This Cali Bamboo flooring review focuses on Fossilized Solid, engineered, and GeoWood bamboo flooring. We have prices, installation, dealers, acclimation, and much more.
To give you a heads up, some of their trendy brands are Cali Bamboo Java Fossilized Bamboo flooring, Cali Bamboo Antique Java. Others are Vintage Port, Boardwalk, Mocha, Bordeaux, Bourbon barrel, Tree House, Cognac, Natural, Mocha, Distressed Mocha, and Antique iron.
- About Cali Bamboo
- Cali Fossilized Bamboo flooring products
- 1. Cali Fossilized Solid bamboo flooring
- 2. Cali Engineered bamboo flooring
- 3. Cali Bamboo GeoWood flooring
- 4. Moldings
- Pros and cons
- Price/cost per square foot
- Cali Bamboo Dealers/distributors/retailers
- Cali Bamboo flooring installation
- Maintenance and care
- How to fix scratches on bamboo flooring?
- Can I refinish Cali bamboo flooring?
- Why is my floor noisy?
About Cali Bamboo
At its inception in 2004, Cali Bamboo offered bamboo fencing solutions in Southern California. However, they have diversified to provide eucalyptus, GeoWood, vinyl, cork, engineered, and bamboo flooring over the years.
Also, they offer composite decking, area rugs, bamboo plywood, accessories, installation products, and flooring and decking services.
If you need Cali Bamboo locations, their headquarter is at 6675 Mesa Ridge Rd, San Diego, CA 92121, which hosts an innovation center. Also, they have Los Angeles and Pennsylvania warehouses to serve their East Coast and West Coast clientele.
Finally, you will find Cali Bamboo products at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and many other dealers and distributors across the US.
Cali Fossilized Bamboo flooring products
Cali makes their bamboo flooring planks with organically grown Moso Bamboo sources from Anji County, Zhejiang Province in China, using their patented Fossilized® (strand-woven) manufacturing process.
Fossilization ensures their planks are twice denser than any other hardwood floorings and rank highly on the Janka hardness scale, i.e., Cali Bamboo Janka rating is 3393 lbs. to 5407 lbs.
They have prefinished Fossilized® solid Bamboo, fossilized® engineered bamboo, and GeoWood bamboo (SPC) flooring intended for residential and commercial use.
However, you will receive only a 50-year residential warranty except for the GeoWood bamboo planks with a 15-year warranty for light commercial usage.
These planks FloorScore indoor air quality certification and emit ultra-low VOCs, meaning they are safe for indoor use.
Depending on your choice, their color may be dark brown/black, brown, natural/tan, light brown, or gray with low, moderate, or high color variation.
Additionally, you will get planks with various surface textures and edge styles. They may have a smooth, hand-scraped, French bleed, aged, claw marks, pillowed edges, micro-bevel, bevel, aged, or distressed with some having a combination of these characteristics.
Here are the products Cali has:
1. Cali Fossilized Solid bamboo flooring
Do you need bamboo planks that are pet-friendly and high heel safe designed to last for a lifetime? Look no further than Cali Fossilized solid bamboo flooring.
Like other Cali bamboo planks, they emit ultra-low VOCs, have a top Janka rating, and are very durable. Additionally, their 10-coat finish that is scratch resistant is an assurance that they will not dent easily.
Cali Fossilized solid bamboo flooring planks have planks (strand-woven) construction that come in breath-taking colors, with some having beautiful surface textures.
There, there are a total of nine unique planks. However, some having a standard click, wide click, and/or wide T&G planks.
- Finish: 10-coat scratch-resistant finish
- Warranty: 50-year residential warranty
- Installation profile: Click lock or tongue and groove (T&G)
- Installation method: Float/glue for click lock or glue/float/nail for T&G
- Installation level: On/above
- Janka hardness rating: 3393-5407 lbs.
- LEED Points: EQC4.3 | MRc6 | MRc7
- Indoor air quality: Prop 65 Compliant and CARB 93120 & EPA TSCA Title VI Compliant for Formaldehyde
- Sound rating: STC 63 & IIC 67 if you install them with Cali Complete Underlayment and STC 53 & IIC 58 when installed over a cork underlayment.
