That depends entirely on the quality of bamboo flooring you buy. Lower-quality bamboo flooring will scratch easily and high-quality flooring is very durable. As with hardwood floors, you should also consider the bamboo’s Janka hardness scale rating and the traffic patterns in your home before making a purchase.
Strand-woven bamboo flooring tends to be the most durable and the least likely to scratch. It is made using a newer manufacturing process that weaves the fibers together in an adhesive base, rather than stacking them. Strand-woven bamboo is usually at least 1.5 times harder than red oak, which is considered mid-range on the Janka hardness scale with a rating of 1290. This bamboo can take a beating, so it’s great for high-traffic areas and homes with kids and pets. You’ll pay more for it, though – potentially $8 or more per square foot.
Traditional bamboo that is stacked horizontally or vertically, not woven, is more susceptible to scratches and dents. Most varieties fall below red oak on the Janka hardness scale, but the rating varies from one product to another. With traditional bamboo flooring, you’re going to want to remove your shoes at the door to prevent damage. This weaker bamboo is probably not a good purchase for high-traffic areas, or if you have kids or pets. But you will save money, with prices starting at $4 per square foot.
Contrary to what some people think, bamboo can be refinished if it is scratched. However, some thinner bamboo must be refinished very delicately and can only be refinished once. Thicker bamboo can handle heavier sanding, and it can be refinished several times.