Bamboo Flooring: A Sustainable and Stylish Choice for Your Home

Reviewed By Emily Johnson


Using bamboo as a flooring material is a versatile and eco-friendly option that has gained popularity in recent years. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of bamboo flooring, covering everything from its basic characteristics to installation, care, and sustainability.

Bamboo Flooring Basics


Bamboo floor sheets come in various dimensions, allowing homeowners to choose the style that best suits their space. Planks can range from narrow strips to wide boards, providing options for different room sizes and aesthetics.


Bamboo flooring offers intricate details and patterns, adding a touch of elegance to any room. The natural grain patterns in bamboo are unique, and they can vary between different bamboo species.


The thickness of bamboo flooring can affect its durability and suitability for different areas of your home. Thicker planks are more robust and suitable for high-traffic areas, while thinner planks work well in low-traffic spaces.

Bamboo Floor Types


It is available in a wide range of colors, from natural light shades to darker, carbonized options. The color you choose can significantly impact the overall look of your space.


The design options are diverse, including horizontal, vertical, and strand-woven bamboo. Each design has its unique appearance and characteristics.

Bamboo Floor Installation

Thinking of installing bamboo floors yourself? We’ll provide a step-by-step guide to help you get started on your DIY project.

Bamboo Flooring Adhesive

Urethane-Based Adhesive:

This type of adhesive is popular for bamboo flooring due to its strength and flexibility. Urethane adhesives provide a strong bond, ensuring the bamboo remains securely in place. They are suitable for various subfloor types and can handle fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

Polyurethane-Based Adhesive:

Similar to urethane-based adhesives, polyurethane adhesives offer strong bonding capabilities. They are also known for their water resistance, making them suitable for areas prone to moisture.

Acrylic-Based Adhesive:

Acrylic adhesives are known for their easy cleanup. They offer good adhesion and are often used in engineered flooring installations. They are also generally environmentally friendly and emit fewer fumes compared to other adhesives.

MS Polymer Adhesive:

These adhesives are known for their high bond strength and flexibility. They are also environmentally friendly and have low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions, making them a popular choice for eco-friendly installations.

Points of consideration for adhesive in bamboo flooring:

When selecting an adhesive for bamboo flooring, consider the following factors:

Moisture Resistance:

Ensure the adhesive is suitable for the level of moisture present in the installation area.

Subfloor Compatibility

Verify that the adhesive is compatible with the subfloor material (concrete, plywood, etc.).

VOC Emissions:

 Consider low-VOC or zero-VOC adhesives for better indoor air quality.

Application Method: 

Some adhesives are better suited for specific installation methods (e.g., full spread or glue-down).

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines for the specific adhesive you choose to ensure a successful bamboo floor installation. Additionally, consulting with a professional or the manufacturer can provide further guidance on the best adhesive for your particular bamboo floor and installation conditions.

Bamboo Flooring Underlay

The underlay is either foam or cork. It allows the floor to float, gives it stability, support, noise reduction, and supports the locking systems in between planks to ensure the sturdiest flooring. When it comes to bamboo flooring underlay, you can consider the following options:

Foam Underlay: 

Foam underlay is a common choice for bamboo floors. It provides a cushioning effect and helps reduce noise. Foam underlay can come in different thicknesses, and you should choose one that suits your needs and the subfloor condition. Look for foam underlay that has moisture resistance properties if you are installing bamboo in a potentially damp area.

Rubber Underlay: 

Rubber underlay is known for its durability and sound insulation properties. It can also provide excellent support to your floor. This type of underlay is often recommended for areas where sound control is a concern.

Cork Underlay

Cork underlay is eco-friendly and provides natural insulation. It can help with moisture control and is a good choice if you want a more sustainable option.

Combination Underlay

Some underlays are a combination of materials, such as foam and foil, to provide various benefits, including thermal insulation and moisture resistance.

When shopping for bamboo flooring underlay at Bunnings or any home improvement store, consider the following factors:

  • Thickness: The thickness of the underlay can affect the comfort and support it provides. Thicker underlay can offer better cushioning.
  • Moisture Resistance: Ensure the underlay has appropriate moisture resistance properties, especially if you’re installing bamboo floors in areas prone to moisture.
  • Sound Insulation: If reducing noise is a concern, choose an underlay that offers sound insulation properties.
  • Installation: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for underlay installation, as they may vary based on the type of underlay you choose.

Bamboo Floor Expansion Gap

Expansion gaps are vital in the installation of bamboo flooring, as they allow the material to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity, preventing buckling, warping, or other damage. Here’s information on expansion gaps for bamboo flooring:

Purpose of Expansion Gaps: 

Bamboo, like other wood-based materials, can expand when humidity increases and contract in drier conditions. Expansion gaps are left around the perimeter of the room and at fixed points (like doorways) to provide space for this natural movement.

Recommended Gap Size: 

The recommended expansion gap size for bamboo flooring is typically around 1/4 to 1/2 inch (approximately 6 to 12 millimeters) between the flooring and the walls, cabinets, or any other fixed objects. This space accommodates the potential expansion without causing damage to the floor.