- Fire rating: Class I Interior
|Name (Dimensions)||Characteristics||Cost per sq. ft.|
|Cali Bamboo Antique Java Fossilized Standard click (36″ L x 3-¾″ W x 7/16″ H)||Antique Java has brown planks with pillowed edges, French bleed, and claw marks. They are also aged, lightly distressed, and heavily hand-scraped.||$4.59|
|Antique Java Wide Click (72-⅞″ L x 5-5/16″ x 9/16″)||Brown colored planks with pillowed edges, French bleed, claw marks. They are also aged, lightly distressed, and heavily hand-scraped.||$4.99|
|Antique Java Wide T&G (72″ L x 5-⅜″ W x 9/16″ H)||Brown with pillowed edges, French bleed, claw marks. They are also aged, lightly distressed, and heavily hand-scraped.||$4.99|
|Boardwalk Wide T&G (72″ L x 5-⅜″ W x 9/16″ H)||Heavily distressed, deeply distressed, light hands-scraped gray planks with pillowed edges.||$5.89|
|Bordeaux standard click (36″ L x 3-¾″ W x 7/16″ H)||Brown/black color with a distressed surface and micro-bevel edge.||$4.59|
|Bourbon Barrel Wide T&G (72 L″ x 5-1/″ x 9/16″ H)||Distressed brown planks with micro-beveled edges.||$5.89|
|Cali Bamboo Java Fossilized Wide Click (72-⅞″ L x 5-⅛″ W x 9/16″ H||Brown planks with a smooth surface and micro-bevel edge.||$4.99|
|Cali Bamboo Java Fossilized Java standard Click (36″ L x 3-¾″ W x 7/16″ H)||Brown planks with a smooth surface and micro-bevel edge.||$3.79|
|Fossilized Mocha Wide Click (72-⅞″ L x 4-⅞″ x W x 9/16″ H)||Tan/natural with a smooth surface and micro-bevel edges||$4.99|
|Mocha Wide T&G (72″ L x 5-⅛″ W x 9/16″ H)||Tan/natural with a smooth surface and micro-bevel edges||$4.99|
|Cali Bamboo Natural Wide T&G (72″ L x 5-⅜″ W x 9/16″ H)||These natural-colored bamboo planks come with a micro-beveled edge and a smooth surface texture.||$6.24|
|Treehouse Wide T&G (72″ L x 5-⅜″ W x 9/16″ H)||Brown distressed plans with a beveled edge.||$5.78|
|Port Vintage T&G (72″ L x 3-¾″ W x 9/16″ H)||Distressed dark brown/black with a micro-bevel edge.||$4.59|
2. Cali Engineered bamboo flooring
Cali Fossilized® engineered bamboo flooring planks have an extra thick Fossilized bamboo veneer bonded over a cross-constructed sustainable wood core.
These planks are ideal for most rooms, including your basements, bathrooms, or kitchen, where you couldn’t use solid bamboo or even solid hardwoods.
Also, they are pet-friendly and built to last for a very long time. Don’t worry about your indoor air quality since these planks emit very low VOCs.
Finally, there are 12 Cali engineered bamboo planks, all with a click-lock installation system. However, some planks come both with a click-lock and a T&G installation profile.
- Installation profile: Click lock or tongue and groove (T&G
- Installation: Glue/float or click-lock system or glue/nail/nail for T&G profile
- Installation grade level: Below/On/Above
- Dimensions: Wide Click measures 72-⅞″ L x 5-5/16″ W x 9/16″ H, standard click 36″ L x 3-¾″ W x 7/16″ H and Wide T&G) (72-⅞″ L x 5-⅜″ W x ⅝″ H).
- Veneer thickness: Click-lock has 3mm and T&G 4mm
- Janka hardness rating: 3393 lbs. to 5407 lbs.
- Finish: 13 Coat Durability Sealing System
- LEED Points: EQC4.3 | MRc6 | MRc7
- Indoor air quality: Formaldehyde CARB 93120 & EPA TSCA Title VI and Prop 65 Compliant.
