The current flooring landscape
Kahala Pacific Floors and Pacific Imports International have been in business for nearly 20 years, and have experienced many changes and challenges during those years. Starting off strictly as an importer of wood flooring, they have adapted to various flooring trends, supply chain challenges, changes in U.S. customs and import regulations, and, now, aftereffects of the pandemic.
Starting out strictly as an importer of solid wood and bamboo back in 2002, PII was considered a pioneer in introducing mass-produced prefinished wood and bamboo flooring from Asia to the Hawaii market under its Bayside label. Next came engineered wood flooring, which started to explode in popularity in about 2005. PII quickly did the footwork to find quality products in Shanghai, and its Kahala Floors line of beautiful engineered woods was born. This lifetime product is still one of the bestsellers. However, as they say, things keep on changing, and it began to import Bayside laminate flooring. However, if you have been following trends at all, you know that laminate totally died a few years ago and now we have luxury vinyl. Not ones to get left behind, KPF and PII established their Outrigger line of SPC luxury vinyl a few years ago.
Today, what’s truly “happening” in flooring is engi neered wood flooring for those who want the real thing, and luxury vinyl for those who want the look of stone or wood but would like a more practical, waterproof alternative that also saves them a few bucks. For wood, the most popular is wide format whitewashed or stained engineered wood. Some have a textured surface while others are smooth and finishes may be oil or polyurethane. In luxury vinyl, look for SPC, says company president Shirley Pai Hilton.
“SPC stands for stone polymer composite, and this tells you what the floor’s core is made of. Stay away from floppy vinyl floors, like sheet vinyl, which require too much work on the subfloor.”
Hilton says that due to the pandemic — and quirky problems such as shortages of raw materials, shipping containers and limited and higher cost of sailings — prices have been rising and inventories are quite low on many products. However, KPF has aligned itself with some very large importers of wood flooring, such as Pacific Direct Industries, in order to fulfill local flooring orders within approximately two to three weeks. Many of their vinyl selections have also gone up in price due to the previously noted reasons but also due to massive tariffs imposed by the U.S. government on Chinese imports. However, supplies remain quite good with many locally stocked items for next-day availability.
Its 3,000-square-foot showroom on Kohou Street features many beautiful engineered wood floors by Kahala Floors, Pacific Direct, Provenza, Ark and California Classics, to name a few. In luxury vinyl, there are literally hundreds to choose from in the Outrigger, Inception, Pacific Direct, Genesis, Arm-strong, Aquarius and Shaw brands, among others. Its showroom is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and no appointment is necessary.
Hilton also encourages shoppers to sign up for the free monthly webinar —Great Flooring 101. Attendees will get a thorough education on the various types of flooring available in today’s market, pros and cons of each, explanations of all the acronyms commonly used, and installation tips.
Best of all, participants receive a special discount on their flooring purchases and a free gift just for attending. The next session will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 17. Call 808-847-7711 to register or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
KAHALA PACIFIC FLOORS