HW flooring choices narrowing, but not quite there...

gwaldDecember 24, 2013

hi - I'm planning on laying a floating engineered maple 5" T&G floor on a slab @ grade. I would like a relatively clear maple. Darker tones and a few dark spots ok, but not a lot. I'm in northern CA, just for reference.

I spent the day shopping and I feel that I have narrowed it down pretty well, but I would really appreciate a sanity check (for the flooring thoughts anyway :-).

I saw mirage maple and they are asking $10/ft. I thought it was the nicest that I saw in terms of the wood, finish, and even the micro-channel seemed smaller and very consistent. I liked it a lot, but $10 seems like a lot.

The other 2 more likely choices are:
1. Urban Maple Natural @ $6/foot. 8 layers including a 4mm wear layer. Very nice looking.

2. Somerset @ $6, multi-layer and a 2mm wear layer. This looks nice too, but all else being equal, I would choose a 4mm layer.

How much can I count on the sample that I see in a showroom being like what I receive? Are Somerset and Urban brands that I can depend on in terms of consistency?

Any comments/suggestions really appreciated!


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Sophie Wheeler

Mirage is a good brand. And you'd be much better off to do a glue down rather than float it. It will be more stable and much quieter.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 6:48PM
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thx hollysprings - It's slab and it can get moist when there isn't a drought, so I like being able to put down plastic and underlayment. I have floating in the kitchen (cork) and I'm very happy with it. No problems so far.

I called the Urban company and they assured me that it would look pretty much like the picture on their web site. I'm starting to settle on that. Almost...

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Sophie Wheeler

If you want rotary peeled Chinese products with thin top layers and only 3 plys of non species core, you can do much better on pricing than $6 a square. I've seen equal quality for under $4 at to the trade places like ProSource.

Mirage is North American made (Canada) has 7 same species layers (MUCH more stable) with the top layer being sawn rather than peeled and thick enough to sand 3-4 times for a refinish.

You get what you pay for here. Mirage is a superior product. By far.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 11:07AM
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The Urban Maple has 8 layers including a 4mm wear layer, so that's why I'm leaning towards that. I would prefer a non-species core from an environmental standpoint. Having been a plywood consumer all of my life, I see how stable it is with all of the layers in contention with each other. I think that stable core bodes well for the top layer whatever it is.

Mirage may be nice, but my feeling is that it's overpriced. I got a mirage catalog and it's like an expensive magazine, Thick, glossy, and beautiful pictures. Nice, but I'm more concerned about the floor than the advertising. Maybe mirage could sell for $8/ft if they didn't have such expensive advertising. That would be a more reasonable leap from the $6 that I'm looking at. I would prefer to buy from more of a lumber yard type of place than a fancy show room. Urban claims to be environmentally proactive and they follow the Lacey Act. Hard to tell how honest that really is, like it would be to tell about any company. Anyway, that's just me. It's not easy to know the truth about all of the places out there and their products. I'm just trying to muddle through... :-)

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 2:21PM
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All manufacturers have to comply with the Lacey Act so that's not really a factor in your decision.
As a wood floor retailer I can attest that Mirage is of very high quality. Their milling and finish are excellent. Any product you find that's comparable in quality to Mirage is likely to be similar in price. Engineered products from Lauzon or Preverco might be comparable.
That said, you should be able to call around and find a price better than $10.00 per square foot for a cash & carry customer. I would think you'd be able to find it close to $8.00, depending on how many square feet you're buying.
I'm not familiar with the quality of the Urban floor but it sounds decent.
I believe that the Mirage Maple in 5" is what they call Exclusive. It's a step down from Select and Better so it has a bit of color variation.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 1:58PM
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