Are you interested in installing bamboo flooring in your home? For basic grade, the cost to install bamboo flooring typically ranges from $6 to $8 per square foot. However, the price tag can rise to $20 or more for top quality bamboo. These prices include materials and labor.
What is Bamboo Flooring?
If you'd like a more affordable substitute for hardwood flooring, bamboo is your man … er, floor. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass, making it a natural, renewable material. It is a close match for hardwood in terms of good looks and durability, although it is less expensive. You can even find hand-scraped bamboo, similar to today's popular hand-scraped hardwood flooring.
There have been some questions recently about bamboo crops threatening eco-diversity in China, as well as the over-enthusiastic use of potentially toxic non-organic fertilizers and pesticides during its cultivation. For this reason, we recommend buying only bamboo flooring certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
You'll find 3 main types of bamboo flooring, presented here in ascending order of strength:
- Horizontal (Engineered). This is the most recognizable type of bamboo floor. Made from horizontally cut, flat slices of bamboo backed with a wooden substrate, this flooring has a distinctive texture, visible growth knots, and discernible spaces between each "board."
- Vertical (Solid). This flooring is manufactured out of strips of solid bamboo which are stuck together using adhesive. It appears to be marked with stripes.
- Stranded. This third type of bamboo flooring is the most highly processed and also the strongest. It is made up of strands of bamboo fiber which have been boiled and then pressurized together with an adhesive substance. Also called woven, stranded bamboo flooring is the most commonly used form in the US these days. It is available in the widest variety of styles and colors.
- Materials -- The materials cost includes the bamboo flooring, plus adhesive and other incidental supplies. The price of foam underlay is usually extra.
- Labor -- Labor cost entails the cost to install the bamboo flooring and underlay. Removal of your old flooring. If necessary, is likely to raise the labor cost.
- Estimate -- The initial estimate, which may include onsite inspection and measurement, is often free.
Get the Most for Your Money
Be aware of this general rule of thumb: the lighter the color, the less expensive the bamboo flooring will be.
If you buy engineered bamboo flooring, look for a top layer which is at least 1/4" thick for durability.
Have your flooring contractor seal your new bamboo floor well to prevent moisture damage.
Reuse existing baseboards if possible to save money and avoid adding to our landfills.