Considering Bamboo Flooring? Here’s How Much It Will Cost You

Becca Stokes
Written by Becca Stokes
Updated June 24, 2022
Mother and son sitting on the floor playing together
Photo: Monkey Business / Adobe Stock

The average cost of bamboo flooring ranges from $1,500 to $15,000

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Bamboo flooring is a popular option for homeowners who want the look and feel of a hardwood floor but hope to cut costs. While bamboo can be more affordable, costing about $6,000 on average, it also has drawbacks. Let’s break down how much bamboo flooring really costs and see if it’s worth the switch. 

How Much Does Bamboo Flooring Cost per Square Foot?

Ready to get your bamboo on? Expect to spend between $2 and $11 per square foot on the materials. 

If you’re looking at having a flooring pro tackle the job and saving your DIY skills for another day, expect your average cost (including labor and materials) to run about $8 per square foot.

How Much Does Bamboo Flooring Cost Near Me?

Home kitchen and entryway interior
Photo: bmak / Adobe Stock

Two things impact just how much you’re going to wind up spending, and that’s the quality of the materials you’ve selected for your bamboo flooring, and the cost of the labor provided by local flooring companies. 

Here’s how the average cost of bamboo flooring shakes out across the country:

CityCost
Boston$3,350
Baltimore$3,420
Chicago$3,360
Denver$2,840
Houston$1,600
Juneau, AK$4,060
Los Angeles$3,260
Miami$2,600
New York$4,040
Omaha, NE$3,030

How Much Bamboo Flooring Can I Get on My Budget?

 Mo’ money, mo’ problems—but not when it comes to bamboo flooring. A bigger budget means you can expect to floor more rooms with premium materials.

$1,500

Expect to refloor a small to mid-sized room in your home at this price point. At $1,500, you can replace the floors in a 100- to 200-square-foot room, such as a small living room or a traditional bedroom. If you're installing bamboo floors yourself, you can cover a larger space by cutting out the cost of labor.

$6,000

This budget gives you a little bit more room to play, covering just about one floor of your home. Assuming an average $8 per square foot cost for materials and labor, $4,100 will pay for the major living spaces of your first floor. For example, this may cover a 500-square-foot living room and dining room or the first floor of your home. Even in this scenario, you will have wiggle room to add bamboo flooring to one other room upstairs, like a bedroom or guest room. 

$15,000

The average square footage of a home in the U.S. falls somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 square feet. The $15,000 budget range will cover nearly all the floors in your home—particularly if you're skipping areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and foyer. You can also afford to use the more high-end materials for smaller spaces.

Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring

Between its clean look and sustainability perks, bamboo flooring is winning lots of popularity contests. However, there are two sides of the coin in this case, even when you analyze bamboo flooring's carbon footprint. Here's what you need to know.

Pro: Renewability

Unlike common hardwood flooring options like oak, walnut, and cherry, bamboo grows as a grass. Hardwood floor materials from trees take decades to grow and harvest, while bamboo can take as little as five years. What's more, harvesting bamboo does not kill the roots, so you can cut valuable material from the same plant more than once.

Con: Chemicals and Carbon Footprint

On the other hand, many manufacturers use volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde to bind the flooring together—even though some states like California ensure that the levels are very low. Bamboo also rarely comes from the states. It often makes the costly and carbon-heavy journey from Southeast Asia, potentially offsetting its renewability perks.

Pro: Durability

Bamboo flooring is both easy to care for and easy to protect from your golden retriever skidding across the floor. Wipe it down for dust and dirt with a microfiber cloth and a bit of soap and water. The surface of higher-quality bamboo is also highly durable against scratches and dents.

Con: Water Damage Risks

While you won't need to worry about ruining the patina of your flooring with a damp mop, bamboo does not hold up against long-term water exposure. Spills from food and water, leaks under your subflooring, or frequent splashes from the kitchen sink can cause bamboo to warp or crack.

Pro: Pest-Resistant

Between the nature of the bamboo and the chemicals used to bind the fibers, you're unlikely to encounter traditional pest issues in these floors. Bamboo is also ideal for allergy sufferers who are sensitive to pollen, dust, and dust mites—all of which bamboo repels.

Con: Lack of Versatility

Even though bamboo flooring comes in a range of colors, there's no question that it fits best within a modern or minimalist-style home. Those looking for the farmhouse or historical elegance of hickory, oak, or cherry, will not find the same old-fashioned character in bamboo floors.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Bamboo Flooring Yourself?

Installing bamboo flooring yourself means that your money is going towards the flooring itself, which will cost between $2 and $11 per square foot. 

Some DIYers would happily tackle this project, but we recommend hiring a professional in your area to install your bamboo floors. That’s not because it’s dangerous, but because unless you have flooring experience, you may make an error that can cost you money and time (like leaving extra waste, uneven floors, or gaps behind when the job is done). 

