Just How Thick Does Your Floor Have to Be?

Bamboo FloorWhen installing new bamboo floors in your home, one of the things you need to take into consideration is the thickness of the planks. Whether you choose to install solid bamboo planks or engineered planks, both typically come in pieces measuring 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick.

This article will discuss some of the pros and cons of thin versus thick planks.

THICK PROS

Thick bamboo planks feel like solid wood floors when you walk on them, and the extra thickness tends to be great at dampening sounds in other areas of your house. You also won’t get that rather annoying echo or clicking noise that you can sometimes hear with thinner planks.

Thicker planks also offer greater resistance to impacts when objects are dropped and thicker planks can also be refinished, much like classic hardwood floors. Because of the thickness they can stand to be sanded down and refinished which means your floors will last for many more years than floors made from thinner planks.

And finally, thicker planks are generally easier to install and can handle subfloor imperfections. Thicker planks are a great candidate for a floating floor installation, making it a perfect DIY project. Usually all that will be required is a good underlayment to help with any subfloor variations.

THICK CONS

The only real con of installing a thick floor is the price. Obviously the thicker the plank, the more material used and the higher the price. But when you consider thicker floors will last longer and can be installed by the homeowner (saving them a lot of money) the cost is not the con it seems at first.

THIN PROS

Thinner planks cost less and are a good option for homeowners on a tight budget.

Thinner planks are easier to cut and you can use a variety of tools to do it such as a rotary cutting tool or a handheld cutting tool. Because cutting is easier – thinner planks offer the installer more decorative options as far as designing the layout.

Thinner planks are a good option in a radiant heat application. They can be laid over heating pipes so the heat radiates up through the floor. Thinner planks can conduct heat more directly than thicker ones. It goes without saying, when installing over water pipes, using the right underlayment in order to keep the wood dry is very important.

THIN CONS

Thinner planks are more sensitive to moisture and wear and tear. They are more easily scuffed and dented, and because of their thinness cannot be sanded down and refinished like thicker planks.

Also, installation can be trickier over a subfloor that’s not perfect, especially when nailing down the planks which may cause planks to split. Thinner planks also offer less depth for setting the nails and then filling the holes.

Thinner planks do not offer the same sound barrier that thinner planks do, and have more of a tendency to swell, which, over time can cause squeaky floors. They also do not have the same foot feel as thicker planks.

As you can see, both thin and thick bamboo flooring planks have their pros and cons and either one may work well in your home. The most important things to consider when selecting planks thickness are your subfloor and your budget.

Got any bamboo flooring questions? We’d be happy to help you select the right floor for your home.

 

 

 

 

 



Categories: Flooring

2 replies

  1. My brother would like to install a locking floating bamboo floor. Can you advise if bamboo would be the best choice for durability and a minimum of scratches.

    Also more importantly, he has a cement floor with radiant heat running through it with a temperature of about 120 degrees .Will this tyoe of floor be appropriate? I am hoping it will be.

    Lastly, what would be a good thickness that would allow you to refinsh the floor, if needed.

    • Hi Mary,

      As far as durability goes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a wood floor that’s more durable than strand woven bamboo, so it works great against dents and scratches. All of our floors except our Classic line are warranted over radiant heat. If our engineered flooring is floated over a radiant heat system, an approved 3 in 1 underlayment must be used. If our tongue and groove floors are installed, they must be glued down using an adhesive that contains a moisture barrier. There are temperature restrictions, you’ll want to check our installation instructions for the section about installing over radiant heat: https://ambientbp.com/pdf/bamboo-flooring-installation-instructions.pdf

      If you want to refinish the floor down the line, you’ll want to buy a floor with at least a 1/8″ wear layer or a solid all-the-way-through floor. Hope that helps!

      Cheers,

      Jared

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