Engineered vs. Solid Bamboo Flooring Compared

Choosing the right flooring for your home can be a daunting task.

One popular option is bamboo, a sustainable and eco-friendly material.

But did you know there are two main types of bamboo flooring? Among them are solid bamboo and engineered bamboo. Here is the complete comparison.

FeatureSolid BambooEngineered Bamboo
Natural Look
Easy Install
Solid Underfoot
Bamboo vs engineered wood

If you are looking for a natural look and the option to refinish, solid bamboo is your go-to. For easier installation, moisture resistance, and durability, engineered bamboo is the better choice.

Traditional Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is not a tree but a grass. It's the world's largest species of grass, in fact! In Eastern Asia, people have used bamboo for flooring for ages. They slice the bamboo stalks into thin sheets and nail them to hardwood beams. This traditional method is still in use in some rural areas.

Two Main Types of Bamboo Flooring

Modern bamboo flooring comes in two main types: solid and engineered.

Solid Bamboo

Solid bamboo flooring is made from pieces of bamboo that are glued together. It looks very natural and has rich features. You can use it in bedrooms, living rooms, and even some kitchens. But avoid using it in bathrooms or basements.

How It’s Made

  1. Slicing and Boiling: Bamboo stalks are sliced into thin pieces and boiled in boric acid. This kills bacteria and removes starch.
  2. Bonding: The slices are glued together using heat and pressure.
  3. Finishing: The material is sanded and coated with a UV lacquer.

Types of Solid Bamboo

  • Flat-grain: Slices are laid flat. This gives a consistent look.
  • Vertical-grain: Slices are lined up vertically. This gives it a more textured look.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
    • Can be refinished
    • Very solid underfoot
  • Cons:
    • Harder to install
    • Not as durable as some other types
Bamboo vs engineered bamboo

Engineered Bamboo

Engineered bamboo has a thin layer of bamboo on top. The rest is made of wood or fiberboard. It's stable and easy to maintain. You can use it in almost any room, even basements.

How It’s Made

  1. Veneer Creation: Thin layers of bamboo are cut and bonded to a base layer of plywood or fiberboard.
  2. Finishing: A clear wear layer is applied for durability.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
    • Easy to install
    • More moisture-resistant
  • Cons:
    • Cannot be refinished
    • Not as solid underfoot


  • Solid bamboo is installed by nailing or gluing to a subfloor.
  • Engineered Bamboo: Usually a "floating" floor laid over a foam or membrane underlayment.


Both types of bamboo flooring have similar costs, ranging from $2 to $5 per square foot. However, the longer lifespan of some types may make them more cost-effective in the long run.

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