- Fire rating: Class I Interior
|Name (Dimensions)||Characteristics||Price/sq. ft.|
|Cali Bamboo Antique Java engineered Wide Click||Hand-scraped brown||$4.99|
|Boardwalk Wide T&G||Distressed dark gray||$6.22|
|Boardwalk Wide Click||Distressed dark gray||$4.99|
|Bordeaux Standard Click||Dark brown planks with distressed surface and micro bevel edge||$4.19|
|Bourbon Barrel Wide Click||Brown, distressed bamboo flooring with a micro bevel edge||$6.22|
|Cognac Wide Click||Brown with a smooth texture and a micro bevel edge||$5.00|
|Distressed Mocha Wide Click||Lightly distressed, Heavy Hand Scraped, Streaks, French Bleed, Micro Bevel Edge – natural/tan||$5.80|
|Java Wide Click||Brown with a smooth surface and a micro–bevel Edge||$4.99|
|Mocha Wide Click||Natural/tan plank with a smooth surface and a Micro Bevel Edge||$4.99|
|Natural Wide Click||Tan/natural bamboo planks with a micro-bevel edge and a smooth texture.||$4.99|
|Savanna Wide Click||Light brown with a distressed and hand-scraped surface as a micro bevel edge||$5.31|
|Treehouse Wide Click||Brown, distressed and a beveled edge||$4.99|
|Vintage Wide Click Port||It comes with a dark brown color, distressed surface, and micro-bevel-edged||$4.99|
3. Cali Bamboo GeoWood flooring
Cali Bamboo has four GeoWood Bamboo flooring planks made by layering a 1.2mm Fossilized® bamboo veneer laid over 100% waterproof GeoCore® limestone composite, a stone plastic/polymer composite (SPC).
Therefore, these planks will resist water better, are much easier to clean, and require limited acclimation. Also, they are easy to install thanks to the rapid-locking system, are durable, and look gorgeously beautiful.
Don’t worry about scratches since their ten-coat finish is scratch resistant and will stay put for a long time if you follow the recommended care routine.
However, note that GeoWood bamboo isn’t waterproof, and there are no waterproof bamboo flooring planks.
- Finish: 10-coat scratch-resistant finish
- Warranty: 50-year residential warranty and a 15-year light commercial use
- Dimensions: 5-19/32″ wide x 36-¼″ Long x ¼″ thick
- Installation profile: Click-lock
- Installation method: Float or glue
- Installation level: Below/On/above
- Janka hardness rating: 3329.
- LEED points: EQC4.3 | MRc6 LEED points for the use of rapidly renewable material.
- Indoor air quality: Emit ultra-low VOCs and are Prop 65 Compliant
- Sound rating: They have an STC 61 & IIC 63 rating when installed with Cali Complete Underlayment and STC 62 & IIC 63 without any underlayment.
|Jasperstone||Medium distressed and light hand scraped planks with dark-brown/black color.||$4.99|
|Aged Amber||Tan/natural-colored planks with a smooth surface and a micro bevel edge.||$4.99|
|Antique Iron||Antique iron bamboo plank is dark gray with lightly distressed and a medium distressed surface.||$4.99|
|Copperstone||Brown colored planks with claw marks, slight French bleed, a light hand-scraped and light distressed surface.||$4.99|
Cali has matching color installation accessories or moldings that go with specific planks you pick (thickness and color). These moldings include quarter round, overlap reducer threshold, overlap stair nose, T-molding, baseboard, T&G stair nosing, and click stair nosing.
Pros and cons
Some of the things we liked about Cali bamboo planks or pros include:
- Durable and superior quality planks with a scratch-resistant coat.
- They come in a variety of lovely and gorgeous colors and surface finishes. These planks will add beauty and unrivaled charm to every room you install them. Their beauty is one thing everyone likes.
- Easy to install
- Cali Bamboo offers excellent customer services. They will address any issues you may have, including sending you many samples for your evaluation in the best possible way.
- Pet friendly
- Some are heel-safe
However, on the downside, some issues or cons of Cali bamboo flooring include the following:
- Scratches easily and may not be good if you have kids. Scratching is the number one complaint from many people.
- Cups, buckles, warps, shrinks (develops gaps), and splits quickly, especially weather changes, may also have noisy issues.
- Look and feel like cheap vinyl, especially the GeoWood and engineered planks.
- Recoating and sanding may invalidate your warranty.
Price/cost per square foot
Cali Bamboo flooring cost per square foot ranges from $3.79 to $6.24 depending on the plank you select. Cali Bamboo flooring cost above doesn’t include a professional installation that will be anything between $2-$5 per square foot.
Compared to other brands such as Teragren, Ambient BP, LifeProof, Eco Forest, and so on, Cali bamboo planks price is higher. Their price is comparable to Ambient BP but lower than Teragren’s.
