Wood flooring has been used for hundreds of years all over the world and has evolved greatly to become the beautiful and elegant floor covering that it is today. Why, even the last ten years have been revolutionary, with exotic woods pushing traditional domestic species out of the way and manufacturers developing more durable and stable versions of this traditional beauty. It is safe to say that hardwood flooring is currently at the peak of its popularity and there are no signs of it slowing down.

Shirley Pai Hilton is president and CEO of Hawaii’s largest wood flooring wholesaler, Kahala Pacific Floors (formerly Pacific Imports International). The company manufactures the very popular Kahala Floors and Bayside Flooring brands found locally. She is one of the foremost experts on wood flooring in Hawaii, and she is very happy to share in-depth information on the various types of wood flooring, decorating with wood flooring and the proper installation of the products. Her expertise is often tapped for local home improvement publications and she has provided consultation on many large flooring projects. In fact, one of her customers recently referred to her as the “Maven of Mahogany,” a description she especially appreciates because of her desire to share her knowledge with others.



Hilton said wood flooring is a very popular choice for several good reasons, the first one having everything to do with aesthetics.

“Wood flooring just looks fantastic,” said Hilton. “It can add warmth, drama, character, richness — you name it. It’s like being all made up and using the right color of lipstick as the finishing pop!” And with all of the colors and grains available, there is a look to match any decor.

Wood floors have also gained a large following among homeowners wanting to dump old dusty carpets — with their dust mites and other allergens — and switch to a surface that can be wiped clean. Additionally, carpet usually needs to be changed out after about 10 years, but the right wood floor will last a lifetime.


That brings our attention to the third major reason customers choose wood: it’s a one-time investment in a lifetime product that adds permanent value to real estate while being utilized on a dayto-day basis.

As Hilton said, these days engineered wood floors are “where it’s at,” and the company’s sales run five to one in favor of Kahala Floors’ engineered woods (versus solids). Offering a refinishable layer of the “real wood” which has been installed onto a plywood base, engineered floors are not meant to be stingy on wood. Rather, their unique construction offers longevity that nearly equals that of a 3/4 inch solid wood floor, with the main advantages being dimensional stability and lower installation costs.

Hilton said her desire to share reliable information on wood flooring has inspired her to organize a monthly workshop at the showroom titled “Wood and Stone Flooring 101” where a wealth of information is presented in a pleasant and organized manner. Past participants always say how much they appreciated the terrific product information and straight talk about their options.


The next session will be held Saturday,, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. Call 847-7711 to reserve your seat today.

contact // 847-7711
address // 926 Kohou St.