WEST HOLLYWOOD CONTEMPORARY
THE QUEST FOR HARDWOOD FLOORS
Mirage Hardwood Floors
Work began on Sept. 19, 2005 to remodel two units of a 1,954 four-plex in a trendy West Hollywood neighborhood. The remodel included 4,000 sq. ft. of new hardwood floor for two units of a four-unit complex. The plan called for new construction of a second floor over the two front units. There were existing Red Oak floors from the 50’s in both units. In order to modernize and unify the look of the new addition, we needed a wood floor that was durable, light in color, and modern in feel. An exhaustive search for the best quality flooring at reasonable prices began. There are no shortages of hardwood floor showrooms or dealers in Southern California, and four months were spent visiting most of them. Our experienced hardwood installer was very knowledgeable and told us about the recent influx of Chinese-processed hardwood into the US market. It is rumored to be brittle, unstable and from non-sustainable sources. In addition, many Chinese companies are new and do not have proven business track records.
Eventually we became well-educated consumers and looked for an established firm with a good record of customer satisfaction. We finally settled on Boa-Franc’s Mirage Hardwood Floors. We chose their Hard Maple, 3/4” thick by 3-1/4” wide, micro-beveled, prefinished solid flooring. At first, it was not clear to us that solid, 3/4” wood was what we wanted. There are many engineered wood flooring products on the market, with varying top layer thicknesses. They are rumored to be very stable (non-warping) and can be installed on concrete slabs. However, their biggest drawback is that they cannot be refinished if the top layer is too thin. We did not want to be compromised by this aspect and so decided to go with the true and tested solid wood floors. Boa-Franc flooring comes in two finishes: semi-gloss and cashmere (matte). Because our apartments were to have a contemporary European feel, we chose the Traditional grade, cashmere gloss. The Traditional grade has lots of character, with beautiful markings of beige to dark brown stripes and patterns within each carton of 20 sq. ft. With white walls, this choice was modern, clean and bright without making the rooms look like a sterile box or hospital. The light color and characteristic markings in the wood hide dirt and dust, and the matte finish hides scratches. We fought the temptation to go with today’s trend of dark finished floors and exotic woods like Brazilian Cherry and Santos Mahogany, which continue to darken over time. Though rich and beautiful, we thought that dust, dirt and scratches would be more visible against dark floors.
According to our installer, the quality of this wood floor is exceptional, and the price is extremely reasonable for such a fine quality wood and finish. Our highest recommendation goes to Mirage Hardwood Floors and their knowledgeable and friendly sales people for their customer support.
Update: Four months after moving in, we are still stunned by the beauty of the floors, and visitors never fail to mention how contemporary and European they look. The floors are really the heart and soul of the units and will last long after we are gone. Thank you Mirage!
Eugene Moskalenko (818) 613-0612
Nathan Colkitt, architect (858) 829-4049
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