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Bamboo Flooring Cost Guide

In recent years, bamboo has rapidly become one of the most-desirable flooring options for residential homes and commercial buildings. With the look, feel and durability of hardwood at a fraction of the cost, it should come as no surprise that so many homeowners gravitate toward this affordable flooring material. Anyone interested in using bamboo flooring for a new construction or even a remodel should think carefully about the advantages of the material, the drawbacks of bamboo, the various types of bamboo flooring available and what factors could influence the total cost of the project.

The Costs

  • Average Minimum Cost of Bamboo Flooring: $2 per square foot

  • Average Maximum Cost of Bamboo Flooring: $7 per square foot

Advantages of Bamboo Flooring 

The primary advantages of using bamboo as flooring include the material's strength, affordability, appearance and Eco-friendliness. Contrary to popular belief, bamboo is actually a grass rather than hardwood. This means that it grows incredibly quickly. Even after being cut down and harvested for use, bamboo will grow back to maturity in as little as four years. Because of this, bamboo is a top pick for anyone with an interest in building a green home that is environmentally-friendly.

While it grows more than 10 times faster than most hardwood trees, bamboo is still very tough. Bamboo flooring will be denser and stronger than even maple or oak, which makes it a logical choice for homeowners who want their flooring to last as long as possible even with heavy use and frequent foot traffic. Bamboo flooring is also very attractive, and many people can't tell the difference between bamboo planks and hardwood planks thanks to the warmth and brightness that it adds. Despite all of these incredible factors, bamboo flooring is far cheaper than most hardwood flooring materials, and installation costs are also lower.

Disadvantages of Bamboo Flooring

While the advantages of bamboo flooring are many, homeowners should also expect there to be some drawbacks to this particular material. A few of the major issues to be concerned with include the following:

  • Low-quality bamboo flooring can be dented or scratched

  • Bamboo may not fit in with all home styles

  • Cheap bamboo could contain formaldehyde; buyers need to be alert

Thankfully, most of the problems associated with bamboo are only issues in very cheap, low-quality bamboo. Buying a medium or high-quality product can be an easy way to avoid any worries of dents, scratches or formaldehyde. The other concern, which includes the lack of versatility when it comes to bamboo flooring, is largely irrelevant for homeowners. While bamboo can look spectacular in contemporary homes, it is available in numerous colors that also work in traditional spaces. The only time bamboo flooring looks out of place is in very rustic cabins or houses.

Choosing Between Engineered and Solid Bamboo Flooring Planks

One of the big decisions to make when choosing this flooring is whether engineered bamboo planks or solid bamboo planks will be the best option. Their main differences involve the ease of installation, the final look and the cost of the raw materials. Engineered bamboo planks are snapped together quickly with tongues and grooves, and they don't need to be nailed to the subflooring. In contrast, solid bamboo planks will need to be stapled or nailed to the floor, which takes longer and requires additional tools. Solid bamboo planks are typically half the price of their engineering bamboo alternative, so cost can be a big deciding factor in which type of flooring is the best pick for a new home or a remodel.

Thickness of Bamboo Flooring

Another factor to take into consideration, and one that can impact the cost substantially, is the thickness of the bamboo flooring. Generally speaking, the thicker the plank of bamboo flooring, the more expensive it will be. However, having very thick planks is certainly not necessary, regardless of whether the home will have engineered or solid bamboo planks. A general rule of thumb is that 1/2-inch thickness is sufficient in terms of foot feel, durability and longevity.

Additional Factor That Influence the Cost of Bamboo Flooring

The final factors that can influence the price a homeowner pays for bamboo flooring include the following:

  • Professional installation costs

  • Additional installation materials

  • Shipping and delivery

  • Width and length of each plank

  • Bamboo coloring

Many homeowners opt to install their own engineered bamboo flooring planks, but solid planks typically necessitate professional installation. This, understandably, will increase costs in a big way. Total cost will include additional materials like underlayment, nails, adhesives and any rental equipment. Solid, consistent coloring in bamboo flooring also increase the price, and the highest-quality planks will typically be called solid strip. Color variations are more common in the less expensive strand of bamboo flooring planks.

Last updated on May 29, 2014

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