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How Much Do Bamboo Countertops Cost?

Bamboo can’t seem to make up its mind. Is it a grass, shrub, tree, or weed? Regardless of what you call it, one thing is indisputable: bamboo is one of the strongest, most versatile floras that our world has to offer. Besides the fact that it is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, it's stronger and more durable than concrete, and has tensile strength that is comparable to steel. For this reason, it is frequently used for building and construction material and as a versatile fiber. As a renewable raw material, bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly in the world. It can be used to produce textiles, fabrics, paper, food and even medicine. With its versatility and environmental friendliness, bamboo makes an excellent choice for your new countertop.

The Costs

There are many different options that can change the cost of your project considerably. From different colors, finishes and stains, to different grain characteristics like vertical grain or parquet, there are myriad options to choose from when selecting your bamboo countertop. All things considered, the material cost of a bamboo countertop can vary.

  • Cheapest: Depending on your area, 50 square feet of Bamboo Countertop can cost you around $1,500-$2,000.

  • Average: You are looking at anything around $2,000-$3,000 for an average Bamboo Countertop at 50 square feet.

  • Most Expensive: While this can go up to $10,000, depending on who you use, the typical high end Bamboo Countertops (at 50 square feet) is usually around $2,600 to $4,000.

It's important to consider that the size and complexity of the job can vary considerably, having a significant effect on the price of materials. The difference in cost between a relatively simple job with no seams and basic edging and a complex job with a non-rectangular shape and complicated edging can be significant. Also, the material grade can make the cost of your project vary considerably. Material grade can range from clearance/discount to builder grade to designer sourced. If you are lucky enough to own a bamboo grove, you can even source the material from your own personal supply. Cutting and prepping bamboo, however, is a skill best left to the professionals.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bamboo Countertops

As is true for every type of material, bamboo has its pros and cons. The advantages, some of which have already been discussed, are numerous. They include environmental friendliness, durability and unique styling. Additionally, bamboo is relatively cheap to buy and install compared to other eco-friendly countertop materials. Despite all of its attractive features and selling points, bamboo is not without its disadvantages. Bamboo countertops can be relatively easily stained and otherwise damaged compared to other alternatives. If you are the type of person who wants his countertop to always look as immaculate as it did the day it was installed, bamboo probably wouldn’t be your material of choice. Additionally, bamboo countertops require continuous maintenance, such as coating the surface with beeswax every several months. It is up to you to determine whether or not the pros of bamboo outweigh the cons for your particular project. Keep in mind that every material has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important that you choose the material that fits your personality and the look and functionality of your kitchen.

Getting to Work

Once you have decided to purchase a bamboo countertop, you can begin to get to work. Whether you pick up your phone to call a contractor or pick up your toolbox to complete the task yourself depends on several factors. First and foremost, be honest and ask yourself if you enjoy the task of doing handy work yourself. It is definitely not meant to be done by everyone, and working with bamboo is no exception. Another consideration is time. Do you have the free time to devote to undertaking this project, or do you need to use your precious free time to accomplish other tasks? Lastly, you should consider your budget. If you have cash to spare, hiring a contractor to install your countertop is an excellent option to get the job done in a timely manner with a professional touch. If, however, you want to get your hands dirty and save some money in the process, doing it yourself can be a challenging yet satisfying endeavor.

Bamboo It Yourself

If you decide to undertake the challenge of installing your own bamboo countertop, it is important to have a basic understanding of carpentry and it would be helpful to have some experience working with a drill, sander, and different types of saws. Since you will be working with power tools, it is important to take the necessary safety precautions and equip yourself with safety glasses, gloves, and ear protection. Set aside a weekend to accomplish your task, work diligently and carefully and you will have a great looking new bamboo countertop that you can be proud of. 

Hiring A Contractor

For those who would rather hire a professional than do it themselves, there are some important things to consider. When hiring a contractor, you should always check their references to make sure that they are reputable and have a proven record of quality work. In order to secure the best price of labor for your bamboo countertop installation, you should solicit bids from several different vendors. Make sure that you submit the same detailed work order to each vendor for easy comparability. This is a great way to maximize the value that you get out of your project. Another way to save on installation costs is to schedule your project date during an off-peak or low demand period for the vendor. Labor costs can vary greatly from area to area, so it is important to do your research to get a good idea of what you will have to pay in your city.

Conclusion: Is Bamboo for you?

Bamboo is a marvelous plant that also happens to make for exceptional countertops. It is relatively cheap, ecologically sound, and possesses timeless style. However, as outlined above, it is not for everyone. It is ultimately up to you to determine what material is right for your countertop. If you do choose bamboo, you will see that it serves as an excellent choice for your project. If you use the knowledge and tips provided in this guide, you will be able to select an affordable bamboo countertop that is environmentally friendly and gives your kitchen a fresh new look.

Last updated on Jul 8, 2014

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