Almost everyone knows what wood flooring is, but do you know what engineered wood flooring is? You may have seen it at the home improvement store or in a magazine. It consists of a layer of the actual wood species of your choice on the top face, and plywood layers below that. The top layer can vary from the thickness of cardstock to half the thickness of the floor. And the ply layers can also range from as few as two or three plies to as many as nine.

You wouldn’t be alone if your reaction to this “different” wood floor might be that it is “the cheap stuff” or “skimping” on the wood. Depending on how much wood is on the top layer, this may be true or false.



Negative reactions to engineered wood flooring are the very reason Shirley Pai Hilton of Kahala Pacific Floors decided to start her Wood and Stone Flooring 101 seminars a few years ago.

“Wood flooring and the other products related to this category of floor covering can be very complicated,” said Hilton. “We do a lot of educating when the customer walks through that door, so I thought it would be a great idea to organize that education and deliver an organized, consistent message.”

Hilton explained that “engineered” wood flooring gets its name from the fact that the wood is arranged or manipulated to form a product that will overcome the natural tendency of wood floors to warp, twist or move. “It’s not about skimping, but rather about creating a piece of flooring with more dimensional stability,” she said.


With a solid piece of wood, the cellular structure of that piece is all running in one direction, so the entire piece wants to move in unison. With an engineered floor, every other layer of ply is crisscrossed so that while it still wants to move, every other layer keeps the next one in check. This is known as cross tension. The result is that engineered flooring does not have to be secured down with glue or nails — like solid pieces do — and can save homeowners a lot of money through “floating” installations. This is when the boards are glued to one another — but not to the subfloor — sitting on your slab like an area rug and moving as one big piece.

A former Certified Public Accountant with a masters degree in taxation, Hilton delves into details by nature, and she did the same when she entered the flooring business a number of years ago.


Over the years, she has been called on for her expertise in wood flooring and about five years ago, this led her to develop a product that is her pride and joy, the Kahala Floors line of engineered wood flooring. Featuring a thick top layer of wood, the finest Birch plywood and German finish, Hilton and her staff in Shanghai are literally hands-on at the factory to assure their customers receive the highest quality products.


Did you know details such as the top layer on your engineered floor can be considered too thick? Hilton invites you to attend the company’s next seminar to find out why this is and so much more. Best of all, she offers seminar attendees exclusive private sale pricing on all products and services, the lowest she ever gives. Call 847-7711 to reserve a seat for the March 16 session.

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