This is the first in a series of 12 articles that will feature the valuable information usually disseminated at Kahala Pacific Floors’ monthly Great Flooring 101 seminars. Due to suspension of its popular seminars because of COVID-19, company president Shirley Pai Hilton developed a new webinar version of Great Flooring 101 and agreed to feature the information in Hawaii Renovation.

This week, we will start with one of the original and most basic forms of flooring: wood. Various forms of wood flooring are available to today’s consumer, and they each have very different characteristics with regard to form, installation requirements and cost.



This is the most basic wood flooring. This is a 3/4-inch thick piece of wood that comes in various widths and has been milled into flooring with a tongue and groove on the sides so that the boards can nicely sit together on your floor. The boards are acclimated, installed, and then sanded and finished in your home. This is the most traditional wood flooring that can be found and takes a lot of skill and care to install properly. Due to the extra step of finishing the product on-site, it is one of the most costly options when looking at wood flooring.


Identical in dimensional characteristics as the previously discussed unfinished flooring, the main difference is that all the sanding and finishing has been done in a factory. The wood just needs to be glued or nailed in, and no further processing is needed. Many of these floors feature aluminum oxide, UV curing and multiple coats of finish, which give them a durability that cannot be achieved by manually finishing on-site.


This innovation in wood flooring consists of a top-wear layer of the actual wood species installed onto a multi-ply base. While solid wood flooring is especially sensitive to moisture, the crisscross design of the substrate for engineered floors gives it dimensional stability, which often allows for floating installation that simplifies the process.


Top layers can vary from the thickness of cardstock to half the thickness of the floor, and ply layers can range from as few as two or three plies, or up to about nine.

A common misconception is that the thin layer of wood on the top is made that way to be cheap with the wood or give you an economy product. This could be correct, but the true purpose goes far beyond this. And did you know that too thick a top layer is not good either?

Want to learn more? Please watch for our next article and also sign up for one of our upcoming 60-minute Great Flooring 101 webinars happening at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, or 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7.


Please call 847-7711 to register, or email See you online!

CONTACT 847-7711