Anyone with experience nailing down Cali Bamboo Fossilized

SherriodeJuly 19, 2012

My husband and I are planning on replacing 70 yo strip oak floors with bamboo in our LR/DR/Kit. Subfloor is wood planks over an unfinished basement. We don't want a click and lock floating floor because of the less substantial feel/sound and because the kitchen cabs (including a peninsula) will be going down on top of the finished floor (contiversial, I know).

Our product of choice is Cali Bamboo fossilized wide plank strand. Does anyone have experience nailing down this kind of floor? Their website says nail down is possible with an 18 gauge pneumatic nailer, but when I spoke to an installer, they said it was too hard to nail down. This will be a DIY project, but we will have assistance from an experienced HW installer (not experienced with this particular product).

Any comments on quality of the Cali Bamboo and/or reliability of the company would also be appreciated.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I might be able to help you there.. we just did an install of that product. Give me a call if you like:


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is a great question. I have been checking back on this thread. Hoping to see some comment from experienced contractors. We always have the same concern especially when Cali claims over 5000 in Janka for their SWB while the hardest hardwood is at around 3800 Janka.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, I did my kitchen and dining room in it. I had no experience going into this project with nail-down floors; which was a good thing. You must use 18 ga staples, and even then, I would recommend that you use the "spotnails" WS4840W2 stapler. I used a Porta-Nails 461 gun, but I had to modify (shim) the shoe so that it would fire the staples perfectly into the pocket. I also had to use some kind of heavy duty staple, the first ones I tried to use just bounced off the bamboo.

I watched some HGTV show where a contractor was putting what looked like this or some other stranded bamboo down with a 15 ga cleat nailer, and they zoomed in and showed him splitting the tongue and dimpling the board with nearly every nail he drove in.. it made me sad. Having said that, I have one or two dimpled boards from staples gone awry- nobody's perfect!

Even then, yes, if your alignment of the gun isn't perfect, the staples are likely to bunch up into a mess of wire spagetti. I'd say 1 in 10 staples scrunches up anyhow; needle nose pliers and staple sets are your friend. I went overboard and used 3x flooring straps with ratchets to secure each of the boards under pressure before I nailed them. My once squeaky subfloor squeaks no more. I did not enjoy the install.

Once the floor is down, it is really bulletproof. It is not, however, waterproof, nor can it tolerate really any water for any period of time- the seams wick water fast, and hold it- any prolonged water exposure will result in cupping, and a 'wrinkling' of the surface if water is excessive in that area. I had a fridge leak that snuck up on me , and left my floors a little less pristine than they once were. I am sure the bamboo fared better than most any other wood would have.

If I had to do it over again, I would do a click lock wide plank floating floor, over a soundproofing underlayment, and I would seal coat it with the product the manufacturer recommends for kitchen / commercial use.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi bigb33, Thanks for sharing your experience with us. We carry a Standed Woven Bamboo brand called "Dasso". They all in Valinge G 5 lock, even with their solid version. I now know why our supplier is not quite fond of any Tongue and Groove version SWB.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 4:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks bigb33! We gave up on bamboo and went with a more traditional hardwood. We weren't willing to risk it when we couldn't find any personal accounts. Hopefully your experience will help someone else decide.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know this thread is old but I also wished there were more experiences with Cali Bamboo when I was shopping for flooring. Well, I bought 1000 sq. ft. of the click lock and it was defective. The boards wouldn't click together because it seemed that there was something wrong with the joints. Cali Bamboo's customer service was so horrible! They blamed my installer first, then they said that the boards needed to acclimate for longer than the month it already was sitting. They didnt return my calls when they said they would and only became sympathetic to my situation when Lowes stepped in a week later. Since then I've read the negative reports online and I would say that was the same experience I had. I wish I never chose those floors. If you do because they are beautiful, just pray that you don't have a defective product. They will string you along and fight you every step of the way. I'm so glad I bought them through Lowes. Too bad because when I researched the company, they made themselves look really good and like customer service is their priority. I can tell you from experience that it is all bs.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 1:23AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Please help - can't find a review anywhere
I haven't been able to find any consumer feedback on...
3/8 vs 1/2 inch thick engineered hardwood for staple down installation
We are trying to decide between two similar engineered...
Chinese Hardwood Flooring - After Lumber Liquidators & 60 Minutes
Wondering how folks are now feeling about buying imported...
Ken Fisher
Is my home now un-inhabitable due to asbestos?
I have 9x9 tiles in my laundry room which I was told...
Reviews : Brazilian direct - -
Did any one purchase solid hardwood from Brazilian...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™