Are you team hardwood or team vinyl plank? Cali Bamboo GeoWood seeks to play for both teams, but how well does this double agent stack up against the competition?
Hardwood floors evoke a sense of earthiness and richness that has never been completely replicated by vinyl plank printed visuals. Although, with advances in printing technology, these faux woods are getting more realistic by the second.
GeoWood throws the printing press out the window and opts for a real wood veneer to capture that earthy beauty in a product that is somehow also water-resistant, sustainable, and easy to install—but is it durable?
Let’s look at some of the features and benefits to this new product from Cali Bamboo. Will it have you cheering from the sidelines or bam-booing?
Appearance and Style
The GeoWood collection from Cali Bamboo comes in a small range of colors to choose from. Since the veneer is a slice of real wood, the colors and patterns are various wood species. These include bamboo, hickory, oak, maple and walnut in shades of tan, toffee, grey, and espresso.
Currently, only one plank width is available. The five-inch nominal width is understated and versatile. The color palette is also simple and contemporary, so this flooring would work well as a canvas for other, more colorful interior design schemes.
This product is new on the market and only recently have the species other than bamboo been added to the collection. One can only hope that more color and style options find their way to this collection as this product design has a lot potential.
The fact that this product is water-resistant would lend itself to ceramic tile or stone looks down the road. However, it may prove difficult to get a veneer of stone at 1mm thin. So, if you are after one of these looks, you may want to choose a stone or tile-look vinyl plank or even the real deal.
Construction and Durability
Cali GeoWood is a hybrid plank flooring that takes the best of both worlds of two ever-popular flooring products. These planks blend real hardwood with stone powder core vinyl plank construction to create a dimensionally stable and long-lasting product.
The veneer or “beauty layer” is a 1mm slice of real wood which is adhered to an SPC core with a PVC backing and the whole plank is top finished with ten coats of light-cured polyurethane.
This unique construction gives you a real wood-look floor that is water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and fade-resistant.
In addition, the SPC or stone powder core provides extra dimensional stability. This means you can cut down acclimation time to a couple days. This is a far cry from traditional hardwood floors which can take weeks or longer to acclimate properly depending on the product and your climate.
Sadly, you cannot refinish this product if it receives wear or damage. However, the overall durability of the product and the thick wear layer should prevent the flooring from getting to that point for quite some time.
In fact, Cali Bamboo has decided to warranty this product for double the industry standard. That is an impressive 50 years residential and 15 years light commercial. These warranties cover things like delamination and product failure, as long as you installed the product to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Ease of Installation
GeoWood features a DIY-friendly click-lock system that you can either glue down or attach in a floating manner without adhesives or fasteners. It is designed to be installed with minimal tools and expertise.
No saw, no problem. You can make cuts using a simple score-and-snap method using a sharp utility knife and a straight edge. If you’ve ever successfully installed vinyl plank products, this is very similar.
With a little help from friends, a handy homeowner could install this flooring throughout a small home in the matter of a long weekend.
While GeoWood does not come with a factory-applied underlayment, you can purchase one separately. Just about any moisture barrier foam underlayment designed for vinyl plank products will do, Cali Bamboo makes one specially designed for use with this product.
The Cali Complete underlayment is a moisture barrier, thermal insulator, and acoustical underlayment in one. The interlocking sheets fit together like a puzzle, then are taped for security. This underlayment can be used over wood and concrete without an additional vapor barrier.
Overall, Cali Bamboo GeoWood is a boon for a novice DIYer that wants the look of a hardwood floor with the ease of installation of a vinyl plank or laminate.
Cali Bamboo has a reputation in the flooring industry for being one of the leaders in sustainable building materials. Their specialty, as their name suggests has been bamboo flooring. Bamboo flooring itself is a very eco-friendly building material, yet they have carried this movement to their other collections and product lines.
The GeoWood wood veneer is harvested from Lacey Act Compliant managed forests. The SPC core is composite limestone. Overall, the product is Ultra-Low VOC and exceeds CARB-2 Compliance standards for indoor air quality.
The Cali Complete underlayment also meets these air quality requirements. You can even recycle it after it reaches the end of its useful life.
The square foot cost of GeoWood falls somewhere between an engineered hardwood and a luxury vinyl plank as you might suspect. The price per square foot ranges from $4-$6 depending on your retailer and the species you choose.
Currently, Cali Bamboo GeoWood is only available for purchase from Cali Bamboo with minimums and authorized flooring dealers. However, you can request a quote directly from Cali Bamboo.com as well as purchase samples. If your local flooring retailer is a display dealer, many of them have a free sample checkout program, but you’ll have to return the sample to the store.
Freight for heavy and bulky items like flooring is expensive but sometimes you can find free shipping deals on bulk orders. It is unlikely that your local flooring dealer will stock Cali Bamboo products, so you must special order them. If you are on a budget, make sure to get a freight quote.
Another cost to consider is installation. You can opt to DIY this flooring if you are handy. This will save you a bundle on labor costs.
However, should you choose to hire a professional, you can expect to pay around $2 to $4 per square foot just to install the floor. Items like removal and disposal of your old floor, subfloor preparation, and removing and reinstalling your baseboards cost extra.
Overall, GeoWood from Cali Bamboo is a great product if you are after the look of real wood but with the water-resistance, durability, and the easy DIY of a luxury vinyl plank. This allows you to put GeoWood places in your home that traditional hardwoods normally shouldn’t go such as kitchens and bathrooms.
In addition, this is a good product for active homes with kids and pets. The fact that it’s an eco-friendly product and has sustainable materials is a bonus.
What about you? Are you team hardwood or team vinyl plank–or maybe a bit of both? Have you tried GeoWood? Tell us in the comments.