Made another visit to Lowe’s last night (I seem to find myself there a couple times a week LOL)
I was looking around the flooring section to check out ceramic tiles for engraving but ran across an end display for their Cali Bamboo product line with a nice variety of materials available. Best part is, they have color chips on sale for 25 CENTS each.
Looking at these color chips in hand (3"x3" or so, just under 1/2" thick) it seems like these are actually solid bamboo through and through.
The end cap display on the next isle over also had hardwood flooring color chips. These were 6"x6" pieces, roughly 1/2" thick. Looking at the edge, seemed it was laminated but the top layer was about 2mm thick hardwood. Those color chips were 50 cents each.
Anyone looking for small quantities of materials to try out and practice with, looks like a good option there!