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How Much Does Bamboo Flooring Cost?

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$730
Low End
$640
High End
$820

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Bamboo is a sturdy, sustainable, and sleek alternative to traditional hardwood flooring. Not only can it resist moisture and staining more effectively than other popular wood options, bamboo flooring is also easier to install. All of these factors contribute to bamboo flooring’s recent rise in popularity.

The average cost of materials for a 125-square-foot room is $480 (with an average price per square foot of $3.84). The average cost of labor for installing a bamboo floor is $500 (with an average labor cost of $4 per square foot).

This brings the average total cost of installing bamboo flooring in a 125-square-foot space, which is roughly the size of an average bedroom, to $980.

For an average living room (200 square feet), the installation cost for bamboo flooring is $1,568. To determine the cost of bamboo flooring installation in your home, consider the following pricing factors:

On This Page:

  1. Installation Considerations
  2. Average Bamboo Flooring Costs
  3. Reasons to Install Bamboo Flooring
  4. Conclusion

Installation Considerations

The existing flooring, condition of the structure, and installation add-ons are all key factors that must be considered when creating your bamboo flooring budget. Here are a few of the most common installation considerations to keep in mind:

  • Pre-existing Floor: Installation costs may include removal of the existing floors, especially if there are currently hardwood or tile floors in the home, as well as preparing the subfloor for installation of the bamboo materials. For example, certain subfloors may need to be sanded prior to installing the flooring, or holes and crevices may need to be filled to provide a flat surface.
  • Replacing Joists/Plywood: If the existing subfloor is in need of repair or replacement, this can significantly increase your bamboo floor installation costs. In some cases, the joists or plywood sheets that are already in the home cannot provide a solid foundation for the bamboo materials. The average cost for replacing the plywood planks in a standard-size living room is $180. This does not include labor fees, which can range from $20 to $35 per hour. It is important to note, however, that bamboo flooring can be installed directly on top of a solid concrete subfloor, meaning that the existing plywood may simply be removed prior to installation.  
  • Moldings & Baseboards: Having molding and/or baseboards in the home may result in higher labor costs, as the installers will need to prep the area in advance to ensure the boards are not damaged in the process. This also applies to kitchen islands and bathroom cabinets, as the professional installers must work around these obstacles and cut the bamboo flooring to size.
  • Insulating Underlay: Some homeowners choose to install vapor barriers and/or foam underlays beneath the bamboo flooring, which can prevent moisture from getting into the floor and potentially toxic fumes from getting out. Generally, the cost of adding an insulating underlay is $20 per square foot, on average, which includes installation.  
  • Stains & Sealants: Most bamboo floors require a coat of sealant after installation. Homeowners can also stain the floor to achieve a darker color. The average cost of a gallon of floor sealant is $40. However, that price can vary depending on the brand. An average bedroom or living room usually only requires one container, but larger spaces may call for two or more to adequately coat the bamboo floor.
  • Accommodations: If any sealants or stains are applied to the floor, the homeowner may need to remain outside of the home for 24 to 48 hours to allow the bamboo flooring to dry completely. These products also produce toxic fumes, which can be hazardous when inhaled.

Installation Cost Factors

In addition to special considerations, there are also a number of cost factors that must be added to the overall cost of bamboo flooring installation. These items should be included in your estimate, even if the current flooring is in excellent condition and no upgrades are desired:

  • Flooring Materials: In addition to the bare minimum square footage of material that you must purchase to cover the space, you should plan to buy slightly more to account for irregular angles, defects, and installation errors. Having extra bamboo flooring on hand can also make repairs quick and convenient. The floor material costs also include delivery charges, which can greatly vary.
  • Labor: Labor fees include planning, preparation of the installation space, setting up the equipment, measuring and cutting the boards, and cleaning up the area. In some cases, this also covers protecting nearby cabinets, baseboards, and molding. Labor costs can vary significantly, depending on the experience of the contractor and the size of the flooring space.
  • Installation Supplies: All of the supplies that are necessary for installation, such as adhesives, sealants, fasteners, special tools, and equipment. If the manufacturer suggests additional supplies, these are also covered under this fee. In some cases, heavy duty equipment is necessary, such as nail guns for thicker bamboo materials, and the installers may charge extra for rental fees.
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Bamboo Flooring Costs

The price of the bamboo flooring materials varies depending on the quality of the material, brand, and the retailer. Here is an overview of the average price per square foot, uninstalled, for some of the leading bamboo flooring retailers:

Home Depot

  • Low Price Range: $1.79 to $2.89
  • Mid Price Range: $2.99 to $3.99
  • High Price Range: $4.29 to $5.29

Lowe's

  • Low Price Range: $1.99 to $2.99
  • Mid Price Range: $3.29 to $3.99
  • High Price Range: $4.52 to $5.16

Lumber Liquidators

  • Low Price Range: $1.56 to $1.99
  • Mid Price Range: $2.19 to $2.99
  • High Price Range: $3.59 to $4.49

BuildDirect

  • Low Price Range: $1.49 to $2.99
  • Mid Price Range: $3.29 to $3.44
  • High Price Range: $3.79 to $4.39

Wayfair

  • Low Price Range: $2.26 to $3.33
  • Mid Price Range: $4.16 to $5.00
  • High Price Range: $5.60 to $7.68
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Reasons to Install Bamboo Flooring

When considering installing bamboo flooring in your home, homeowners need to be aware of its pros and cons.