Installation Considerations

Ensure that the expansion gap is consistent and maintained throughout the installation process. Spacers are often used during installation to guarantee a uniform gap along the edges.

Covering the Gap

Once the installation is complete, the expansion gap is usually covered using baseboards, quarter-round molding, or other types of trim to create a finished look while allowing for the necessary space for the flooring to move.


Inspect the flooring periodically to ensure that the expansion gap remains visible and unobstructed. If the floor covering restricts natural movement, it might cause issues over time.

It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for installation, including the specific requirements for expansion gaps, as these measurements can vary based on the type and brand of bamboo flooring being installed. Ensuring proper expansion gaps during installation will contribute to the longevity and durability of your bamboo flooring.

Floating Bamboo Floor

Bamboo floor installed as a floating floor refers to the method of installation where the individual planks or boards are not directly attached to the subfloor but instead are locked together, usually via a click-lock system or adhesive, and then “float” over an underlayment.

Here are some key points about floating bamboo floor installations:

Installation Method

Floating bamboo floors are installed without being nailed or glued to the subfloor. Instead, the planks or boards are connected to each other, creating a unified, floating surface.

Click-Lock System:

Many bamboo floor products designed for floating installations feature a click-lock or snap-together system. This system allows the boards to fit snugly together without the need for adhesives. It offers a convenient and efficient installation process.


Underlayment is placed between the bamboo flooring and the subfloor. It provides cushioning, sound absorption, moisture protection, and a smoother surface for the flooring. Choosing the right underlayment is important for the success of the floating floor installation.

Expansion Gaps: 

To accommodate the natural expansion and contraction of the bamboo floor due to changes in temperature and humidity, it’s crucial to leave expansion gaps around the edges of the room and at transition points. These gaps are usually covered by baseboards or trim.


Floating bamboo flooring is versatile and can be installed over various subfloor types, including concrete, plywood, and existing flooring such as tile or vinyl, provided the surface is level, dry, and clean.

Floating installations are often chosen for their ease of installation and versatility. They can be suitable for DIY projects and can be quicker to install compared to glued or nailed-down methods.

Top Brands of Bamboo Flooring

Most of the major hardwood flooring manufacturers also carry a selection of bamboo flooring products. For the best selection and product quality, however, it’s a good idea to check out the manufacturers who specialize in bamboo:


This company uses a soy-based resin that contains no formaldehyde. It is a more expensive product (as much as $6 per square foot) but these less toxic products are among the most beautiful of any bamboo flooring.

Cali Bamboo Flooring: 

This company sells more than 30 bamboo flooring products, including solid bamboo and engineered bamboo in various colors and premium bamboo flooring designed for good performance in high-moisture situations.

Bamboo floor cost:

As of my last update in 2023, the average cost of a bamboo floor typically ranges from $3 to $8 per square foot. However, premium or specialty bamboo floors may cost more, sometimes ranging from $8 to $12 per square foot or higher.

It’s important to consider the entire project cost, including the price of the flooring material, underlayment, installation, additional materials, and any unforeseen expenses. Prices can also vary by region, so it’s recommended to get quotes from multiple suppliers or contractors to compare costs and ensure you’re getting a fair price for your flooring project.

Bamboo Floor in Different Spaces

Bamboo flooring is a versatile and attractive choice for various spaces within a home or commercial setting. Its durability, eco-friendliness, and aesthetic appeal make it suitable for different areas:

Living Areas:

Bamboo floors can be an excellent choice for living rooms, family rooms, and dens. It offers a warm, inviting look and can withstand moderate foot traffic.


Bamboo flooring creates a cozy and comfortable atmosphere in bedrooms. It’s durable enough to withstand regular bedroom activities and can be further softened by area rugs.


Bamboo floors are suitable for kitchens due to their durability and water-resistant finishes. However, care should be taken to clean spills promptly to prevent water damage.

Dining Areas:

Bamboo flooring is a practical choice for dining areas. It’s easy to clean and maintain, making it ideal for spaces where spills and messes might occur.

Home Offices:

Bamboo flooring provides a professional and stylish look for home offices. It’s durable enough to handle office chairs and regular foot traffic.

Hallways and Entryways

Bamboo flooring can make a strong visual impact in high-traffic areas like hallways and entryways. It’s durable and easy to clean, making it suitable for these areas.


While bamboo floors can be used in basements, it’s crucial to ensure proper moisture control and select appropriate installation methods to prevent potential water damage.

Commercial Spaces:

Bamboo flooring can also be installed in commercial settings, such as offices or retail spaces, where there’s moderate foot traffic. It provides an attractive and eco-friendly flooring solution.

When considering bamboo flooring for different spaces, it’s essential to:

  • Choose the right type of bamboo flooring (strand-woven, engineered, etc.) based on the area’s expected foot traffic and conditions.
  • Select a finish that provides durability and water resistance, especially for spaces prone to moisture.
  • Use rugs or mats in specific areas to protect the floor and reduce wear in high-traffic spots.
  • Follow proper maintenance and cleaning routines to prolong the flooring’s lifespan in each space.

