The cost of bamboo flooring will vary based on a number of factors including the size and thickness of the material, it’s quality, how it was manufactured, where it was manufactured, the quality and thickness of the wear layer if it has one, as well as any treatments that are applied to it during its development. You also have to factor in installation costs, as well as the price of any materials, adhesives, or underlayment layers that will be required. Remember, too, that there are several different forms of bamboo flooring, each with its own cost profile and installation techniques.
Solid Bamboo Flooring
The product known as solid bamboo flooring does not consist of solid pieces of bamboo material. Rather, solid bamboo flooring is comprised of stalks of bamboo grass that are sliced or shredded down and then bonded together with chemicals, heat, and pressure to create planks that can be used as flooring in much the same way as hardwood planks. The manner in which the bamboo fibers are sliced and reconstituted determines the appearance of the finished flooring, which can vary considerably from product to product.
- Solid bamboo flooring prices: $1.50 to $5.00 per square foot (material only)
Horizontal Bamboo Planks
Horizontal bamboo is made when stalks of the material are sliced into thin slats and then pressed together, flat, laying one atop another. The result is a material that has fewer joint lines, but more natural bamboo characteristics.
- Horizontal Bamboo Plank Costs: $1.80 to $3.30 per square foot (material only)
Vertical Bamboo Planks
Vertical bamboo is made in a similar manner to horizontal planks. The difference is that the tiny slats are stood up on their thin end, and then pressed together from either side, to form a firm bonding plank material. The result is a floor that has numerous joint lines providing a kind of textured appearance that slightly masks the look of the natural bamboo elements.
- Vertical Bamboo Flooring Costs: $1.90 to $3.50 per square foot (material only)
This flooring is made by taking natural bamboo grass stalks and shredding them into a fine pulp. The material is pressed into a mold along with adhesive chemicals to form solid blocks. These blocks are then sliced into the planks used in flooring. Strand woven bamboo tends to be the strongest and most durable of the natural solid bamboo options, but also the most expensive.
- Strand-woven bamboo flooring prices: $3.00 to $5.00 per square foot (material only)
The term handscraped refers to a traditional process that was once used to even out the imperfections in hard plank floors, using a variety of hand tools. Because the work is done by hand, the results reflect a union of natural beauty and human artistry. While this attention to detail does cost more, it also provides a one of a kind look for your floor that can only be achieved through skilled craftsmanship.
- Handscraped bamboo flooring costs: $2.00 to $5.29 per square foot (material only)
The composite nature of bamboo means that it does not take quite as well to the staining coloration techniques that are often used to darken hardwoods, Staining sometimes detracts from their natural beauty. To get around this, a carbonization process is used, in which heat is applied to the bamboo to achieve a rich, dark, smoky color. The drawback to this process is that the bamboo is slightly weakened, making it less durable than its un-carbonized counterparts.
- Carbonized bamboo flooring costs: $1.80 to $3.90 per square foot (material only)
Bamboo Laminate (Engineered Bamboo)
This flooring material is manufactured by using filler material a backing material, then bonding a thin sliver of real bamboo to its surface. Finally, the surface is covered with an invisible wear layer that protects the material from stain, harms, and most water damage. The thickness of the wear layer and its quality is what usually determines the price with these engineered surface coverings.
- Cost of bamboo laminate flooring: $1.30 to $4.00 per square foot (material only)
Floating Bamboo Flooring
The term “floating floor” just means that the materials are manufactured in such a way that the planks will click together with modified tongue-and-groove edges, sticking to one another rather than adhering to the subfloor directly. The overall weight of the entire surface then holds the material down in place.
The installation method makes installing these floors fairly simple, even for an inexperienced amateur, which can save you on the cost of hiring a contractor. You also won’t need to purchase adhesives or nails and tools for the job. However, some people consider engineered flooring to be less desirable, contributing less to real estate values than other forms of bamboo.
- Floating bamboo flooring prices: $1.79 to $3.29 (materials only)
With any flooring choice, you have to factor in the price of installation to get a real sense of the costs. In some cases, you will be able to do the work yourself and save some money. However, if you are unsure of the process, then you may want to hire an experienced professional to do the work rather than risk making a mistake and causing damage or waste.
The minimum that a professional contractor will charge for almost any installation job is about $100, and possibly more in areas where labor is in short supply. With smaller projects, expect to pay more per square foot, as there is time involved in travel and set-up for the contractor. With larger projects, you may be able to negotiate a better deal.
- Professional installation costs: $20 to $40 per hour, plus materials
A recent survey of installation professionals showed average costs for installation of bamboo flooring (materials plus labor) to be $730 nationally. An average 200 square foot living room cost $2,568 installed. In a sample 125-square-foot room, average materials costs were $480 ($3.84 per square foot), and average labor costs were $500 ($4 per square foot), for an average total of $980. Materials-plus-labor costs typically range from $8 to $12 per square foot.
The price of both materials and installation will vary based on where you are, the type of project you are undertaking, and how far the materials had to travel to get there. Some locations may also offer premium materials or service options that are unavailable elsewhere. Pricing things out online will give you a baseline that you can use to evaluate various quotes.