had one hiccup and the team came together quick to get it resolved. I would highly recommend this company to anyone looking for new flooring.

    Very professional team

    Keith Dreher

    Healthy Home Flooring (HHF) recently upgraded my entire home with porcelain tile, wood laminate and included removing all my old 2” tall baseboards and replacing them with 4 ½” tall trim. On my initial home visit their sales rep Tim, did a great job helping me to select complimentary tile and laminate styles and colors. The tile crew of Francisco and Diego were an excellent team. They offered great suggestions on tile layout and even went so far as to use an old 10’ x 10’ section of my carpet to cover my driveway, where they setup their tools, cut tiles and mixed thin set and grout. Francisco said they did that to prevent any staining of the concrete. Way to go guys! The laminate crew came in next and knocked out the last three rooms in just one day including all the trim replacement. Both teams were on time and kept me informed at every stage of the project. When the work was completed there were some issues that came up and HHF worked with me to quickly address them leaving me with a beautiful home. I would definitely choose them again.

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