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In Maryland Bamboo is a Smart Flooring Alternative – and Growing!!

There are few improvements that can change the entire look of a Maryland home like flooring. With so many options, selecting the most practical in terms of beauty, cost, and durability has become priority. Bamboo exhibits these traits and more, putting it at the top of the list of flooring alternatives.

Value
Like any home product, different grades of bamboo exist, from the processed engineered floor to the solid bamboo floor. With price-points from $3 to $9 a square foot, the cost is less than solid hardwood, making it a smart option for today’s consumer. In fact, with today’s economy, many homeowners are hanging on to their property investments, making small but noticeable improvements that will have long term value when the housing market turns around. In Maryland, where Long & Foster reports a decrease in available housing inventory, homes that go up for sale move relatively quickly, with a three to four month turnaround. Simple updates, like the modern, clean lines of bamboo, can offer widespread appeal, ensuring a house moves quickly once it hits the market.

Durability
Bamboo is one of the most durable types of flooring on the market today. Denser than oak, a solid bamboo floor creates a stronger floor for a more reasonable price. Even engineered bamboo with a minimum quarter inch top layer can stand significant wear. The moisture and insect resistance of bamboo makes it a great choice for any room in the home, particularly in bathroom and kitchen areas where moisture is ever present. This makes it a logical choice for the Chesapeake Bay area, where hot humid summers are commonplace. Choosing a brand of flooring with a strong warranty makes it an even smarter buy.

Installation
Along with making home improvements that have long term returns, many homeowners are opting to save even more cash by becoming “Do-it-Yourselfers”. Because bamboo is easy to install, even those with basic carpentry skills will find installation simple and rewarding. Interlocking bamboo planks make for the easiest installation, and can be installed over any subfloor with an accompanying underlayment. Nail down installation is recommended for wood subfloors, while glue down installation can be used on concrete or plywood subfloors.

Green
Bamboo flooring is an eco-friendly choice for any home renovation. Because bamboo matures faster than hardwood, it is a better option when seeking renewable resourced products. While traditional hardwoods take up to 40 to 100 years to mature, bamboo matures in 3 to 5 years. When harvested, bamboo’s root system is left intact, minimizing soil disturbance and eliminating the need to replant. Consumers are looking for evidence of healthy and eco-friendly materials in their purchases. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources initiated the Green Builders Network (GBN) to encourage the design and construction of buildings that utilize sustainable materials. In partnership with the Green Building institute, the GBN offers professionals and the general public the chance to meet, share, and spotlight successful green built projects.

Durable and strong, with several options to meet any skill-level, pocketbook, or décor, bamboo is a shining star in the world of home renovations. Not only does its application throughout a home unite many interior features, it also reflects on the property owner’s preference for long term, practical and eco-friendly choices that improve aesthetic and investment appeal.

More Maryland Flooring Information

The Average Cost of Wood Flooring and Installation for Your Home

Thanks to its sleek, classic look, hardwood flooring is extremely popular. Installing wood flooring not only makes a difference in a home’s look, but in its resale value as well. For homeowners interested in installing wood flooring, the first question usually has to do with money.

There are many things that can affect the cost of your wood flooring, including the materials, the size of the space, and the contractor you choose. Standard solid-strip hardwood flooring averages about $8 a square foot for materials and installation, or $1,150 for a 12×12 foot space. The wide pine planks that have become popular lately can cost up to $12 per square foot (materials and installation). This means that for a 12×12 foot room, you are looking at an average cost of $1,750.

Pre-finished wood is more expensive than unfinished, though it still depends on what type of wood you are buying. Usually, factory finished wood costs around $10-$14 per square foot for installation. This means that for the same 12×12 foot room, the average cost is close to $2,000.

Different types of wood come at different prices. Bamboo is usually cheaper, around $4-$6 per square foot for materials. Other, more exotic woods can cost up to $13 per square foot for the materials, and more when you factor in the installation. Laminate flooring is usually around $8-$12 a square foot for materials and installation, which means that your final cost is somewhere close to $1,500 for a 12×12 foot space.

Your final cost will also change if you choose to have a custom pattern or border installed. This adds an element of originality and uniqueness to your floor, though the cost may go up by $2 a square foot, or more. For a 12×12 foot room, an extra $2 a square foot means $288 added to your bill. The bigger the room, the more your floor costs.

As with anything, your final bill will depend largely on which contractor you choose. Competing flooring contractors may have dramatically different prices, so it is a good idea to obtain several initial estimates. Pay attention to which items the estimates include and exclude. You want to know exactly what you are getting with each contractor. It also can be very helpful to get references and see floors previously completed by the contractors in question. Entering a project fully informed is the best way to guarantee a successful and satisfying experience.

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