Sophia Hilton with Rocky, the Japanese spitz. R Breit photo.

Customers often ask Shirley Hilton at Kahala Pacific Floors what the warranty is on her flooring products. She proudly tells them that the company’s products come with a 25-year warranty when installed by the proper professional, that is, someone who holds the C-21 designation from the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). “People ask why only the C-21 and not their handyman?” said Hilton, and she needs to explain that wood flooring installation is a special licensed trade category due to the extensive knowledge that is required to do the job right.

“You would not believe the crazy stories that I’ve heard over the years on flooring that has gone wrong and how it was installed!” laughed Hilton. Stories ranging from laying hardwood flooring right over a very bumpy slab so that you are literally bouncing as you walk on it, to flooring that was just loose laid right onto the floor — no nails, no glues, nothing. “It is amazing,” said Hilton.

Sophia Hilton. R Breit photo.

Hilton, who herself is a C-21 licensee, explains that two of the most important things to consider when laying a new floor — whether it be wood, laminate, vinyl or tile — are the moisture conditions in the sub-floor and also the flatness of the subfloor. Most handymen or carpenters probably know how to snap a straight line to start the flooring and to use a table and chop saw to start cutting the puzzle pieces that make up your floor. But ask them if they know what a calcium chloride test is and you will probably get a blank stare. A calcium chloride test is recommended by the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association) to give an actual measurement of the moisture output of your slab so it can be deemed safe to lay flooring on — or to determine if other pre-treatments are necessary. And it makes a lot of sense that if you want a floor that sits nicely, the foundation on which it is installed needs to be relatively flat to give it support. The highest points need to be ground down and the lowest spots need to be filled with leveling compound.

These are just two of the dozens of useful tidbits shared at Kahala Pacific Floors’ free monthly seminar, Wood and Stone 101. The next session is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. at the company’s Kalihi showroom. Call 847-7711 to save a seat.

contact // 833-7090
address // 926 Kohou St.
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