You have probably heard of bamboo flooring, but you might be surprised to learn that it is not real wood. On average, bamboo flooring installation costs $2,715, with most homeowners paying between $1,640 and $3,775.
Bamboo is a type of grass, and the truth is bamboo flooring might even be better than hardwood flooring. It is eco-friendly, more affordable, and just as durable. Bamboo flooring materials cost around $2 to $10 per square foot.
In this pricing guide:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
Average Bamboo Flooring Costs in 2023
|National Average Cost||$2,715|
|Typical Price Range||$1,640 – $3,775|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$850|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$20,000|
Bamboo flooring is more affordable than hardwood flooring, with prices for installation varying between $1,640 and $3,775 for a single room.
However, the prices can vary depending on several factors. Expect to pay closer to the higher end ($20,000) if you need to replace your entire home’s flooring, including the subfloors and underlayment. On the other hand, prices will be closer to $850 if you install bamboo flooring in a 200 sq. ft. room using a cheaper bamboo type.
Bamboo Flooring Cost Estimator by Size
If costs are important, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality and looks, bamboo flooring might be the choice for you. However, the square footage of your project will affect how expensive it is, and costs can add up. The bigger the area you want bamboo flooring, the higher the costs.
Bamboo flooring materials cost $2 to $10 per square foot, while labor costs range from $4 to $8 per square foot, adding up to $6 to $18 per square foot.
You can use the cost ranges below to estimate your project’s costs:
|Project Size||Average overall cost|
|100 sq. ft.||$600 – $1,800|
|200 sq. ft.||$1,200 – $3,600|
|300 sq. ft.||$1,800 – $5,400|
|400 sq. ft.||$2,400 – $7,200|
|500 sq. ft.||$3,000 – $9,000|
Other Factors That Affect Cost
Besides the size, there are a few other factors that can affect the costs of bamboo flooring installation:
Bamboo Flooring Type
There are a few types of bamboo flooring available, and the option you choose for your flooring project will affect your project’s costs.
|Type||Average Cost Per Sq. Ft. (Materials Only)|
|Engineered Bamboo||$2 – $6|
|Horizontal Bamboo||$2 – $5|
|Vertical Bamboo||$2 – $7|
|Strand-Woven Bamboo||$4 – $7|
Engineered bamboo is created by bonding a bamboo veneer and a plywood substrate or high-density fiberboard. This type of bamboo can’t be refinished. In addition, it can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when installed. Still, it is durable, cost-effective, and often more water-resistant than solid bamboo.
Engineered bamboo costs $2 to $6 per square foot.
Horizontal bamboo flooring is designed by gluing thin strips of bamboo together to show the wood’s grains and knots. They are shaped into planks that can be installed using a click-lock system or tongue-and-groove cut.
Horizontal bamboo is durable because it is finished with lacquer that protects it. It costs between $2 and $5 per square foot.
Vertical bamboo flooring is, as the name suggests, strips of bamboo vertically arranged to create flooring planks. They are often narrower than horizontal planks and offer a cleaner look, as they minimize the appearance of nodes in the planks.
They cost from $2 to $7 per square foot.
Strand-woven bamboo flooring is the most expensive option and can also be the most durable one. This type of flooring is made by shredding bamboo fibers and then recombining them under high pressure and heat to create a dense and durable material.
Strand-woven bamboo costs between $4 and $7 per square foot.
The cost of bamboo flooring can vary depending on the manufacturer’s brand. Some brands offer lower-priced options, while others focus on higher-end luxury products.
|Brand||Average Cost Per Square Foot|
|Morningstar||$2 – $4|
|Home Legend||$2 – $5|
|Lifeproof||$3 – $4|
|USFloors||$3 – $4|
|Ambient Bamboo||$3 – $5|
|Cali||$4 – $8|
|Plyboo||$4 – $8|
|Ecofusion||$4 – $9|
|Islander||$4.5 – $6.5|
|Teragren||$6 – $9|
- Morningstar: This manufacturer is based in China and offers natural-looking bamboo flooring in various colors and styles. They cost $2 – $4 per square foot.
