Panda Bears and professionals agree, buying and installing bamboo flooring is the eco-friendly way to update your home. Bamboo is an affordable alternative to hardwood. It can bring a unique and inviting look to your space.
Bamboo floors have gotten a bad reputation over the past few years, but they’ve come along way. Stricter regulations have made them safer to install. Today’s guidelines require factories to produce bamboo without the use of highly volatile chemicals.
If you’re wondering if bamboo floors are right for you, here’s some fact’s to chew on.
- Bamboo Flooring Pricing & Options
- Installation Cost & How to Install
- Special Considerations
- Final Thoughts
Bamboo Flooring Pricing & Options
Bamboo flooring is available in three different varieties; vertical, horizontal and strand-woven. Horizontal and vertical bamboo floors cost between $2-$4 per square foot, while strand-woven runs approximately $3-$5. Of course, your choice of manufacturer may require a bit more budget wiggle-room – Teragren’s bamboo, for instance.
Vertical strips resemble traditional hardwood floors, while horizontal bamboo has visual knots. They’re equally durable and cost about the same. When deciding between the two, it is a matter of preference.
Strand woven bamboo is the densest form of flooring. The grass is bonded through a heating process using resin and adhesives. The result produces tightly woven strands that are 3 times stronger than other types of bamboo.
Manufacturers darken bamboo through a boiling process called carbonization. The treatment gives the flooring a rich caramel coloring but weakens it by 30%. The general rule is: the lighter the bamboo, the harder it is.
Carbonized bamboo costs between $2-$4 a square foot while natural colored floors usually cost less. When buying bamboo always look for products that carry a FloorScore certification. This seal ensures that your bamboo was manufactured responsibly and is safe to install in your home.
Installation Price & How to Install
You can install bamboo flooring one of three ways. The first method is to nail the floor to a plywood base using a pneumatic nail gun. This is an advanced technique that’s best left to professionals or experienced DIY installers.
Floorers usually charge between $30 to $45 an hour to install these floors. Look for a tradesman that is a registered member of the National Wood Floorers Association. Most professional installers will be comfortable working with bamboo.
Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific subfloor requirements. Subfloors should be clean and free of debris. Install a vapor barrier to keep moisture and mold from forming beneath your floors.
Remember to work from multiple boxes and be ruthless when weeding out imperfect boards.
Another option is to glue the boards using special adhesives. Flooring experts recommend using Urethane based adhesives for installing bamboo. Ask your retailer which products are safe to use with your floors.
When working with adhesives, wear a respirator and make sure your area is adequately ventilated. Be sure to lay out the boards before applying the glue. Use a trowel to spread the Urethane and work in small sections.
The final option is to float your bamboo floors. This is the most DIY friendly method but requires a specific type of board. Look for planks with tongue and groove or click to lock mechanisms.
Most floating floors can be finished within a day or two. Floating bamboo floors are made of solid or engineered material. Pricing varies but is usually less than $3 a square foot.
Bamboo shouldn’t be used in damp areas. Elevated levels of humidity will cause the boards to split and warp. Bamboo floors are sensitive to temperature changes.
Remember to give the flooring a minimum of 5 days to acclimate before starting the installation.
Active households and pet owners should opt for natural colored uncarbonized bamboo. It’s considered as durable as red oak. If you have heavy furniture, consider gluing or nailing down your bamboo for better stability.
When shopping for bamboo floors look for products with a 25-year warranty. Better companies usually offer an aluminum oxide top coat and a UV protective layer.
Bamboo is simple to maintain, and you can refinish it if it starts to show wear. Check your warranty for specific refinishing guidelines.
Finally, ask your retailer for paperwork detailing your floorings origin and milling practices. Poor production can result in low quality bamboo floors that will delaminate and crack. While bamboo flooring is cost-effective, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the best quality product for your money.
Bamboo floors are a green flooring choice that is well suited for active lifestyles. Bamboo is natural vegetation and harvesting it is environmentally friendly. Because Bamboo is grass and not hardwood, it’s harvested by hand.
Plants must grow for an average of 6 years before they reach their full-strength level. Until recently bamboo wasn’t measured on the Janka scale. Due to its increasing popularity, the tool has been updated to include several variations of bamboo.
While bamboo has been the center of some debate, it’s a worthwhile consideration for budget-conscious renovators. It has all the benefits of hardwood but typically at a more affordable price.
Do you have bamboo flooring in your home? If so, did you install strand, vertical or horizontal?