Cali Bamboo Dealers/distributors/retailers
The leading Cali bamboo dealers or retailers are Lowe’s and Home Depot. However, Cali has many other dealers across America. You can also order from their warehouses, and you can also be one of their dealers near you. To be a Cali Bamboo dealer by filling out their request form.
Cali Bamboo flooring installation
Cali advises that you follow National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Installation Guidelines and offers clear installation instructions you need, including installation videos. However, don’t install their planks beneath fixed cabinets or any fixed heavy appliance.
Secondly, subfloors must be structurally sound, and meet all guidelines by NWFA, i.e., they should be dry, level, flat, clean, and free of any debris and be the right ones.
Thirdly, you can use all Cali Bamboo flooring over radiant heat systems except for Glued down GeoWood bamboo planks. However, ensure you meet all that National Wood Flooring Association specifies.
Finally, acclimate your bamboo planks for recommended duration, depending on which type of flooring you purchased.
a). Solid bamboo
Cali solid bamboo flooring requires 40-60% relative humidity and 60° to 80° F temperature during acclimation, installation, and throughout its lifespan.
You can float, nail or glue Cali solid bamboo flooring. However, ensure correct subfloors, including moisture levels and proper expansion gaps.
Here is a summary to help you decide if this flooring is ideal for you:
Cali Solid bamboo acclimation takes at least five days, with more days required in extreme climatic conditions. Remove planks from their boxes and cross-stack them in the rooms you will install them.
Wood (CD exposure one plywood grade stamped US PS1-95, one subfloor panel of OSB Exposure, solid-board), concrete (if new, it must undergo at least 60 days of curing). Ensure proper moisture content.
Wood requires a vapor retarder with a 0.7 and 50 perm rating according to h ASTM E-96 Method A testing. Brands such as Fortifiber 70-195 Underlayment (Asphalt laminated paper Grade B), Asphalt-saturated kraft paper, Silicon Vapor Shield, or Asphalt laminated paper (UU-B-790a, or Style 1a).
On the other hand, concrete requires a moisture barrier or retarder such as Titebond® 531+ Moisture Control System will suffice. Any good barrier/vapor retarder is also ok.
- Cali bamboo click-lock flooring installation is by glueless floating.
- Float T&G with Titebond® Tongue & Groove Flooring Glue between joints
- Nail-down 1-1⁄2” to 2” long, 18 gauge
- Glue-Down with Zero-VOC Adhesive by Titebond®
When using glue, immediately clean any adhesive on the flooring surface with Bostik’s™ Ultimate Adhesive Remover Towels. Also, let it cure for the recommended time before walking on such floors.
However, you can walk on the floor immediately after installation for nail-down installation.
b). Cali Engineered bamboo flooring
Cali Fossilized engineered bamboo flooring is ideal for use in areas with 35-65% relative humidity maintained under normal living conditions. Usually, it would help if you kept the temperature between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Begin by acclimating your engineered bamboo flooring for 72 hours under normal living conditions. To do so, place the boxes on the floor and open their ends.
Depending on the planks you pick, installation options are floating T&G (glue between joints), nail-down T&G, glue-down T&G, or floating click-lock (glueless).
Acceptable subfloors, underlayment requirements, and installation details are as those of Cali solid bamboo seen above.
Cali bamboo GeoWood installation is floating or gluing down on appropriate subfloors since they come with a click-lock system. Don’t nail them. These planks require a 50-100°F temperature range and 35-65% relative humidity.
Acclimate them for at least 24 hours under normal living conditions. Just place them in the rooms you will install them and open box ends
CD Exposure 1 plywood grade stamped US PS1-95), OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels, concrete (cure new for at least 60 days), and underlayment grade particleboard. Others are existing wood floors (not glued down), ceramic tiles (fill grout lines), and resilient-vinyl tiles. If glue-down installation, sand wood floors, and don’t install on resilient vinyl tiles.
The floors must be clean, level, dry, and structurally sound subfloor. Remove any soft floors like carpets.
If installing on concrete, use a 6mil Plastic underlayment for float installation. In the glue-down fitting, the adhesive will serve as your underlayment.
- Vacuum or sweep the floor regularly to get rid of dust, sand, grit, or dirt. We recommend using a vacuum with a brush or felt vacuum heads. Never use vacuums with a beater bar or turn it off.
