Bealea engineered wood flooring, sold exclusively by FlooringVillage, is relatively new to the market. As you’ll no doubt be well aware by now, the engineered wood flooring market is vast to say the least! Therefore, any help you can get in negotiating the wood flooring landscape is likely very welcome. To guide you through the engineered flooring decision journey, I’ve been writing reviews for some time now. Read on for my review of Baelea engineered flooring…
We’ve recently installed Baelea engineered wood flooring in a Manchester city centre apartment, specifically in the MM2 building.
The job consisted of removing an older three block engineered floor in the entrance, main lounge, and kitchen areas for a more up to date spec floor. Our client decided on the Baelea natural oak brushed and matt lacquered 4 V click single plank.
Out of the box
The Baelea flooring had been delivered to the apartment and left sealed in the packaging several days prior to acclimatize before the installation. On opening several boxes we found the planks were consistent in finish, texture, and quality. With a good natural grade plank selection – otherwise known as ABCD or mill run. Each plank was true, meaning there was no bowing, crooking, or warping. A welcome sight to a wood floor installer as finding any of these faults means an imbalance in the moisture content of the flooring and a real potential headache trying to separate such boards from the good.
The cut edges and locking system were crisp with zero flaws found at this stage.
The start of the installation
This is a critical stage as installing the first rows tells us how well aligned the planks are. In other words, have the end join been cut square. At this stage we want crisp rectangular planks. We don’t want to find the planks to be rhombus shaped as this can really throw the initial alignment out and increase our stress levels no end!
With jubilation, at this stage, each Baelea plank again was true in the sense of alignment. It gave us no initial problems.
Another key aspect of the starter rows is to assess how well the flooring locks together both on the length joins and short end joins (headers).
A poorly manufactured locking system can prove to be a nightmare which at the early stages tells us we’re going to have a fight installing the flooring. Baelea locked together easily and firmly. The headers are a knock down type (Partly shown in this picture but will make more sense should you decide to purchase it). Again, the header joins went together fine culminating in a definitive click sound once the header had been fully married to the adjoining board.
The main body of the installation
With our initial delight at finding the planks were well manufactured, we ploughed on with the main body of the installation.
During the installation we found three defective boards. Two of these were due to excessive bowing. One due to a completely miss cut of the short end locking system. Three additional boards were deemed unsatisfactory due to odd or inconsistent grain structures. The last point was more down to personal preference and of which we simply dealt with by cutting the planks off where these grain structures were and used the good part of the planks for starter/end pieces.
Overall, no big deal as in total the area required twenty three packs of Baelea consisting of one hundred and sixty one planks. Therefore, in the grand scheme of things the defective plank numbers were extremely low. In all our engineered flooring installations, we would never expect a complete set of perfect planks. Engineered flooring is still largely a natural product and as we all know, nature likes to throw us curve balls.
After we had installed over three quarters of the main living area and mid way through the entrance hall, it was apparent that the Baelea was starting to look quite stunning.
At this stage or more commonly known as the standing back stage, I tend to have a pretty good feel as to whether my client is going to like the floor or not. With the Baelea, me and my installation partner clearly had no worries here. Although each to their own and I’ll let you decide from the pictures whether this type of engineered floor will suite your interior.
My client was certainly extremely happy, although he did make us replace a plank that wasn’t to his liking. Again, a question of personal choice as I mentioned before. Ideas of what a wood floor should look like are subjective. We often find that a client may not like a particular plank whereas we love it. I suppose it’s all a question of our unique tastes.
With this installation, we were asked to remove the skirting boards, clean them up, and re-install them after the Baelea had been fitted. Such a task can often really put a floor through it’s paces and show how robust it actually is. Although we are always careful, there’s still a lot going on when skirting boards are being replaced, as you can imagine. The surface lacquer put up a floor worthy fight. Some wood floor coverings can be quite delicate and don’t take much to scratch or dent. It was clear that the Baelea engineered floor could cope and did cope with a decent amount of heavy use. Of course, that’s not a full test of how much the Baelea can put up with but it’s a good start 🙂
There are two positive additional points I’d like to mention.
Firstly, the foot sound of the Baelea or rather this installation was extremely low! My client was advised to go for a decent underlay, of which he chose Novostrat comfort silver (which can be seen in several of the pictures above). This was due to the apartment being on the first floor and neighbours below being a clear priority. I’d always advise to go even higher with regards quality of underlay but was pleasantly surprised at the impact sound absorption (low rebound sound back into the room) of the Novostrat. I didn’t have chance to speak to the neighbours below to give any confirmation as to the sound transference properties of this underlay.
The second point being the exceptional match of the real wood door threshold bars that were supplied with the Baelea. They’re fantastic quality and as can be seen by this picture, blended in very well!
A very nice product indeed. The cost of the Baelea engineered floor is well balanced with the quality. We had no out of character issues while fitting it and would now feel very comfortable in recommending it to our clients.
If you’re struggling with the immense choices out there and you like what you see within the Baelea range, well rest assured, you won’t be disappointed.
This is a genuine review with no financial gain.© Copyright 2014 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor