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Bamboo flooring growing in popularity

June 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
What is surprising when we teamed up with Consumer Reports for this flooring test is, for the first time bamboo outperformed the top selling oak. And remember, bamboo is a greener choice.Adam Levine sells flooring and says more and more of his customers are picking bamboo instead of traditional wood.

"Bamboo floors definitely have more of a selection now than they ever have. They come in all sorts of colors, all different sizes, all different grain patterns," said Levine.

Consumer Reports tested 21 different types of hardwood flooring, including seven bamboo floors. Prices ranged from $4 a square foot to $9. The floors were put through a battery of tests, including an abrasion test that simulates years of foot traffic.

Tests designed to see how easily a floor scratches and how well a floor can withstand denting, were all performed. But that's not all.

"To test stain resistance, we place a wide variety of substances on each of the floors," said John Galeotafiore, Consumer Reports.

Everything from ketchup to crayons. It turns out an oak flooring got the lowest rating. It's the Anderson Pacific Cumberland Oak floor. Interestingly, two bamboo floors out-performed all the hard woods.

"Our tests found that bamboo flooring has gotten much tougher. There's a new manufacturing technique that shreds the bamboo into strands and are glued together with an adhesive that creates less emissions over traditional bamboo flooring," said Galeotafiore.

The top-rated floor is the Eco Timber Strand Woven Honey Bamboo. And at $5.50, it's a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

If you're looking for oak flooring, Consumer Reports named a Best Buy there, too. It's the Bruce Dundee plank. It costs about the same as the Eco Timber, $5.70 a square foot.

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