- For regular cleaning, use Bona Pro Hardwood Floor Cleaner & Bona Pro Hardwood Floor Mop. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Clean any dried adhesive using either Titebond Adhesive Remover cleaning wipes or Bostik Ultimate Adhesive Remover.
- When spot cleaning, use a slightly dampened but near dry mop. The little water present will quickly evaporate and not damage the floors.
- Don’t steam or wet mop.
- Never use acrylic finishes, wax-based products, ammonia-based cleaners, polish, oil soap, polishes, detergents, acidic products like vinegar, abrasive cleaning products, bleach, or wax treatments.
- To remove any stain, begin by working from the stain’s outer edge working inwards to the center.
Maintenance and care
Cali uses one of the best scratch-resistant coatings. However, this doesn’t mean it will not get scratches, dents, discolorations, or suffer from damages that relate to use. Therefore, you need to care for your floors properly.
- Dry any spills with a dry mop or towel. Never leave water standing for a long time as it will dull the finish or damage the floor, i.e., it may cause cupping.
- Maintain the proper humidity and temperature. For solid bamboo 40%-60% and 60° to 80° F, for engineered planks 35%-65% and 60° to 80°, and GeoWood 35% - 65% and 50° to 100° F at all times. Use an HVAC system or a humidifier/dehumidifier and air conditioner to maintain these conditions, even when you are not using the house.
- Keep your pet’s nails short (dogs and cats)
- Have entrance (interior and exterior) doormats to trap dirt, water, sand, or grit
- Have area rugs on places at risk of water spillages, such as in front of your kitchen sink or in high traffic. Don’t use mats with vinyl or solid rubber backing. These rugs must be breathable not to trap moisture. We recommend a breathable carpet underlay with a grid or mesh pattern.
- Fit furniture legs with protective caps or felt tips and regularly check them for grit/debris accumulation or wear. Also, have soft rubber casters on rolling furniture and replace pointed or tiny diameter button legs with larger (no less an inch), non-staining floor protectors.
- Use blinds and curtains to protect your floor from UV rays since UV may cause color variation.
- Pick heavy furniture or appliances. Don’t slide or drag them on the floor.
- Avoid walking with shoes, including sports shoes with cleats. They may dent your floor.
- Don’t install flooring under fixed cabinetry as they will restrict normal expansion or contraction. Also, don’t screw or nail anything through floated floors.
- Heavy appliances or furniture (more than 500 pounds) may restrict normal expansion and contraction, causing separation or buckling.
How to fix scratches on bamboo flooring?
How to fix scratches on your Cali Bamboo flooring depends on the extent of the scratches.
For minor superficial scratches that appear whitish, use your Bona cleaner to remove any visible blemishes. On the other hand, if the scratches are deeper but bamboo isn’t exposed, use a white polishing pad (buffing pad) to reduce the dullness.
Finally, for slight damage or chip, use Cali Bamboo touch-up marker and Cali Bamboo FilStiks to help reduce the appearance of blemishes.
Can I refinish Cali bamboo flooring?
Cali Bamboo doesn’t recommend refinishing any of its bamboo flooring products. Excessive sanding will invalidate the warranty and refinished, or their warranty does not cover recoated floors.
However, it is possible to recoat or refinish their solid and engineered bamboo floors on a case-to-case basis. Don’t refinish GeoWood bamboo floors.
If you decide to refinish your solid or engineered flooring, let NWFA Certified specialists do the job and ensure you use aluminum oxide coating.
Why is my floor noisy?
Noise may result from issues of your subfloor, including flatness, type, fastening option, environmental conditions, and the pressure you apply on the floor.
Cali Bamboo flooring is well-rated, durable, resists scratches fairly, and comes in many breath-taking colors and surface textures. Also, they are pet-friendly.
Additionally, a majority of buyers recommend these planks. However, some people are not happy with scratching, warping, shrinking, buckling, splintering, noise, and cupping the most reported issues. Besides scratches, the other problems are environment-related.
Only buy these planks or any bamboo and hardwood flooring if you are willing to keep the required conditions (humidity and temperature) throughout the floor’s lifespan.
Praised as the World’s Hardest Floors™, don’t be blown away by this alone. Kindly consider other factors and, if possible, request samples from Cali or your dealer.
Finally, before buying any of their planks, it would help if you looked at Cali Bamboo Home Depot and Lowes reviews to see what users are saying. Their website does have some reviews, and you can see Cali bamboo reviews at BBB too.