09-23-2012 01:16 PM
I am wondering how bamboo and cork flooring compare to laminate in hardness ? Is there more give in the surface of the product or is it about the same ? I took a pretty nasty spill on a laminate floor and I'm looking for a softer landing pad without going to vinyl.
09-24-2012 01:25 PM
Good afternoon koolenuf,
Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!
Sorry to hear about your accident on your laminate. I feel your pain, when I was younger I tripped and landed on a hard VCT/concrete floor...it wasn't a good day after that.
For starters, comparing a real wood surface like cork and bamboo to a man-made surface such as laminate is like comparing apples to oranges. They are two different materials, but you can compare real wood to other hardwood species.
How? Using the Home Depot and Janka (the international way to measure hardwood hardness) scale, you can compare various species against others. Fellow flooring expert Ask_Mr_Jay has a done an excellent post regarding this subject entitled How Hard is Hardwood Hardiness?
After reading his article, you can now easily compare what kind of bamboo (since there are many kinds out there) to any cork (again, many kinds out there). Typically though, as a rule of thumb, most corks out on the market today are usually softer than any other natural wood floor out there. Some thinner laminates can be not as hard, but this is due to the makeup and thickness of the product, since it is all man-made.
Since you've taken a tumble on the floor, I'm with you in wanting to get the new flooring to have a better landing pad.
To do this, choosing any of the 3 (laminate, bamboo, or cork) would be best if you chose a flooring install system that requires a cushioned underlayment directly underneath it. The diagram below shows this in a click-lock system, which can be available in laminate, bamboo, and cork floors.
As you can see, the cushioned underlayment gives you a padding that no other system can. Since it is available in all 3 kinds of flooring you want, it can easily be installed IF the flooring you purchase calls for it. As for the underlayment itself, the thickest available in our stores is one by Roberts. The ROBERTS Harmony Premium 100 sq. ft. 1/8 in. 3-in-1 Underlayment is the best we carry and it doubles as a moisture barrier if installed correctly.
There are also many other underlayments we sell online, so you have plenty of options for your new floor.
Lastly, have you considered putting down any secure rugs or mats so that if you accidently fall in a high traffic area you'd be safer?
Even if you chose something even softer than vinyl like a carpet, we do carry various items like hand rails for the walls, because any fall can be lessened or even prevented with the right materials.
I hope this has helped you out and let us know if we can be of further assistance.
I am a 12 year Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.