- Home Legend: Home Legend offers solid, engineered, strand-woven bamboo flooring with proprietary coatings that make it water resistant. They cost $2 – $5 per square foot and can be found at Home Depot.
- Lifeproof: Lifeproof is also a Home Depot brand that offers bamboo flooring in various colors and finishes with easy installation. This flooring usually comes with a warranty, costing $3 – $4 per square foot.
- USFloors: USFloors is a Lowe’s brand that gives discounts when sold in bulk. Their bamboo line is called Natural Floors, costing $3 – $4 per square foot.
- Ambient Bamboo: Ambient bamboo provides high-quality flooring options for commercial and residential use. They offer solid and engineered bamboo flooring in natural, white, gray, tan, and brown colors, and they cost $3 – $5 per square foot.
- Cali: Cali Bamboo has the longest warranty on the market (50 years), which explains why it’s priced higher than some of the competition at $4 – $8 per square foot. Their floors also have a high Janka score, which means they are more durable.
- Plyboo: Plyboo is a manufacturer that produces strand-woven bamboo planks. The planks can be in different grain patterns, and they have a proprietary “Stiletto” strand that is said to be three times harder than oak flooring. They cost $4 – $8 per square foot.
- Ecofusion: This brand uses recycled materials to create strand-woven and engineered bamboo flooring in many styles and colors, including darker shades. They cost $4 – $9 per square foot.
- Islander: Islander is a brand that offers a wide variety of bamboo flooring with an extended warranty (25 – 30 years). They sell water-resistant engineered bamboo flooring at the cost of $4.50 – $6.50 per square foot.
- Teragren: This brand has a wide variety of bamboo products both for floors and countertops. They make solid and strand-woven bamboo flooring in many finishes, and they cost around $6 – $9 per square foot.
Professional installation costs for bamboo flooring can vary greatly depending on the specific installation method. Still, on average, flooring contractors charge between $4 and $8 per square foot.
A floating floor installation with tongue-and-groove plank edges typically requires less labor and will cost closer to the lower end. One that involves gluing and nailing the planks to the subfloor will cost closer to $8 per square foot.
Stain and Finish
Bamboo flooring can be finished in five different ways:
- Natural: Color and texture are not altered. It can mean the flooring is unfinished or applied with a protective layer of polyurethane.
- Distressed: This type is scraped or brushed to give it a rustic, weathered look.
- Carbonized: It’s heated and pressurized in order to change its color to a richer, darker hue. However, this process can make the bamboo softer and prone to scratches.
- Tiger-striped: This finish uses natural and carbonized planks alternated to create a distinctive tiger-like striped pattern.
- Printed: Usually woven-strand bamboo planks that have a print in the top layer to mimic hardwood floors.
The costs for the different types of finishes for bamboo flooring can vary slightly. The price for natural and unfinished bamboo is usually lower, but staining it later can be more time-consuming, which may result in higher costs.
On the other hand, buying prefinished bamboo flooring will cost more initially. Still, it will eliminate the need to hire someone to stain it later.
Old Floor Removal
When installing new flooring, contractors will often charge an additional fee for removing the old flooring, as it requires extra time and effort.
The cost of removing the existing flooring will vary depending on the type of material installed. For example, some materials, such as tile or hardwood, can be more difficult and time-consuming to remove than others, such as carpet. On average, labor costs for removing existing floors range from $1 to $4 per square foot.
After removing the old flooring, there are several potential issues that you can discover in your subfloors. Some of the problems include the following:
- Water damage
If that’s the case, these issues can lead to problems with your bamboo flooring installation and may result in a decreased lifespan. Contractors may charge between $2 and $7 per square foot to replace the subfloor.
Also, floating bamboo flooring must be installed over an underlayment, which helps create a smooth and noise-reducing surface for your floors. New underlayment installations cost $2 to $5 per square foot.
When upgrading your flooring to a new bamboo option, keep in mind that the baseboards may also need to be replaced. That is because the new flooring may have a different thickness or height than the previous one, and the baseboards need to be adjusted accordingly.