Ultimately, bamboo flooring can add charm, warmth, and a touch of nature to various spaces, but choosing the appropriate type and ensuring proper maintenance are crucial for its longevity and performance in each area.

Not Good For:

Bamboo flooring, while durable and versatile, may not be the ideal choice for installation in areas prone to moisture and high humidity, such as bathrooms and washrooms. Excessive moisture can damage bamboo flooring, causing it to warp, swell, or even develop mold and mildew.

In rooms like bathrooms or washrooms, where exposure to water and humidity is frequent, it’s generally recommended to opt for flooring materials that are specifically designed to withstand such conditions. Moisture-resistant options such as ceramic or porcelain tile, vinyl, or natural stone tend to be more suitable for these areas due to their water-resistant properties.

If you’re particularly keen on the aesthetic of bamboo and still wish to incorporate it in a bathroom, it might be considered in areas where direct water exposure is minimal, such as powder rooms or half-baths, with extra care and preventive measures taken to ensure it remains dry.

However, to minimize the risk of water damage and maintain the longevity of the flooring, it’s generally advisable to select materials explicitly engineered for moisture-prone environments when it comes to bathrooms or washrooms.

Features of bamboo Flooring 

Bamboo floor possesses several notable features that contribute to its popularity and appeal as a flooring option:


Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Bamboo is a type of grass that grows much faster than hardwood trees, allowing for faster replenishment.


Bamboo flooring is known for its durability, especially the strand-woven variety, which is harder than many traditional hardwoods. When properly manufactured and maintained, it can withstand daily wear and tear.


It offers a unique and stylish look, providing a natural, warm ambiance to any space. Bamboo’s natural grain patterns and variations add character and beauty to the flooring.


Bamboo floor comes in various styles, including horizontal, vertical, and strand-woven. It offers a range of colors and finishes, providing options to suit diverse interior design preferences.

Easy Maintenance:

Bamboo floors are relatively easy to maintain. Regular sweeping, vacuuming, and damp mopping are usually sufficient to keep it clean. Select finishes may also resist scratches and stains.

Allergen Friendly: 

It’s known for being a good choice for individuals with allergies as it doesn’t harbor dust mites or other allergens.

Compatibility with Underfloor Heating

Bamboo flooring is often compatible with underfloor heating systems, providing a warm and comfortable underfoot experience.

Value for Money:

Bamboo flooring generally offers good value for its cost. It’s typically less expensive than many traditional hardwood floors and can provide similar durability and aesthetic appeal.

DIY Installation: 

Bamboo flooring is available in various installation methods, including click-lock systems for easy DIY installation.


Bamboo flooring can be used in various spaces, from residential homes to commercial settings, and can work well in most rooms with the proper care and maintenance.

Is Bamboo Flooring Waterproof?

Bamboo flooring is not inherently waterproof. While bamboo is relatively more water-resistant than hardwoods, it’s not impervious to water or moisture. Exposure to excessive water or prolonged moisture can result in damage to bamboo flooring, causing warping, swelling, or discoloration.

However, advancements in manufacturing techniques have introduced bamboo flooring with improved water-resistant qualities. Some bamboo flooring products are treated with water-resistant finishes or coatings that offer a degree of protection against water spills or moisture.

It’s important to note the distinction between water-resistant and waterproof. Water-resistant flooring can repel water to a certain extent, giving you time to clean up spills before damage occurs. However, it’s not entirely impervious to water and should not be submerged or exposed to excessive moisture for prolonged periods.

Bamboo Flooring Humidity

Understanding how bamboo flooring responds to changes in humidity is crucial for maintaining its condition.

Optimal Humidity Control

Proper humidity control is essential for maintaining bamboo floors. Suggest maintaining indoor humidity levels between 40-60% to prevent issues like warping and cracking. The writer can provide tips on using humidifiers and dehumidifiers as needed.

Eco-Friendly Finishes

A subject matter expert can recommend eco-friendly finishes and sealants for bamboo flooring, emphasizing the importance of low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) products to enhance indoor air quality.


Bamboo flooring isn’t the only choice on the market. We’ll compare it to other popular options:

Bamboo Flooring vs. Hardwood

Comparing bamboo to traditional hardwood flooring, weighing the pros and cons of each.

Bamboo Flooring vs. Laminate

Certainly, here’s a comparison of bamboo flooring and laminate flooring in tabular form:

Both bamboo and laminate flooring have their own unique features and qualities. The choice between the two often depends on specific preferences, needs, and the intended use of the flooring in your space.


Proper installation practices, including leaving adequate expansion gaps, ensuring proper acclimatization, and using high-quality materials, are crucial to prevent issues like buckling or warping. Additionally, addressing environmental factors such as humidity and temperature fluctuations is essential to maintain the flooring’s integrity. 

Bamboo flooring is a popular and eco-friendly choice known for its durability, sustainability, and aesthetic appeal. However, it is important to consider various factors when installing and maintaining bamboo floors to prevent common issues such as moisture damage, scratches, fading, or buckling.