Cali Bamboo

★☆☆☆☆
Next Generation Bamboo Building Materials
  • 6675 Mesa Ridge Rd.

    San Diego, CA 92121

    Map & Directions
  • 858-200-9540

Home & Garden

Home & Garden
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Our experience with Cali Bamboo started out well but has become an ongoing and increasing nightmare...a very, very expensive one. And it has now become a potential health problem.

SHORT VERSION: BUYER BEWARE! If you are considering Cali Bamboo, STOP and do more research. Skip their marketing; read reviews. If you are still considering it after reading reviews, reconsider.

Getting the Cali Bamboo and having it installed went fine, but over time (first issues started after a few months) we found that Cali Bamboo is extremely sensitive to moisture, not very durable at all and not fade-resistant to even indirect sunlight. Their return policy is quite restrictive and when you contact them with an issue they immediately go into defense mode. Bottom line: this is very expensive flooring. We are preparing to rip ours out and throw it away. We have 12 sealed, unopened boxes that they won't take back and we may now be developing mold between the floor and underlayment.

LONG, PAINFUL VERSION: We ordered #CaliBamboo for our entire house. We installed it as per instructions that our contractor got directly from Cali Bamboo. Our contractor had questions about the cork underlayment that Cali Bamboo had suggested so he called them directly. They assured him on the phone that the cork underlayment with moisture barrier was appropriate and sufficient. As it turned out, it was not.

Our house was carpeted for 16 years before we installed Cali Bamboo. When we removed the carpet, there was no indication anywhere of moisture issues. Our contractor told us that the carpet and padding that he removed were both in terrific shape.

The Cali Bamboo installation went smoothly and the floor initially looked grand but this began to degrade within about 6 months. Cali Bamboo scuffs easily and you begin to see 'paths' of scuffing down the middle of hallways and in trafficked areas. If you lay down a rug and move it after a few months, you can see a scuff outline around it. As winter arrived we started to notice some unevenness in the planks, cupping and puckering. Two areas swelled so much that the floor actually raised up and we had to have our contractor come and relieve it. Our floor moulding around our walls is nearly an inch thick so our contractor left quite a bit of space along the walls to allow for expansion but it was not enough. Then as the Cali Bamboo shrank back in drier weather, it opened up gaps and several of the click-locks broke leaving open seams. The floor expands and contracts a lot depending on the season (we are in Northern California near Sacramento, not exactly extreme weather).

It appears that the Cali Bamboo and the cork underlayment traps all moisture, even in very small amounts, and then it builds up over time. The bamboo swells and as it does, it darkens. It gets streaky dark lines and eventually the surface begins to blister. These surface blisters have begun breaking and the Cali Bamboo is simply coming apart.

When we contacted the company about the issues we were having they immediately became defensive. I never had the feeling that they were concerned about the problem, or how to resolve it, only that it must be my fault. Or at least, not their fault. When I mentioned that our contractor had spoken to them directly about proper installation, they asked if I had proof of that conversation. They asked if I had it in writing. Obviously not, since it was a phone conversation. Then we got a letter from Cali Bamboo saying basically, they are not at fault.

We ordered Cali Bamboo for the entire house including 2 bathrooms and the kitchen. Fortunately we didn't install it in the bathrooms and kitchen because we planned to do some work in them first. Knowing what we know now, we would never install Cali Bamboo in a kitchen or bath or anywhere with even the slightest moisture. Even if your slab is 100% moisture proof, moisture can still get in from the top and from the air. When we spoke with Cali Bamboo about our moisture issues, they told us they would never recommend using it in a high moisture area like a kitchen or bathroom, despite showing photos of both on their website.

We asked about sending back the 12 sealed, unopened boxes; they told us we cannot return them because we have had them for more than 3 months. Apparently the color varies so much that they won't be able to resell it. These boxes are sealed, the flooring inside is wrapped in plastic and they have been on a pallet in my garage since we got them. They are in the same condition as the day we got them. We will be throwing them out with the rest of the flooring.

The Cali Bamboo near our sliding glass door has faded noticeably. It gets indirect sun from our covered deck. I guess it's not surprising they won't take returns.

