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bamboo flooring types

Before you start looking for retailers, it helps to have an idea of what type of bamboo flooring you're most interested in. This section will guide you through the different types of bamboo flooring available. With this illustrated guide, you can see the differences between solid and engineered, finished and unfinished and other variations of bamboo flooring.

Browsing all of the different bamboo flooring types, colors, grains, milling and finishes can help save shopping time, as well as give you a better idea of what you want. Interested in installing bamboo flooring yourself? Check out the milling section below and find out why many home installers choose bamboo click and lock installation for their DIY flooring project

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Bamboo Types

Learn about solid, engineered, and strand woven bamboo floors.

  • Solid: Each plank of solid bamboo flooring consist of several solid strips adhered together. Solid bamboo floors are available in horizontal or vertical style. Planks of flooring can be glued or nailed in place.
  • Engineered: These bamboo flooring types consists of a surface layer backed by another layer of wood, often plywood, pine, or fiberboard. They can be installed as floating floors over the surface of another floor. Many have click and lock edges for easy installation.
  • Strand woven: Strand woven bamboo flooring is made up of thin strands of bamboo bound together under heat and high pressure. This creates an attractive woven look and results in some of the most durable floors you can buy. Strand woven floors can also be formed from strands of both carbonized and natural bamboo, creating an effect similar to tiger stripes.

Bamboo Flooring Types: Solid, Engineered and Strand 

Bamboo Floor Colors

Can't decide between natural, carbonized, or stained bamboo flooring? You'll have an easier choice with this handy reference guide.

  • Natural: Untreated bamboo is naturally a light blond color. This pale golden shade is seen in natural floors.
  • Carbonized: This type of bamboo flooring is heat–treated, caramelizing the sugar in the fibers and creating a darker color ranging from amber to coffee.
  • Stained: Bamboo flooring can easily be stained to match the hardwood shade of your choice.

Bamboo Flooring Colors: Natural, Carbonized and 

Bamboo Grains

Discover the differences between horizontal and vertical bamboo flooring.

  • Horizontal: Horizontal, or flat–grain, bamboo flooring displays the natural nodes or "knuckles" of the bamboo. These nodes are randomly visible on the surface, adding to the natural beauty of the floor
  • Vertical: Vertical bamboo flooring offers a more uniform look than horizontal bamboo flooring, and lacks the obviously visible nodes. This is achieved by lining the strips up by their edges during construction, rather than laying them out flat (or horizontally).

Bamboo Flooring Grains: Horizontal Grain and Vertical 


Do you want bamboo click and lock installation or tongue and groove? Micro bevel or square edge? Read on to see how bamboo flooring fits together.

  • Click and lock: Each plank of your bamboo flooring is manufactured with interlocking joints. These joints click and lock together for a snug fit that holds each plank firmly in place.  Bamboo click and lock installation is favored by those who choose to install their floors themselves, as they eliminate the use of glue.
  • Tongue and groove: The edges of tongue and groove bamboo flooring slot together like puzzle pieces. Each plank has a tongue-shaped ridge cut out of one side and a groove in the other. This allows for a more snug fit between planks. Some tongue and groove engineered floors can be floated by applying glue between the planks.
  • Micro bevel: Each plank is cut slightly rounded at the edges, helping to reduce the risk of uneven plank height.
  • Square edged: Bamboo planks with square edges have not been rounded off to grooves, creating planks that square up at the edges.

Bamboo Flooring Milling: Click and Lock, Tongue and 
Groove, Micro Bevel and Square Edges

Bamboo Flooring Finishes

Should you choose unfinished or finished bamboo floors? Find out here.

  • Unfinished: Unfinished bamboo floors must be sanded, stained, and finished when they're installed. While they can be cheaper to purchase in the beginning, buyers should factor in the additional cost of stains and finishes, as well as the labor costs for installers to finish the floors.
  • Finished (Pre-finished): Also known as prefinished floors, these bamboo floors are sanded, stained or colored, and finished at the factory. They're ready to install as soon as you receive them.