It is difficult to say in any definitive way how much strand woven bamboo flooring should cost per square foot. This is because different suppliers and retailers charge different prices. In the case of many flooring retailers the situation seems to be similar to buying a car in the sense that the salesperson negotiates a price with you and this price will no doubt also include a commission for him or her. That means if they can sell you a more expensive type of flooring they are going to make a bigger commission.
To put yourself in a better bargaining position it is always wise to measure the volume of flooring that is needed for a room. Simply multiply the length of the room by the width to get the square footage (USA and Canada) or square meter volume (rest of the world) of the room. If you are planning on doing a self-installation then it is a good idea to add between 10% and 20% extra to your calculation of the room size. This extra material allows you a safety margin for error. Knowing how much strand woven bamboo you will need will allow you to look at costs per square foot or meter and calculate yourself how much it will cost you to buy the strand woven bamboo flooring. Don’t let a sharp dealer do lightning calculations on a calculator in front of you that you don’t understand.
If you are planning to pay someone to install the flooring for you, you will obviously have to pay extra. In many cases the cost of installing flooring can be nearly be as expensive as the flooring itself. The dealer who sells you the flooring will no doubt want to also sell you the add on service of installation. The advantage of this is that the company will use professionals who have had experience of laying strand woven bamboo flooring before. It is not, however, compulsory to use the labor recommended by the shop or dealer. You are in your rights as a consumer to look around for a cheaper estimate for the cost of installing your strand woven bamboo flooring.
That is the best advice regarding the cost of strand woven bamboo flooring: shop around and get estimates for both flooring and installation. Go to show rooms and look on the net. The more quotes you get the better the idea you will have about the costs involved.
Another important piece of advice: always look a gift horse in the mouth. If something is really or, in your opinion, too cheap there is usually a reason for it. If the shop says it is having a closing down sale try and find out how long this closing down clearance has been going on for! It could be that they are merely just pretending to close down to move defective products. To safeguard against this find out: does the flooring come with any type of warranty? And what type of lacquer has been used on the strand woven bamboo? The recognized industry standard is an aluminum oxide coating made by a company called Klumpp. This lacquer gives the strand woven bamboo the hardest finish and is necessary to guarantee the longevity of the flooring. The better the lacquer the more traffic the strand woven bamboo flooring will be able to withstand.
Another factor is environmental certification. As with most products in the market place, the cheaper they are in comparison to similar products the more likelihood there is of two things:
- The workers involved in production have been paid poorly and that they are not protected by either labor laws or a fair trade program.
- The product has been made in a way that has caused damage to the environment.
Strand woven bamboo flooring is no different. The cheapest strand woven bamboo flooring comes from the Zhujiang province in China. The ‘moso’ bamboo is used because it grows tall and is very strong for a bamboo. Unfortunately, environmental laws are only sporadically enforced behind the iron rice bowl. This means that a lot of bamboo is being harvested at the cost of the environment. Forests are being clear cut to make way for the cash crop of bamboo. This destroys the natural habit of animals and destroys the eco-system of the forest. Furthermore, pesticides and fertilizers are being used to try and speed up or maximize the growth of the bamboo. This damages the soil and poisons the water supply. In turn more labor is bought in to harvest the bamboo. They are ill treated and under-paid and contribute to the ec0-damage to the area. It is a vicious and ironic circle: as the West demands more bamboo to quench its desire for environmentally friendly products, so China responds by doing more damage to the environment to meet that need in the west.
The best way to avoid this trap of false environmental benefit is to only buy from suppliers with FSC accreditation. The FSC is the Forest Stewardship Council who work in forests around the world to ensure forests are managed as sustainable resources. In other words the FSC protects forests from the interests of short term financial gain. Strandwovenbambooflooring.info has a list of FSC accredited companies.