facebook pixel
cost guide icon
 

Bamboo Flooring Installation Cost

Bamboo Flooring Installation Cost

National average
$2,600 - $3,000
(insatlling 200 sq.ft. of vertical bamboo floor with glue down installation)
Low: $2,000 - $2,500

(horizontal bamboo, floating installation)

High: $3,400 - $4,000

(strand woven bamboo, nail down installation)

Cost to install bamboo flooring varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from flooring contractors in your city.

The average cost of installing bambo flooring is $2,600 - $3,000​.

In this guide

Pros and cons
Cost factors and considerations
Prep work and subfloor
Types and appearance
Colors
Finishes
Labor
Stains and sealants
Maintenance
Bamboo vs hardwood flooring
Brands
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to install bamboo flooring?

Bamboo is an eco-friendly, attractive, and low-maintenance flooring option for homes. It’s been around for about 20 years, but new innovations have given way to a new rise in popularity for the material. Bamboo floors come in three different types, affecting cost, appearance, and performance.

The average homeowner installing vertical bamboo floors will pay around $2,600 for a 200 square foot installation.

Pros and cons

Like any flooring material, bamboo has its positive and negative attributes. There is a lot of confusion surrounding bamboo due to the fact that it’s made in three distinct ways, which can mean someone anticipating one result may be surprised with another.

Overall, bamboo is considered environmentally friendly. It’s made from a type of grass that grows quickly, and which is harvested every 8-11 years. This is when it reaches its full strength. Some lesser-quality bamboo products may be harvested earlier, which can make for a weaker floor. Horizontal and vertical bamboo have very distinct styles that many people find attractive, allowing each to complement many types of homes. Strand woven bamboo can be made to look like other types of hardwood and is, in fact, more durable than most domestic hardwoods, which is a big positive for those who want an eco-friendly floor that mimics the look of traditional styles like oak or maple.

All bamboo is very low-maintenance, only requiring sweeping and mopping as needed. Horizontal and vertical bamboo are also less expensive than hardwoods, with horizontal bamboo costing the least. Strand woven bamboo often costs about the same as other hardwoods. Bamboo is more water-resistant than regular hardwood floors, but it can be damaged by excessive water.

Horizontal and vertical bamboo can both dent and cut easily. While they score fairly high on the Janka scale of floor hardness, this number is considered misleading because the floor can be cut so readily. Horizontal bamboo, the most common, is also the most likely to scratch, dent, and have the top layer wear away.

Horizontal and vertical bamboo also expand in all directions, unlike hardwood floors or strand woven bamboo. This can be warping if an expansion joint is not left around the perimeter of the entire room, not just the horizontal spaces.

Not all bamboo can be stained. Horizontal bamboo is the most likely to accept a stain, but even then absorption is minimal. To get a darker color to the floor, the material is heated and carbonized. This breaks down the sugars in the bamboo, causing a deeper color. Unfortunately, this also softens the fibers of the floor, so a darker bamboo floor will be weaker than a lighter or natural colored bamboo floor.

Finally, there is no regulation on bamboo, so it’s impossible to know how old the material was, how it was harvested, or what type of glue was used. Some types of glue may give off harmful VOCs, while others are fine. It can be difficult to determine which product you’re getting without a lot of due diligence on your part.

Cost factors and considerations

There is a wide range of costs associated with bamboo, with floorboards costing anywhere from $3 to $12 per square foot. Installation costs can also vary from $5 to $10 per square foot. This comes down to several different factors.

The first is the style of bamboo. Horizontal bamboo is the least expensive and the most common, while strand woven is the most expensive. The color of the bamboo can also play a role; if the material was carbonized, this extra step will increase its cost.

The way that the material is designed to be installed will also affect the costs. It may be glued or nailed down like a hardwood, or it may be floated like laminate. Floating is usually a less expensive and faster installation style, while nailing or gluing can take longer.

When choosing the type of bamboo you want, it’s important to consider not only the cost, but also how it will be installed, over what substrate, and the kind of use it will get. Floating a floor over an old asbestos 1 floor makes more sense than nailing. Using a woven strand material in a home with kids and dogs makes more sense than using a horizontal bamboo material that can dent and scratch easily.

