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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Flooring, Painting & Remodeling > Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo Flooring Cost


How Much Does Bamboo Flooring Cost?

 
low costLow: DIY $375-$875; Installed $1,125-$2,375average costMedium: DIY $1,000-$1,750; Installed $1,875-$3,250high costHigh: DIY $1,750-$3,000; Installed $2,600-$4,500

Bamboo is considered environmentally-friendly flooring with a sleek and exotic appearance, and about the same durability as maple flooring. ThisOldHouse.com provides an overview[1] ,

Typical costs:

  • Bamboo flooring starts around $1.50-$3.50 a square foot for engineered panels or unfinished solid planks, or about $375-$875 for materials for a 250-square-foot kitchen. Installation adds about $3-$6 a square foot, depending on local labor rates. Total installed cost can run $4.50-$9.50 a square foot, or $1,125-$2,375 for the kitchen. Low-cost flooring may use immature bamboo (weaker and softer); may contain higher levels of formaldehyde or volatile organic compounds (VOCs); and may have wide variations in color in a single box.
  • Mid-range engineered-bamboo or finished solid-bamboo planks can run about $4-$7 a square foot, or $1,000-$1,750 for a 250-square-foot kitchen. Professional installation brings the total cost to $7.50-$13 a square foot or $1,875-$3,250. These products generally use mature bamboo, have less formaldehyde and VOCs, more consistent colors, and a longer warranty.
  • High-end hand-finished solid (nail-down or glue) bamboo flooring can run $7-$12 and up a square foot, or $1,750-$3,000 for materials a 250-square foot kitchen. Professional installation brings it to $10.50-$18 a square foot or $2,600-$4,500. Bamboo in this price range typically is made with a different construction process (called strand-woven, strandless or grainless, which makes it more durable), and will have multiple protective coatings. A California family[2] was quoted $15-$16 a square foot for installing solid bamboo flooring with six protective coats of urethane plus a top coat of aluminum oxide.
  • Darker colors typically cost more for all types of bamboo flooring.
Related articles: Wood Flooring, Engineered Wood Flooring, Solid Wood Flooring, Laminate Flooring, Cork Flooring, Tile Flooring

What should be included:
  • While some flooring materials require a lot of subfloor prep work, bamboo can be laid over a wider variety of surfaces, and is less sensitive to temperature changes than materials like stone, tile or vinyl. Bamboo is naturally light in color, but can be darkened (carbonized) with high-pressure steam, which makes dark bamboo softer and less durable.
  • There are three types of construction for solid bamboo flooring -- horizontal uses wide strips glued on top of each other, showing the bamboo "nodes" for an obvious bamboo appearance; vertical uses thinner strips glued side-by-side in narrow bands, showing fewer nodes; and strand-woven (commercial grade) uses shredded bamboo pressed together with a binder. Whether bamboo flooring is environmentally-friendly depends on how the bamboo plants are managed, harvested and made into flooring (including the amount and types of chemicals used). Home-flooring-guide.net illustrates[3] the different types.
  • Installation of a "floating" bamboo floor can be a weekend project for a do-it-yourselfer with standard skills. HVTV.com offers how-to instructions[4] .
Additional costs:
  • It can be possible to reuse existing baseboards in a room or replace them with bamboo wall base that matches the new flooring. Bamboos wall base and other trim (edges, thresholds, etc.) can add $2-$5 a linear foot to the cost of materials, or anywhere from $50-$350 for an 18x14-foot kitchen, depending on what's needed. Most contractors include the cost of needed baseboards and other trim in their estimates.
Shopping for bamboo flooring:
  • Response to bamboo flooring has been mixed[5] , in part because quality and durability can vary. The Wall Street Journal lists questions[6] to ask.
  • Some of the major manufacturers include Bamboo Hardwoods, Bamboo Mountain, Teragren[7] and Yanchi Bamboo Flooring[8] .
  • Bamboo flooring is sold online, in most home improvement centers and in flooring stores. Most stores provide installation service or referrals to local contractors, and buyers typically arrange for installation when they buy the materials. The World Floor Covering Association provides a directory[9] of retail floor stores by zip code.
  • A "floating" floor could be installed by a handyman experienced with click-together engineered flooring, but professional installation might be better for bamboo flooring that must be nailed or glued down. Check that the contractor is bonded and insured, whether the state requires a contractor's license.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,195199,00.html
  2.  parents.berkeley.edu/recommend/home/bamboofloor.html#install
  3.  www.home-flooring-guide.net/bamboo-flooring/types-and-styles-of-bamboo-flooring-2....
  4.  www.hgtv.com/home-improvement/install-bamboo-floors/index.html
  5.  parents.berkeley.edu/recommend/home/bamboofloor.html#hoice
  6.  online.wsj.com/public/page/news-real-estate-homes.html
  7.  www.teragren.com/products.html
  8.  www.yanchiflooring.com/products.htm
  9.  www.wfca.org/FlooringStoreLocator.aspx
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