You want new flooring, and you have been looking around for weeks, months, even years. But, are you confused by the multitude of flooring products and manufacturers out there? If so, you are not alone.

One thing is certain when it comes to flooring in Hawaii: The market is very competitive and there are many choices of products and installers. Then, you have salespeople, many with very poor product knowledge, coming at you with confusing facts, figures and pressures to buy. It’s enough to make a person say, “I’ll stick with my 20 year-old carpet for a little 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 said that the first thing to remember is to always buy 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 readily available.


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. Probably the best way to find a good flooring company or product is to ask your friends, relatives and neighbors about their own experience and endorsements.

When you narrow it down, look into who the owner is and their background. Ask the company if it can provide a list of references. Yelp and other consumer websites are also good sources of information.

It is also interesting to note that good, knowledgeable sales-people 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 pressure, badgering salespeople who call or text you incessantly — they definitely don’t have your best interests at heart.


And Hilton said that even before you venture out into the Hawaii flooring forest, get a basic education by attending her Wood and Stone Flooring 101 seminar, now 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. The seminar will give you the tools to begin chopping through that forest and really see the trees.

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

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