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What Happens In Las Vegas…


Keeping up with all the latest offerings and technology in the hardwood floor field is usually a pretty mundane affair – we make sure we read the latest industry journals, spend lots of time researching online and off, keep up to date with new products and then test out the promising ones in our secret underground testing lair… oh ok, our ordinary shop.

Las Vegas

But sometimes it gets to be especially fun, like this month when we headed down to Las Vegas for one of the biggest trade shows catering to the flooring industry – Surfaces 2012.

With all of the latest hardwood flooring offerings under one roof and the lure of Las Vegas excitement and fun – how could we say no? So the 3 of us packed enough gear for 4 days of fun, hugged and kissed our wives and kids goodbye and jumped on a plane to sunny Nevada in hopes of finding the latest and greatest product that would allow us to make our clients restoration projects even better.

The convention was hosted in the beautiful Mandalay Bay resort. Unfortunately they were booked up so we stayed just down the road within easy walking distance each day. There was lot’s to see and plenty of booths and reps plus fellow hardwood floor guys from all over the country to chat with, share helpful tips and tell stories.

Surfaces Convention 2012

A lot of the new offerings were in the pre-finished flooring sections. Some of the latest pre-finished products are beautiful and have definitely come a long way from the beginning days. One of the companies were showcasing their beautiful wide plank floors that we’d definitely put in our own places.

Some of the companies were offering some pretty bold stain colors for their floors as well – reds, blues, greens and jet blacks. You can see some of them in the photo below. Not sure how popular they’ll be though?

One trend we’ve noticed lately, and it was out in full force at the Surfaces 2012 convention, is that white/grey stain is becoming more popular.

Lots of interior decorating magazines have been showcasing these floors lately too so they’re sure to catch on, at least for a while until they choose the next floor fashion. If applied properly, the white/grey stain can look really stunning. We’ll be doing a sample board of this soon so if you’re interested in having the latest fashion craze for your floor just ask to have a look at it.

The best “new” product we discovered (I say “new” because it’s been used in Europe for years and is just gaining popularity here), is a finish system called Rubio Monocoat. It’s a plant-based VOC-free product, completely non-toxic, extremely durable and only needs a single application – which will save us time and our client’s money if this is true. It’s available in more than 30 color finishes.

Here’s a video from the company below:

Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

We’ll be meeting with the rep for this finish system next week and see if we can get a sample of it so we can put it through our rigorous testing procedure. If it passes, we might be offering it down the road. I’ll definitely be writing a blog post about our findings either way.

So all in all our Las Vegas adventure was very educational and lots of fun – in a non-Hangover movie type of way.

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I was hoping to get your expert advise. Love your website and blog. We currently have a dark cherry stained maple engineered floor. We had water damage so we must replace all the floors. We want to stay with the dark/cherry stain(very elegant home) and were all set to install another maple dark stained floor with a thick enough wear layer to allow refinishing 2 times. But our installer said the product is great, but that maple is so hard to stain a consistent dark stain, that in reality we would probably never be able to refinish the floor and be duplicate the factory applied color stain. Do you have any recommendations? We do not want a photosensitive product as we have many large area rugs. Our current floor shows no visible difference in color under the rugs after 13 years of use.

Hi Alice,

Sorry to hear about you floors… I understand what a pain that must be :(

Your installer is right, it’s very hard to duplicate factory finished stains on maple floors. The reason being is that a lot of these prefinished maple floors have the stain mixed in with the finish and it’s sprayed on in a controled environment with numerous thin coats.

To do it onsite the maple needs to be pre-treated to accept stain more evenly (it’s one of the hardest woods to stain)and then the stain is rubbed in and the finish system applied over the top. A very different system. Is there another pre-finished product out there similar to what you had?

If you go for an onsite finish system, choose a high-end 2 part water based product like Pallmann Pal-X96, Basic Coatings StreetShoe or BonaKemi Traffic. These finish systems have good ultra-violet protection and wear extremely well.

Good luck in your project Alice!


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