This is a smaller manufacturer of LVP, but it is growing and should be considered for quality and price.
But Cali Bamboo vinyl plank flooring has a name problem!
Many consumers hear the name and think that Cali Bamboo must look like bamboo.
It doesn’t. Cali Bamboo luxury vinyl flooring looks like traditional hardwoods. The bamboo is used in construction of the Cali Vinyl Plus line. We’ll explain below.
This Cali Bamboo vinyl plank flooring review includes:
Cali Bamboo Vinyl Plank Flooring Reviews
As noted, Cali Bamboo makes two vinyl plank flooring lines: Vinyl Plus and Vinyl Pro.
Vinyl Plus has a Bamboo Core:
This was the original luxury vinyl flooring from this brand.
The Shaw Floorte line is similar. It has a wood composite (WPC) core. There are other brands with similar construction.
Vinyl Pro has a stone core:
Shaw Floorte Pro is another SPC vinyl plank flooring.
The best use for each is discussed below in the details of each luxury vinyl flooring line.
Cali Bamboo Vinyl Plus Flooring Review
Cali Bamboo defines its Vinyl Plus flooring as a premium vinyl line with superior thermal insulation and a sound-reducing, comfort-giving cork background. That means the vinyl material and cork attached underlayment help keep your floor warm in winter and comfortable in summer.
Lowes is the largest retailer of Cali Bamboo vinyl plank flooring.
With the attached cork pad, Cali Bamboo Plus is very much like NuCore vinyl plank flooring, though it has similarities with most major brands.
The wear layer is 20 mils for all styles. That’s the thickest wear layer made by many brands including Armstrong, Mohawk and Shaw. The NuCore wear layer is 22 mils, as is the best LifeProof wear layer.
Shaw Floorte Plus has the thickest wear layer – it is 30 mils.
Where to Use Cali Bamboo Vinyl Plus Flooring
We recommend this flooring for residential use and for commercial applications like gyms, yoga studios, daycare facilities, etc., where a softer floor is preferred.
Cali Bamboo Vinyl Pro Flooring Review
The Vinyl Pro line has been on the market since late 2017, so it is a recent addition to the product lineup. That shouldn’t be a concern – most SPC luxury vinyl flooring is new. Aside from the limestone core, the construction is the same as the Vinyl Plus flooring, which has a good track record of durability.
Petco and a few independent retailers sell Cali Bamboo Vinyl Pro.
According to Cali Vinyl Pro literature, this collection is commercial-grade flooring that installs quickly.
Better dent protection: The limestone composite core, which Cali Bamboo calls GeoCore, resists dents better than the bamboo composite flooring.
No telegraphing: If you install Cali Bamboo Vinyl Pro over tile or an imperfect subfloor, grout lines, gaps between plywood or other minor issues will not show through.
Where to Use Cali Bamboo Vinyl Pro Flooring
This flooring is best suited to locations where a tough floor is essential.
It is popular in retail, offices, lobbies, educational facilities, medical facilities and government buildings.
Special Features of Cali Bamboo Vinyl Plank Flooring
These are the top features this brand offers with both pros and cons.
Both lines, the Vinyl Plus and Vinyl Pro are guaranteed to be waterproof.
This means you can install them in basements, bathrooms, laundry areas and other locations where water spills and damp air are possible.
The Vinyl Pro line is sold as a pet-friendly flooring solution by some pet products brands like Petco.
The 50-year residential and 15-year commercial are among the best available. Even “lifetime” residential warranties are usually based on 50 years, and some are prorated.
These warranties are NOT prorated, so you get full protection for half a century – if you still live there. Like most vinyl plank flooring warranties, the Cali Bamboo Plus and Pro warranties are not transferable.
This is a trademarked term Cali Bamboo uses to describe the authentic, deep wood-like graining on the planks.
While Cali Bamboo doesn’t use the term, it looks and feels to us like EIR construction – embossed in register.