Baseboard installation costs between $5.70 and $9 per linear foot, including materials and labor.
While bamboo flooring is known for its durability and eco-friendliness, and it may be an excellent choice for your home, it’s also valuable to understand other flooring options and how they compare to bamboo in order to make an informed decision.
Traditional hardwood flooring is the option that adds the most value to your home. However, it can be more expensive than bamboo flooring, both in terms of materials and installation cost.
Hardwood floors are made from solid wood planks. In contrast, bamboo flooring is made from the grass of the bamboo plant, which is abundant, quickly renewable, and eco-friendly. Furthermore, you can refinish hardwood flooring several times, while bamboo flooring can’t be refinished.
Installing wood flooring costs $2,245 to $6,110 or $7 to $16 per square foot.
Laminate flooring comprises a few layers of material, including a high-resolution photograph of hardwood or other natural materials placed on top of a fiberboard core. Like bamboo, laminate can give your home the natural look of wood without its high costs.
Neither laminate nor bamboo perform well in areas with high levels of humidity. However, laminate is more resistant to scratches than bamboo. Laminate installation costs between $1,440 and $4,310, or $3 to $9 per square foot.
Vinyl flooring is an easy-to-install, scratch- and water-resistant synthetic option. In addition, it can mimic the look of various materials such as hardwood, tile, or stone, making it a versatile and cost-effect alternative.
However, vinyl is not eco-friendly and can’t be refinished like bamboo can. Vinyl flooring installation costs between $865 and $3,330, or $2 and $11 per square foot (materials and labor included).
Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
Installing bamboo flooring as a DIY project can be relatively easy, especially if the bamboo flooring planks are designed with a click-lock mechanism. This system allows the planks to interlock together, making the installation process quicker and simpler.
However, it is crucial that the subfloors are level and in good condition before you start. It’s also important to read the manufacturer’s instructions, including the necessary acclimation time.
The table below displays the material and equipment you’ll need to install floating bamboo flooring:
|DIY Equipment||Average Cost|
|Self-leveler||$35 (50 lbs.)|
|Total Cost:||$198 – $418|
DIY installation costs between $198 and $418, depending if you’re buying a jigsaw or a table saw. Of course, these costs could be even lower if you already have some of the equipment at home, plus you’ll be saving money ($4 to $8 per square foot) on labor costs.
Cost of Bamboo Flooring by Location
The costs of installing bamboo flooring can be affected by where you live. For example, in urban and coastal areas, labor costs are higher than in rural areas because there’s more competition for workers and higher living costs.
The costs for materials are usually similar nationwide. Still, local regulations might affect how much tax is applied to your project’s final bill. In addition, most bamboo flooring materials are imported, so you may have to pay shipping costs.
Bamboo is an excellent flooring choice for residential use. However, as with any other flooring material, it has some disadvantages. Here are a few of them:
● Bamboo is not waterproof, so it can absorb moisture, causing shrinking, warping, and swelling.
● Carbonized bamboo is prone to dents and scratches.
● Bamboo manufacturers sometimes incorporate formaldehyde into bamboo products, which can emit toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
● Bamboo flooring can’t be refinished.
Bamboo flooring can last up to 50 years if installed and maintained properly. However, this period does not apply if the bamboo floors are installed in areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms, as the flooring will not last as long.
Bamboo can be noisier than other flooring materials like carpet or cork, but it’s not unbearable or excessive. In general, hard floors make some sound when you walk on them, but there are ways to minimize it, like adding padding or underlayment.
In conclusion, bamboo flooring is an excellent option for those looking for a beautiful, durable, and eco-friendly flooring option. While the cost may vary depending on factors such as the type of bamboo and the size of your project, it can be a more affordable option than traditional hardwood flooring.
If you want to save time and ensure that your bamboo flooring is properly installed, it’s a great idea to hire a flooring professional. They will have the skills and experience necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently, sparing you from the stress of doing it yourself.
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Main Image Credit: Gavin Tapp / Flickr / CC BY 2.0