Bamboo flooring gives this home a modern look.

© iStockphoto/victor zastol`skiy

Bamboo Flooring Care

As with any hardwood floor, there are important factors necessary to keep bamboo looking as beautiful as the day of installation. Most important, make sure to keep water from collecting on floors, which can cause warping. Clean up spills quickly and thoroughly. Areas such as the floor under an icemaker or sink should have a small rug to absorb water.

Bamboo floors should be swept or dry-dusted daily, and never wax the floors. When it's time to really clean your floor use only a damp mop -- never pour a product or water directly onto the bamboo. The layers of finish will be enough to protect your floors from wear and tear for years, and many bamboo floors can be sanded and refinished during their lifetime, if necessary. Be sure to place soft felt or plastic protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scratching. It's also a good idea to place rugs in high-traffic areas, such as in doorways.

If you live in an area of high humidity, you may want to rethink using bamboo floors. If you decide to go with bamboo, be sure to diligently maintain a cooler temperature in your home during warmer months. Distributors will also tell you to acclimate your flooring where it will be installed, so it can get used to the humidity of the room. All manufacturers recommend keeping bamboo flooring out of direct sunlight, which can cause the floors to discolor or soften.

Keep in mind that bamboo floors are not indestructible. Many manufacturers will recommend never wearing high heels on bamboo. A woman walking in high-heeled shoes exerts as much as 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, which can damage wood flooring.

Now that we've discussed the best ways to maintain bamboo flooring, on the next page we'll learn why bamboo may not be as eco-friendly as we think.