Mirage ~ Engineered vs. Lock ?

tyjyOctober 8, 2010

Hi guys! You all are SO knowledgable, I decided instead of going crazy on my own I'd at least try to get some clarity by asking my question on this forum...(so THANKS in advance!)

Been looking for a grayish colored floor (tile or wood) for kitchen/dining/foyer for quite awhile and finally zeroed in on Mirage after seeing an "engineered" style, Maple, 3 5/16" wide, semi-gloss, Charcoal color, at a builders' model home. Reeaally pretty! (I'm debating between the 3 5/16" and the 5" available).

Went to the flooring store for a quote and was shown a teeny-tiny sample of the Mirage LOCK style that comes in 4 5/16" wide (vs. engineered) and was being steered towards that as it's "floating" and wouldn't require a whole new subfloor installation like we'd need for the engineered style (we currently have a particle board subfloor, the engineered needs something stronger). My husband, who is very handy and could definitely install the Lock, likes this Lock idea better. We may or may not try installing the engineered ourselves. If not, we were quoted $1,900 installation for engineered!

QUESTION: Does anybody know if the MIRAGE LOCK style is indeed the "same exact look" as the MIRAGE ENGINEERED?? The salesperson told us it does look the same and that the only difference between the two is underneath: the Lock has a "high density fiber core" (thus, thinner) and the Engineered has a "hardwood plywood base".

Because I didn't see a larger sample of the Lock (or in my color) I can't be sure it is for sure the same look (color, sheen, micro-v-joint, etc.) as the engineered. (I've had some "laminate" samples at home from other stores and they just didn't even come CLOSE to the Mirage Engineered sample as far as quality, beauty, etc.) I did compare a teeny Lock sample in a different color to a larger Engineered sample at the store and it DID look the same. This is a $6,000 to $9,000 project so it's important I'm right on this : / It's unnerving.

Lastly, Any opinions about "cashmere" (matte) or semi-gloss? I'm torn between the two looks...leaning towards cashmere because I've read it doesn't show marks as easy.

Thank you SO much for any feedback!

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Responding to salesmen's claim that only difference is the core (HDF for lock and ply for engineered), this is very wrong. The wear layer of the lock is thinner than the wear layer of the engineered. This makes a difference in terms of how many times the product can be sanded and refinished. You can measure the difference on your samples. Also, the warrantied method of installation for the two products differs. Check out the Mirage website for more more information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mirage website

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 11:15AM
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Thanks for that website link! Very helpful!

I see that the LOCK "sawn hardwood top layer" is 3/32" (2 mm) and overall it's 7/16" (11 mm) thick.
In comparison, the ENGINEERED has a top hardwood layer of 5/32" (4 mm) but is just 3/8" (10 mm) thick.

Now that you mention it, I guess I DO remember the salesperson saying that the Lock can't really be sanded and refinished but the engineered can be, so that IS an important difference.

QUESTION: Does anyone know if there's USUALLY a need for the sanding and refinishing? (We're empty nesters but have visiting grandkids and no pets.) It'll be installed in an often used U-shaped kitchen dining, and hallway (existing carpet in/near these areas are matted down from foot traffic!)

QUESTION: Does anyone know if the Mirage Lock is a good quality and/or if the thickness is good? Also, if it's both sawn cut Lock & Engineered oughta look the same, right? (If I understand the difference between this Lock and what I've heard of as "Laminate", it's different ....right??)

(Sorry if these questions sound so stupid, I'm just trying to DECIDE on something once and for all and it's really hard : /

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 4:46PM
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If the Mirage Lock had come in Brazilian Cherry, I would have bought that instead since I loved the 4.25" width better than the 5" width I chose over the 3.25" width (BR-111 that is nice but despite how hard the wood is, it does scratch and dent) and I loved how you can take the floor apart to change a board. I also loved the Mirage Lock Maple Auburn but due to my Cherry Desk, I thought the Brazilian Cherry looked better in my home office.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 8:31PM
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lynn2006: thank you, thank you for responding! I'm with you re: color, it's what's steering me too.