How Much Does Bamboo Flooring Cost by Type?

The cost of bamboo flooring varies according to the type used. Here are the most common types of flooring and how much they run. 

Engineered Bamboo

Engineered bamboo flooring costs $2 to $6 per square foot. In this type of bamboo flooring, strips of bamboo are laid on top of plywood and fiberboard after a boiling process, so it’s not entirely made of bamboo. However, you're most likely to find the popular tongue-in-groove bamboo floorboards that are easier to install on your own. Additionally, engineered bamboo is pest-resistant and relatively durable against wear and tear. 

Vertical Bamboo

This type of bamboo flooring costs $1 to $5 per square foot. Homeowners enjoy the unique texture of vertical bamboo flooring—which may not look like bamboo at all—since manufacturers laminate the fibers of bamboo up and down instead of side to side. The style is both durable against impact, and handles heat and humidity better than other styles. You can also enjoy vertical bamboo with a range of both light and darker hues.

Horizontal Bamboo

Horizontal bamboo costs $1 to $5 per square foot and is best for those looking to show off the grain of the laminated strips. Otherwise, the flooring style is very similar to engineered and vertical bamboo. It also fights off allergens, is highly durable, and often comes in the tongue-in-groove style.

Strand-Woven Bamboo

While all of the styles above check the durability box, strand-woven bamboo takes the cake. The style costs $3 to $5 per square foot and is about three times more durable than traditional bamboo flooring due to the high pressure and heat used in the manufacturing process and the woven method of construction. You will pay a bit more for the woven style, but won't have to worry about finishing or replacement any time soon. 

How Much Does Bamboo Flooring Cost by Brand?

Depending on your bamboo flooring provider, you could spend anywhere from $2 to $11 per square foot. 

 Here are the ranges of the most popular brands of bamboo flooring on the market

BrandCost
Cali Bamboo$3 – $8
Teragren$6 – $9
Lifeproof$3 – $4
Islander$5 – $7

Cali Bamboo

While many of Cali's flooring products fall on the higher range of the price spectrum, the highly trusted brand offers a wide range of styles in both colors and structure. Cali also offers a 50-year warranty on its products.

Teragren

Teragren is a strong option for those seeking a durable bamboo flooring option up there with oak. The company sells a vast array of products for both floors and countertops as well as excellent DIY, tongue-in-groove options.

Lifeproof

Lifeproof is a major brand of bamboo flooring you'll most commonly find at Home Depot. The brand offers a vast array of finishes and colors, specifically engineered and a click format for easy installation. Most only offer a limited warranty for residential users and a five-year warranty for commercial clients.

Islander

Islander offers a collection of bamboo flooring that aims to mirror the classic style of traditional hardwood floors, as well as the clean look of bamboo. Many of the varieties advertise their unique waterproof construction that outperforms other engineered brands. Many of the varieties offer impressively long warranties as well, typically around 25 to 30 years.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install Bamboo Floors?

While the materials used and the labor for the job are major factors that influence the final cost of installing bamboo floors, your existing floor and more play a role, too. 

Pre-Existing Floor

The flooring professionals you hire should take the state of your current flooring into account before they install your bamboo flooring. If they have to take out more of your flooring than expected due to rot or other problems, this can mean a higher quote than you expected. Contact a flooring pro in your area to get a consult before you take the plunge. 

Insulation

Many homeowners take the opportunity of redoing their flooring to also add insulation to their floor as well, usually in the form of a vapor barrier. Expect to spend between $2 to $4 per square foot more if you’re taking this step.  

Stain

The bamboo flooring you select can be matched with a flooring stain so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb if you’re not doing your entire floor or entire home. Ask your flooring professional for the average rate of adding a stain to your floor if you’re interested.

FAQs About Bamboo Flooring

How long does bamboo flooring last?

Quality bamboo flooring can last between 25 and 50 years, provided it is well-maintained. Be sure to check with your flooring provider for any applicable warranties should they need replacing before their time is up. 

Is bamboo flooring more affordable than carpet?

Depending on the type of bamboo used, it can actually cost twice as much as carpeting. The average cost of carpeting is $1,760. Bamboo flooring is close in cost to typical hardwood floor installation. 

What are the main problems with bamboo flooring?

Like other hardwoods, bamboo flooring is susceptible to water and pet damage. Bamboo also usually contains volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), which can give off dangerous emissions. 

What are the best things about bamboo flooring?

Unlike other wood used for flooring, bamboo is abundant and grows rapidly, which makes it a green flooring option that’s great for the environment. Bamboo flooring is popular because it arrives pretreated and should it need to be retreated, can be accomplished easily.

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