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It's not what I expected; it's FAR BETTER!
Even for this avid do-it-yourselfer, installing a hardwood floor seemed daunting, if not foolish, to take on by myself. My floors were as level as a Tilt-A-Whirl, some sections dipping diagonally, half of it a cement floor and half of it a wood subfloor, the split occurring in the middle of the room. Add to that, I had alcoves and half-walls, a circle of bricks surrounding a fireplace, and stairs zig-zagging to a twisted landing as if built by Dr. Seuss.
What I lacked in experience I made up for in determination and began researching types of flooring--solid, engineered, click-lock--and my limitations with each. If I chose solid wood, I could nail it down, but only onto the stairs and the wood subfloor. If choose an engineered plank, I could glue it down, but gluing is messy and unforgiving, and I was pretty sure I'd need a lot of forgiveness. Further, I detested the micro-slice of solid wood topping most engineered planks. Briefly, I considered floating the floor, but I'm severely clumsy and just the idea of something "floating"
beneath my feet caused me to stumble.
For months, I made phone calls, surfed the internet, talked to contractors, and visited dozens upon dozens of flooring showrooms, all of it, more confusing than helpful...until I found Hurst Hardwood. My salesman, David, was polite, attentive, and knowledgeable. I can only imagine his fear in dealing with an anxious, confused, inexperienced floor-buyer. (In this day and age, when things go wrong, someone's "help" is often repaid with
accusations.) But despite whatever trepidation David may have had, he took my phone calls (sometimes dozens in a day) answered my questions, listened to what I was striving for, helped guide my decision--Owens Engineered Planks, 4 x 5/8", 4.7 mm wear layer--and allayed my fears...and I had a LOT of fears. After all, I would be plunking down thousands of dollars to a company on the other side of the continent for sight-unseen flooring.
Further, every local flooring company had told me that these planks could not be had for two months AND would cost two bucks more per square foot than the price Hurst had quoted me. The old adage, "If it sounds to good to be true..." kept resounding in my head causing me to call David a dozen more times to ensure I would be receiving the correct floor.
The planks arrived on schedule; expertly packed, neither a damaged nor warp board in the bunch. Like David had assured me, Owens was very generous with their long, 7' planks. In fact, the 5' and 6' planks well outnumbered the shorter planks. While the planks acclimated, I snapped together a 5'
area...and it's not what I expected; it's FAR BETTER! The planks fit together so seamlessly, it looked like a dance floor. Absolutely STUNNING!
Kudos to Owens for manufacturing such a quality product.
And a thousand kudos and my sincere gratitude to David at Hurst Hardwood.