This kind of embossing uses molds made from genuine wood planks. The grain depth and pattern are transferred to the vinyl plank as it is manufactured.
This flooring has been tested for volatile organic compounds. It is certified by FloorScore as low-VOC flooring.
Float or Glue Cali Bamboo Vinyl Pro
Floating installation uses the interlocking tongue & groove design. To glue the floor, you must first lock it together, and then glue it down.
Some brands, LifeProof as one example, forbid gluing. It voids the warranty.
Why would you glue luxury vinyl plank flooring? For this simple reason: It makes it more stable and durable in commercial settings. A locking/floating floor can shift with traffic load and with temperature changes. When the flooring is glued down, it won’t go anywhere.
A Limited Selection
There are pros; this is one of the cons.
LVP flooring brands like Shaw, Armstrong and Mohawk have 150+ styles. Even Floor & Décor brand NuCore is available in about 100 styles.
Cali Bamboo currently makes about 25 styles combined in both lines. This means that you might have just one or a few options to fit your design style. In fact, you might not find one that works.
Narrow Range of Quality Too
Cali Bamboo decided it could not make LVP at all quality and price levels, so it opted to make luxury vinyl plank flooring in the mid-grade to premium range.
You won’t find cheap LVP, and there isn’t anything quite on the premium level of Shaw Floorte Plus or Floorte Pro Plus (for example).
Cali Bamboo Vinyl Plank Flooring Pros, Cons and Ratings
This brand is on our Best Brands list for the Best Brand You Might Not Know About.
It is no-nonsense, high-quality flooring.
The wear layer is 20 mils. The warranties are 50 years for residential use and 15 years for commercial use. Both are among the best. Bamboo is used instead of wood in the core – and bamboo is a greener material choice.
This isn’t cheap LVT. Cost is higher than most vinyl plank flooring options. Selection is not as good as produced by most major brands.
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The Bottom Line
Cali Bamboo fits a niche – good vinyl plank flooring at a fair (or slightly high) price. The higher cost can be justified by superior construction and a very competitive warranty.
If you want cheap flooring, Armstrong Vivero Good is a good option. If you are just starting your search and prefer more styles to consider, see our reviews of Mohawk, Shaw and Armstrong luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring.
If you want near-premium LVP at a reasonable cost and you aren’t too choosy about design – or find a Cali Bamboo design that is just what you want – then this brand is worth your consideration.
Q: Is Cali Bamboo’s vinyl flooring line safe to use indoors?
A: Yes. All of the company’s vinyl flooring has been certified by FloorScore for low VOC emissions and are Prop 65 complaint.
Q: What’s the thickest vinyl flooring I can purchase from Cali Bamboo?
A: The Cali Vinyl Pro series has several styles available in 8mm, although the wear layer is more important than thickness if you are concerned with durability.
Q: Will I be able to install Cali Bamboo’s vinyl flooring by myself, or should I hire a professional?
A: That all depends on how comfortable you are using a circular saw and the layout of your home. The company’s click lock system makes the flooring easy to install, but uneven subfloors, transitions, and door jambs can be challenging to deal with in some homes.
Q: Is it safe to use a radiant heat system in my floor if I install Cali Bamboo vinyl flooring?
A: Yes. While you will want to follow Cali’s installation instructions, the company’s vinyl flooring is compatible with these systems as long as they don’t exceed 85 degrees.
Q: Can I use a layer of cork of foam under Cali’s vinyl flooring?
A: When vinyl flooring already has a backing layer pre-attached, adding more cushion will void your warranty with some brands. You will want to contact the company before attempting to add additional underlayment with any of their products.
Q: Are steam mops suitable for use with waterproof vinyl flooring?
A: It’s not recommended and may void your warranty. It’s always best to use non-abrasive cleaning solutions that are pH neutral with vinyl flooring, as steam and water could potentially damage your planks.
Q: Is Cali vinyl flooring fire rated?
A: Yes, but it varies by line as some products are listed as Class A while others are categorized as Class 1.