If you have been doing any shopping for new flooring, you know that the market is very competitive and even when you start to narrow things down, there are still a lot of products and installers from which to choose. Adding to the confusion are badly trained salespeople with very poor product knowledge but high pressure sales tactics. It’s enough to make a person stick with their 20-year-old carpet for a while longer.

But there is help. If you are building new, remodeling or just freshening up, Shirley Pai Hilton of Kahala Pacific Floors would like to help you with some unbiased information on products and installation so that you can make the right choice for the person that matters here — you!


Hilton says that the first thing to remember is to always buy the best quality in your price range. The old adage of getting what you pay for applies doubly in a competitive market. Vendors will try to get your attention and money by offering an amazingly low price, but that’s because they didn’t pay much for it either.

And what has usually been sacrificed is hardiness and longevity. What good does it do if you have to buy another floor in just a few years? No one is saying to purchase a real wood floor when you can’t afford it, but do shop for a good quality laminate to give you years of satisfaction. Always look for a good warranty on materials. About 25 years for home use should be right.


Another piece of advice from Hilton is to always look for integrity with the company you are dealing with. You may have a written contract, but good customer service is usually not one of the listed contractual obligations. Who are the owners and what are their backgrounds? The Better Business Bureau is one place to start, but ask your friends and family and also request past customer references.


It is also interesting to note that good, knowledgeable salespeople are a direct reflection of the company’s openness and attention to detail. That person should be able to offer you good information that will help you make an informed decision. Always walk away from high pressuring, badgering salespeople who call or text you incessantly. They definitely don’t have your best interests at heart.

And Hilton says that even before you venture out into the Hawaii flooring forest, get a basic education by attending her Wood and Stone Flooring 101 seminar, held monthly due to popular demand. The 90-minute session has been attended by hundreds of Hawaii consumers who always exclaim how much they enjoyed it and how much they learned. It will give you the tools to begin chopping through that forest and really seeing the trees (no pun intended).

Kahala Pacific Floors’ next seminar will be held on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 10 a.m. at its showroom located at 926 Kohou St. Call 847-7711 to reserve a seat.

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