Summary: Less than 2 yrs. Cost so far $17000. Still to come; removal, disposal, mold removal and new floor. As well as the inconvenience of doing all those things. I say again, buyer beware.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Our experience with Cali Bamboo started out well but has become an ongoing and increasing nightmare...a very, very expensive one. And it has now become a potential health problem.

SHORT VERSION: BUYER BEWARE! If you are considering Cali Bamboo, STOP and do more research. Skip their marketing; read reviews. If you are still considering it after reading reviews, reconsider.

Getting the Cali Bamboo and having it installed went fine, but over time (first issues started after a few months) we found that Cali Bamboo is extremely sensitive to moisture, not very durable at all and not fade-resistant to even indirect sunlight. Their return policy is quite restrictive and when you contact them with an issue they immediately go into defense mode. Bottom line: this is very expensive flooring. We are preparing to rip ours out and throw it away. We have 12 sealed, unopened boxes that they won't take back and we may now be developing mold between the floor and underlayment.

LONG, PAINFUL VERSION: We ordered #CaliBamboo for our entire house. We installed it as per instructions that our contractor got directly from Cali Bamboo. Our contractor had questions about the cork underlayment that Cali Bamboo had suggested so he called them directly. They assured him on the phone that the cork underlayment with moisture barrier was appropriate and sufficient. As it turned out, it was not.

Our house was carpeted for 16 years before we installed Cali Bamboo. When we removed the carpet, there was no indication anywhere of moisture issues. Our contractor told us that the carpet and padding that he removed were both in terrific shape.

The Cali Bamboo installation went smoothly and the floor initially looked grand but this began to degrade within about 6 months. Cali Bamboo scuffs easily and you begin to see 'paths' of scuffing down the middle of hallways and in trafficked areas. If you lay down a rug and move it after a few months, you can see a scuff outline around it. As winter arrived we started to notice some unevenness in the planks, cupping and puckering. Two areas swelled so much that the floor actually raised up and we had to have our contractor come and relieve it. Our floor moulding around our walls is nearly an inch thick so our contractor left quite a bit of space along the walls to allow for expansion but it was not enough. Then as the Cali Bamboo shrank back in drier weather, it opened up gaps and several of the click-locks broke leaving open seams. The floor expands and contracts a lot depending on the season (we are in Northern California near Sacramento, not exactly extreme weather).

It appears that the Cali Bamboo and the cork underlayment traps all moisture, even in very small amounts, and then it builds up over time. The bamboo swells and as it does, it darkens. It gets streaky dark lines and eventually the surface begins to blister. These surface blisters have begun breaking and the Cali Bamboo is simply coming apart.

When we contacted the company about the issues we were having they immediately became defensive. I never had the feeling that they were concerned about the problem, or how to resolve it, only that it must be my fault. Or at least, not their fault. When I mentioned that our contractor had spoken to them directly about proper installation, they asked if I had proof of that conversation. They asked if I had it in writing. Obviously not, since it was a phone conversation. Then we got a letter from Cali Bamboo saying basically, they are not at fault.

We ordered Cali Bamboo for the entire house including 2 bathrooms and the kitchen. Fortunately we didn't install it in the bathrooms and kitchen because we planned to do some work in them first. Knowing what we know now, we would never install Cali Bamboo in a kitchen or bath or anywhere with even the slightest moisture. Even if your slab is 100% moisture proof, moisture can still get in from the top and from the air. When we spoke with Cali Bamboo about our moisture issues, they told us they would never recommend using it in a high moisture area like a kitchen or bathroom, despite showing photos of both on their website.

We asked about sending back the 12 sealed, unopened boxes; they told us we cannot return them because we have had them for more than 3 months. Apparently the color varies so much that they won't be able to resell it. These boxes are sealed, the flooring inside is wrapped in plastic and they have been on a pallet in my garage since we got them. They are in the same condition as the day we got them. We will be throwing them out with the rest of the flooring.

The Cali Bamboo near our sliding glass door has faded noticeably. It gets indirect sun from our covered deck. I guess it's not surprising they won't take returns.

Summary: Less than 2 yrs. Cost so far $17000. Still to come; removal, disposal, mold removal and new floor. As well as the inconvenience of doing all those things. I say again, buyer beware.

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