It may also be wise to pay more for a product that can be confirmed to come from a company that uses best practices in harvesting to ensure the product is more eco-friendly, as well as more likely to have reached full strength.

Prep work and subfloor

Like any wood flooring, bamboo should be placed in the room it will be installed in roughly three days before. This will give it a chance to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of your home. This will mean the material will be less likely to swell or shrink immediately following installation.

Bamboo should be installed over a dry, level subfloor 2. It can be installed over either plywood 3 or concrete, but if installed below grade, steps should be taken to seal the concrete and to ensure lower humidity levels unless choosing to use an engineered style, which can better handle the moisture.

If installing over plywood, it should be level and screwed down to prevent movement. If installing over concrete, a leveling compound may be necessary to fill any voids or gaps in the concrete to ensure a stable bamboo installation.

Types and appearance

Because bamboo isn’t technically a wood, the way that the boards are formed can vary dramatically, affecting both the way that the material looks and the way that it functions.

TypeDescriptionCost
Horizontal

Strip bamboo made of layers laid horizontally on top of one another

May be stained, natural, or carbonized

Weakest form of bamboo

$2-$5/sq.ft.
Vertical

Strip bamboo made of layers laid vertically beside one another

May be natural or carbonized

Slightly stronger than horizontal bamboo

$2-$5/sq.ft.
2-ply

Made from two layers of bamboo

The top layer is for appearance

The bottom layer makes it more durable

$3-$5/sq.ft.
Solid wide

Wider planks made up of multiple layers of bamboo

Usually horizontal, but may be vertical

$3-$5/sq.ft.
Solid strip

Made up of multiple layers of bamboo

May be horizontal or vertical in orientation

$3-$5/sq.ft.
Woven strand

Solid bamboo made of strands that are interspersed throughout each board

Very strong and durable

May be made to mimic the appearance of hardwoods

$3-$7/sq.ft.
Industrial

Shortboards made from solid bamboo strips

Each board is bundled together with tape

Creates a unique look with lots of densely packed lines

$5-$7/sq.ft.
Engineered

Very thin layer of actual bamboo glued to the top of a long-wearing layer

More stable than solid bamboo

Cannot be refinished

$5-$7/sq.ft.


Colors

Bamboo is significantly limited in the number of colors it can be produced in when compared with hardwoods. This is because the material only accepts stain to a point, and only in horizontal and some areas of a strand woven board. The edges of the bamboo (the part that shows in a vertical application and in some areas of a woven strand application) do not take stain.

In order to change the color of the bamboo, the product is usually carbonized. This means heating it to the point that the sugars present in the bamboo caramelize, darkening the color of the boards. It also softens them, however, and makes them more prone to scratches and dents.

Natural bamboo is still given a clear finish, though, so there is little to no difference in cost. In some instances when a specific finish or stain have been used there may be a slightly higher cost, usually less than $1 additional per square foot.

Finishes

Like hardwood floors, bamboo can also be given different finishes that can affect both appearance and performance.

FinishDescriptionCost
Distressed

Boards have been wire brushed before finishing

Have a rustic appearance that may hide wear

$5-$7/sq.ft.
Matte lacquered

Anti-slip finish

Completely matte appearance with no sheen

$3-$5/sq.ft.
Satin matte

Light sheen to the boards

Brings out the color better

$3-$5/sq.ft.


Labor

Installation of bamboo flooring is very similar to installation of hardwood and tends to cost about the same. There are three basic methods for installing the bamboo: nailed down, glued down, and floating.

In a nailed down installation, the boards are set against one another and edge-nailed down into the substrate. For this installation, the floor must have a plywood 3 subfloor 2.

In a glued down installation, the boards are glued directly to the subfloor. Both nail and glue down installations result in a permanent installation of the bamboo to the subfloor. Removal can be difficult and costly.