I need some help here though...

I feel like I'm not understanding something: When I mention "Lock" that "floats" to someone they think it's a "laminate" which to me (& maybe them) is like a "picture" of wood. (So there's an instant reaction that Lock would be inferior.) The salesperson said it's REAL WOOD, and also dry sawn cut (vs. rotary cut) so the boards won't have repetitive patterns.

My problem is that I have not seen a full sized sample of the Mirage Lock in the Maple-Charcoal color I want, (only small samples of OTHER colors). In the store I physically compared a Lock random color sample (pretty small) to a full sized Engineered sample, same color, and the TOP (stained wood part) indeed appeared to look the same to me. My husband is trying to say that the way he understands it, is the Lock IS hardwood, not a picture, it's (the top stained wood part) just not as thick as the engineered. (of course I understand that Lock has an HDF core vs. the plywood core of Engineered.)

My question to you Lynn is: did you get the chance to compare Mirage Lock to a same color of Mirage Engineered both in a full sizes? And does it indeed LOOK the same to you? Also, did your salesperson explain if it "clicked" underfoot? Or looked "wavy" or anything different than the engineered?

Thank you SO much for any help : )

(PS: I also like the 4.25" width but was actually considering 5")

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 10:46AM
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I was able to bring home Lock big samples from a store and the engineered samples and they looked the same to me with the sawn cut on top but the engineered had more real wood on top. I loved the way the lock clicked together and loved the width. I also loved the finish on top of both floors and the choices of either semi-gloss or cashmere. I preferred the semi-gloss.

The lock is NOT a picture of real wood but a nice sawn cut that is beautiful when installed based on pictures on this forum from others that installed the Sapele or the Maple Auburn.

Both 4.25" and 5" widths are very nice especially in dark colors. You will be happy with either floor. I wanting a floating floor so I would not feel the concrete under my feet and my floor with the floor muffler and the 1/2" deep 5" wide boards does feel like a solid wood floor when walking on it. I bought my wood from TrueHardwoods.com and was happy.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:39PM
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Click Rudee's Link of his Sapele Mirage Lock. If I had seen this video before buying my wood, I may have compromised on the Sapele Mirage Lock since the lock did not come in the Brazilian Cherry that I wanted. I love the Semi-gloss better than the slightly less glossy BR-111. I love my floors but the headache of the installing of installing a floating floor using glue could have been avoided if I went with the lock. Just my opinion. You will not go wrong with any floor from Mirage since their finishes are so sturdy and beautiful in my opinion and they use a sawn cut.

Here is a link that might be useful: Click Rudee's Link of his Sapele Mirage Lock floor that I love

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:53PM
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Rudee's basement Video #3 - Sapele Mirage Lock installed by him floated ... direct link so you do not have to look for Rudee's post in the above link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rudee's basement Video #3 - Sapele Mirage Lock installed by him floated

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:57PM
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LYNN! THank you so much for writing and providing links!! Thanks to "rudeeee" too who took the time to post a video!

I am so hoping to be able to compare Lock to Engineered in the same colors. It's reassuring to know you CONFIRM it LOOKS the same on the surface! It's a big criteria of mine! Because my cabinets/woodwork are already too busy, I do not want a lot of variation in floor grain/color so it's important to know FOR SURE if one Maple Charcoal looks like the other Maple Charcoal! Still deciding on Cashmere (matte) or semi-gloss??

(Do you know anything about the Lauzon brand? I've found a Shadow Gray in maple that's interesting! A little hike though to find dealers)

Per your link above, "rudeeee" wrote that "Mirage requires an acoustical underlayment which makes floors feel and sound solid"! I've got a raised floor situation over particle board so "spongyness" or tell-tale "clickyness" people associate with "laminates" or "floating" worries me a little if I choose Lock! (No worries with Engineered as we'd nail/that down.)

NOT an easy decision so opinions and advice from everyone is very, very much appreciated!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 10:37PM
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