  • It is eco-friendly. One of the most notable benefits of installing bamboo flooring in your home is that it is environmentally friendly. Unlike many other flooring options, the process to create bamboo hardwood floors does not produce an abundance of chemical emissions. Bamboo is also considered to be a renewable crop, meaning that it grows and matures rapidly. In fact, a bamboo tree reaches full maturity in as little as five years. Other hardwoods, in comparison, can take up to 30 years to mature. Therefore, when a bamboo tree is cut down to manufacture bamboo flooring, another one can quickly grow in its place to replenish the supply.
  • Installation is hassle free. Many bamboo flooring options already feature a finish, which reduces installation time and expense. This is in stark contrast to hardwood floors, such as oak or maple, which generally require a coat of finish, sanding, and staining upon installation. For this very reason, many homeowners choose to install bamboo flooring on their own. However, it may be wise to seek the help of trained professionals to achieve the desired results, given that they already have the necessary tools and experience.
  • It is available in a variety of styles. One of the most common misconceptions about bamboo flooring is that it is only available in a limited color range. However, bamboo floor materials actually come in a variety of different styles. Carbonizing bamboo can make it change color without having to apply any stains or chemical-based finishes. In essence, the carbonization process uses a pressure-heating method to warm the sugar within the wood fibers, which darkens the bamboo. Those who prefer a more natural look can also choose from a wide selection of lighter bamboo flooring options. This makes it the ideal choice for virtually any space, from modern lofts to traditional family rooms.  
  • It is moisture resistant. Bamboo is inherently resistant to moisture, as opposed to other wooden flooring, Bamboo floors typically hold the moisture on the top surface, making it easy to wipe away. Therefore, households with small children or pets will not have to worry about spills after installing their bamboo flooring. Its natural moisture resistance is also suitable for kitchen and bathroom use.
  • Maintenance is stress free. Unlike carpet or tile, bamboo flooring requires minimal upkeep. There is no need to run a vacuum over the floor or scrub grout lines to get it sparkling clean. Simply sweep up debris and mop the bamboo flooring on a regular basis to ensure that it gleams for years to come. Polishing the floor from time to time returns the natural luster of the wood.
  • It reduces airborne allergens. Bamboo does not trap dust or mites, which makes it a great option for allergy sufferers. Bamboo flooring is smooth and synthetic fiber-free. Keep in mind, however, that some bamboo floors may contain other chemicals that might not be suitable for those with sensitivities.
  • It is more cost effective. Not only is bamboo flooring less expensive to install, the base materials are also less costly than many other hardwood flooring options. For example, pine floor can cost an average of $10 per square foot, which is nearly double the price of bamboo. This is primarily because bamboo is so sustainable and can grow to maturity more rapidly.
  • It is easy to refinish. Most bamboo floors can be refinished by simply sanding away the top layer and applying a new layer of stain or sealant. For example, if the floor becomes scratched or discolored, homeowners have the opportunity to remove the existing finishing coat and apply a fresh finishing coat to the surface. However, another notable benefit of bamboo flooring is that it does contain several layers of finish. As such, homeowners will not have to refinish the bamboo flooring as often as many other hardwood flooring materials.

Bamboo Flooring Drawbacks

  • It may produce VOC emissions. Most bamboo flooring planks contain volatile organic chemicals, also known as VOC. Bamboo planks are comprised of sliced and shredded bamboo stalks that are glued together with the help of high-pressure heating, as well as a resin adhesive. This adhesive contains VOCs that gradually release emissions after the floor is installed. Higher-quality bamboo planks have fewer VOC emissions, but those that are lower quality may contain levels that are more significant. When it doubt, ask the manufacturer about its bamboo plank production process to verify that the materials are safe for your home.
  • It scratches easily. As is the case with most wooden flooring options, bamboo flooring tends to scratch quite easily. This is especially true if the floor is in a heavy-traffic area or pets are present. Sharp claws, high heels, and furniture may scratch the surface of the floor. It is best to remove shoes that may damage the floor and install bamboo flooring in pet-free areas to prevent scratching. Also, try to sweep the floor on a regular basis to remove any dirt or debris that may damage the bamboo planks.
  • It is not ideal for humid climates. Even though bamboo flooring is moisture resistant, it does tend to crack or expand in humid climates. For this reason, bamboo floors are not ideally suited for areas with high levels of humidity. If you do live in a humid climate and wish to install bamboo floors in your home, you may have to purchase a dehumidifier to counteract the airborne moisture.
  • Darker bamboo flooring is less durable. Bamboo is known for its strength, but darker-colored flooring options tend to be less durable. The carbonization process that colors the wood also compromises the strength of its fibers. For stronger bamboo flooring, opt for natural or lighter-colored boards.  
  • Some brands may be less eco-friendly. Bamboo is flooring is typically an extremely eco-friendly flooring option. However, there are some brands that utilize manufacturing processes that diminish the environmental friendliness of the materials. For example, certain companies may harvest bamboo that has been treated with pesticides. Bamboo materials that need to be transported greater distances may also be less eco-friendly, as the transportation process produces carbon emissions. To ensure that your bamboo flooring is truly green, ask the manufacturer or retailer about the harvesting standards and the origin of the wood.

PROS

CONS

Eco-friendly

May produce VOC emissions

Hassle-free installation

Scratches easily

Variety of styles

Not good for humid climates

Moisture-resistant

Darker colors of flooring is less durable

Stress-free maintenance

Some brands are less eco-friendly

Reduces airborne allergens

Cost-effective

Easy to refinish

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Conclusion

Bamboo is a cost effective, eco-friendly, and long-lasting flooring option for your home. To ensure that you create the most accurate budget for your installation, keep the key cost factors in mind and research all of the products that the major retailers have to offer. Do not hesitate to ask about sale pricing or discounted installation, especially if you are buying boards in bulk to cover larger areas in your home.

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