A floating floor uses a click-lock method of installation where the boards lock together, but don’t attach to the subfloor in any way. In this installation the boards could be lifted up, removed, and replaced easily, so if a single board were ever damaged it could be replaced. Labor costs for bamboo installation run around $6 to $9 per square foot, with floating floor installations typically costing slightly less than the other forms.

For a 200 square foot installation of a vertical, glued down board, labor costs will run around $1,600.

Stains and sealants

Most bamboo comes presealed and either stained or heated to its final color. This sealant is long wearing, and in many cases you will not need to reapply over the lifetime of the floor. This is the same with the color, as most bamboo will have been heated or left natural, and any stains used are designed to last.

In rare instances, you may want to have the floor refinished. This should only be done if you have a thick enough top layer to handle sanding; some veneers are too thin for refinishing.

Maintenance

Bamboo is a fairly low-maintenance product. It does not require special cleaners, sealants, or other products. To keep it looking its best, wipe up spills as soon as they are seen and sweep up grit regularly to prevent scratches. If you use a vacuum, do not use the beater bar, as this could scratch the floor. Use scratch protector pads on the bottoms of furniture whenever possible, and leave wet or dirty shoes near the door.

Bamboo vs hardwood flooring

Bamboo is sometimes considered a hardwood, but it’s actually a unique product made of grass. Hardwood floors come in numerous species and can vary wildly in terms of appearance, cost, durability, maintenance, and installation.

In general they do tend to cost more than bamboo, with costs starting around $5-$10 per square foot, although installation costs are roughly the same.

Wood generally requires more maintenance than bamboo and is more susceptible to moisture. However, it lasts significantly longer, more than 100 years when properly cared for, while bamboo only lasts roughly 20-30 years.

The key when comparing bamboo with hardwood is to remember that there are many different hardwoods, and that the three types of bamboo - horizontal, vertical, and strand woven - are all wildly different from one another as well. It’s hard to compare apples to apples unless you are specifically comparing one product with another.

Brands

Bamboo is manufactured and sold by many different companies. Some of the more popular brands that you may find include:

BrandDescriptionCosts
Ambient BP

Floating bamboo floors

36 colors

Many sizes and lengths

$3-$5/sq.ft.
Trinity Bamboo

Certified FloorScore

CleanAir Verified

3 textures available

Solid and engineered

$4-$5/sq.ft.
Plyboo

4 lines of bamboo floors

Installs in floating, click-lock style

25 colors and styles

$5-$7/sq.ft.
Cali Bamboo

Woven strand in solid and engineered styles

50-year warranty

Two installation styles

33 colors and styles

$5-$7/sq.ft.
Eco Fusion

Engineered and solid woven strand bamboo

Several widths and colors

$5-$7/sq.ft.
Teragren

Engineered and solid options

More than 20 colors and styles

Many sizes and lengths

$5-$8/sq.ft.

*We selected a variety of brands and listed them from cheapest to most expensive, no other features were taken into account. We do not receive any monetary compensation from these companies.


Enhancement and improvement costs

Radiant heating

Installed properly, bamboo can be used with radiant heating. This will add an additional $5-$8 per square foot to the total cost of the project. For a 200 square foot installation this means an additional $1,000 to $1,600.

Old flooring removal

Unless this is a new home or you are floating the floor over something you can’t or don’t want to remove, you may need to pay extra to have the old flooring taken out. This costs around $6-$8 per square foot, depending on what the old flooring is and how hard it is to remove. In some cases, it can be done DIY or for much less.

Thresholds

It’s common to use the same material for the threshold as for the floor. Bamboo thresholds cost around $1-$5 each and can make a nice transition to other floorings.

