Results of room-temperature optical studies on ∼10 micron thick, free-standing diamond films are reported. The films were grown on Si(100) substrates by hot filament-assisted chemical vapor deposition (CVD) from a methane/hydrogen mixture. The as-grown, free surface of the films exhibited a surface roughness of scale σ ∼ 0.2 to 5 microns, depending on the methane/hydrogen mixture, which introduces significant optical scattering loss for frequencies greater than 0.5 eV. Specular reflection and transmission spectra in the range 0.01–10 eV were collected. Below the threshold for interband adsorption near ∼5 eV, the films studied behaved approximately as thin parallel plates of refractive index 2.4, with the rough free surface leading to increasingly larger loss of specular transmission/reflection with decreasing wavelength. Structure in the mid-infrared transmission spectra was observed and attributed to disorder-induced one-phonon absorption, intrinsic multi-phonon absorption, and infrared active –C–H2 stretching modes. The strength of the C–H band was observed to increase with increasing methane pressure in the growth chamber. At 5.3 eV, the onset of interband absorption was observed, in good agreement with the value of the indirect bandgap in type IIa (intrinsic) diamond.