Choosing Hardwood Flooring

By Phil Benevides on Flooring, Remodeling

Choosing Hardwood Flooring and Shaw Epic PLUS with Stabilitek

On a recent whole floor remodel we had the challenge of unifying about 800 square feet of space sporting FOUR types of flooring. The final touch on this project would be the continuous hardwood floor. We suggested Shaw Epic PLUS with Stabilitek. So we’ll be discussing choosing hardwood flooring in this article. Additionally, we’ll elaborate on the homeowners decision to select Shaw Epic PLUS. With the choice made, we partnered with Shaw and they provided material for this project!

This project consisted of re-purposing a third floor and attic from a catacomb of poor storage rooms to new, bright, livable space! The flooring consisted of old yellow pine, wide knotty pine, clear pine, and rough sawn subfloor. Now the third floor has beautiful gray walls and bright semi-gloss white trim.

Pre-Installation and Job Preparation

Ensuring a smooth and successful installation is won and lost in job preparation. The space we’re working in has a unique architectural staircase leading to the floor below. Considering dust mitigation, this opening would be an issue for sanding if we selected a standard unfinished hardwood option. This led us to prefer a pre-finished product. So when the homeowners learned about the multitude of species, finishes, and textures available they quickly committed to a pre-finished option.

Species, Finishes, and Textures

In addition to the aforementioned downside of requiring sanding and finishing after installation, standard unfinished hardwood flooring, most commonly oak, is 2-1/4″ and has no distinct texture. A seemingly endless variety of stains and finishes are available for application to a clean and sanded floor but the species will still influence the color. Furthermore wider boards escalate in price quickly because the 3/4″ boards  require more and more lumber to make a plank.

Standard installation will require sanding, but texture can be achieved in the field. Success is highly dependent on the installer. Ensuring consistency without a repetitive patterns can be challenging. A smooth clean finish is the goal for most hardwood flooring specialists. So texturing is likely a costly add on, and many contractors may turn down the job.

Shaw Epic PLUS is made with a veneer of beautiful, natural wood on an enhanced HDF (High Density Fiber) core called Stabilitek.  It also has a layer of natural wood on the back.  It is a strong, dense, and stable floor. With Stabilitek, the product is a thin treated veneer on a stable engineered wood base. The veneer allows Shaw to deliver three species to choose from, at a reasonable price, with color styles and textures to match any taste. The owners selected Timber Gap 5 Canon color with Scuffresist Platinum. Shaw finishes their flooring with a patented finish to keep floors looking new!

And you can trust ScufResist Platinum because we’ve done the testing to prove it. We took heavy-duty scouring pads to our floors and to the competitors’, starting with fresh pads every 100 strokes. And the results were pretty clear: floors with ScufResist Platinum finish held up to scuffs 6x better than the competition.

Choosing Hardwood Flooring Made EASY!

From a contractor’s perspective, engineered flooring saves time and headaches on the job. With simplified prep and installation, the advantage for an installer over standard unfinished wood flooring is clear. Homeowners love the enhanced options and lower prices available to them. The finish is consistent with an engineered product as well, so you can take the guesswork out of stains and coats. When you get a sample from Shaw, what you see is what you get. And what you get is a beautiful floor.

Want to learn more about Shaw Epic PLUS with Stabilitek? We have two other articles; “Caring for Shaw Epic PLUS Hardwood Flooring” and “Installing Shaw Epic PLUS Hardwood Flooring”. We’ll discuss the advantages of engineered flooring for maintenance and care compared to standard unfinished wood flooring. And you’ll learn our tips and tricks for a successful flooring installation. Additionally we’ll discuss manufacturer’s recommendations for proper installation.

For example, when applying Shaw Epic PLUS with Stabilitek over an exisiting flooring Shaw recommends running the flooring perpendicular to the old floor. Client preference may trump this recommendation, as shown above.

Installing A Shaw Epic PLUS Engineered Hardwood Floor Video Review


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shaw Floors. The opinions and text are all mine.

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About the author

Phil Benevides

Carpenter / Assistant Editor

Phil is a 28-year old Air Force Veteran who decided to transform his passion for construction and home improvement into a career. Inspired by his Grandfather who built his home from the ground up with his bare hands in Portugal, he received his formal training in Carpentry at the North Bennett Street School in Boston, MA.Phil continues to grow his skills as a carpenter and leader, while exploring new products, methods, and tools!

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