Baseboards

If you are replacing an existing floor, you will need to remove and replace the baseboards. Sometimes this is factored into the total price for the job, while in other cases it’s an additional $1-$2 per linear foot.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Bamboo carpets are available that can give you the look of a bamboo floor, but which will go over your existing floor. They cost between $50 and $200 each, and will give you the style without the invasiveness of the project.
  • When purchasing, look for companies that are transparent with their method of harvesting. Be sure that the bamboo is at least 8 years old. Make sure that it has a low moisture content, and ranks consistently on the hardness scale. You may also want to look for a product with a minimum of a 25-year warranty.
  • Bamboo is a natural material and therefore needs to adjust to the climate in your home prior to installation. Place the boxes containing the bamboo in the room you will install them in a minimum of 48 hours prior to install.
  • Always purchase at least 10% extra flooring material for waste and to account for any irregularities in the floor.
  • Some material costs will include delivery charges. These can vary tremendously so always be sure to ask about delivery.
  • Total costs can vary depending on your location. Contractors may charge different rates depending on geographic area, and some zip codes may also have different building codes that can affect costs.
  • Floating bamboo floors can be installed DIY with little difficulty. Be sure to remove all baseboards and leave an expansion gap around the entire perimeter to allow for swelling without warping. It’s not recommended that nail or glue down floors be installed on your own.

FAQ

  • Do bamboo floors scratch easily?

Horizontal and vertical bamboo floors, particularly those that have been carbonized, may scratch easily. Woven strand bamboo and those with a high quality finish do not.

  • Are bamboo floors good?

Yes, many bamboo floors are a good choice for the home. They’re attractive, durable, and eco-friendly.

  • What are the benefits of bamboo flooring?

Bamboo floors are more environmentally friendly than hardwood. They’re stylish, and strand woven bamboo can not only mimic the appearance of any hardwood, it can also be harder than even some exotic woods.

  • Is bamboo flooring better than hardwood?

This depends on the type of bamboo and the type of hardwood. Strand woven bamboo may be a better, more durable option than some softer hardwood floors.

  • Do you need underlayment for bamboo flooring?

Not a specific underlayment, just a clean, dry, and level subfloor of wood or concrete.

  • Is bamboo flooring easy to install?

Bamboo flooring installs like wood; it can be nailed or glued down, or it can be floated. Floating a floor is easy to do, and can be done DIY. Other methods are more difficult and should be left to the installer.

  • Is it better to glue or nail bamboo flooring?

This may depend on the substrate. Nails work better with a wood subfloor.

  • How much does it cost to install bamboo floors?
  • Installation rates for bamboo floors are between $7 and $9 per square foot.
  • Is bamboo flooring more expensive than hardwood?

Bamboo may be more expensive than some hardwoods, but is generally less expensive.

  • Is bamboo good for flooring?

Some types of bamboo, such as strand woven, make an excellent, long-wearing floor.

  • Does bamboo flooring add value to a home?

Bamboo flooring is not as long-wearing as wood, so it doesn’t add as much value, but it can be attractive to some buyers.

  • Are bamboo floors waterproof?

No, however, bamboo is more water resistant than hardwood.

  • Is bamboo flooring durable?

This varies by the type of bamboo. Some types, like solid strand woven are extremely durable.

Was this guide helpful to you?
  

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Asbestos: A group of fire-resistant silicate minerals found in construction materials including paint, particularly in older homes. When the asbestos deteriorates, particles can become airborne and this is a serious health hazard.
glossary term picture Subfloor 2 Subfloor: The bottom-most layer of a floor, supported by joists, over which finished flooring material is laid
glossary term picture Plywood 3 Plywood: An engineered construction material manufactured from thin slices of wood glued together in alternating grain patterns for strength

Cost to install bamboo flooring varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Bamboo floor in a light color

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albany, GA
0%
Alpharetta, GA
+9%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Avon Lake, OH
-21%
Benicia, CA
+30%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Bloomfield, NY
-3%
Brea, CA
+24%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Charleston, SC
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chesterfield, VA
+1%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Cowley, WY
-32%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
East Haven, CT
+21%
Easton, PA
+13%
Fayetteville, NC
-20%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Frisco, TX
+23%
Garden Grove, CA
+20%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Kenmore, WA
+9%
Kissimmee, FL
-20%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lexington, SC
-10%
Miami, FL
+1%
Middletown, DE
+9%
Minot, ND
+4%
Mobile, AL
-8%
New York, NY
+77%
Norfolk, VA
-6%
North Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Olympia, WA
-15%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Palm Coast, FL
-32%
Pawtucket, RI
+12%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources