Baelea engineered wood flooring is a brand new range sold exclusively by flooringvillage.co.uk. I recently requested sample boards from them so I could take a look and see if it would be a product I could recommend to my clients in the future. From an installers perspective, I tend to look at products in more detail than your average shopper. In this article you’ll see many close up pictures of the Baelea engineered flooring and read my views, of which will hopefully give you a better understanding of this flooring before you decide to purchase. I’ll be focusing more on the quality of construction, machining and overall finish, so read on if this is a floor that you’re considering for your up coming project..
When I received my samples, the first thing that struck me was the tidy machining of the locking mechanism. This particular aspect is a common thing that I look at. As with so many engineered wood floors that I am requested to install, I see poorly machined locking mechanisms with ripped or low grade core material that make for difficult installations; giving the impression that the manufacture was rushed and the flooring sent out of the factory as quickly as possible with little care being taken. Poor standards in the manufacture really speak volumes for certain floors and can cast doubt on the longevity.
As can be seen here with the close up pictures, the Baelea locking mechanism is crisp, consistent and clean making for an easy installation. No fighting the floor to lock it together and no necessity to start cleaning out the machined grooves which can be a real bug bare during the installation.
Alignment is also a major factor when considering the quality of manufacture. If a floor has been machined poorly and the short end of the planks are not cut square to the long length; this can impact on the look of the floor when the installation is complete with gaps showing on the end joins.
Un-square end cuts can also cause problems when installing a floor, particularly at the beginning of an installation. Alignment is critical during the installation. Poorly executed cuts resulting in incorrect alignment places excessive torque on other parts of the locking mechanism resulting in failure. The precise cuts of the Baelea engineered flooring are true. This was clarified by placing an extremely accurate engineers set square on the end join. All lined up exactly. A clear sign of a well executed machining process.
The next thing I look at is how tight the boards are when joined together. This again indicates to me the quality of machining, as with rushed or poorly designed and/or machined locking mechanisms, when the boards are locked together, can feel slack (For want of a better word), and result in gaps showing when installed; leading to easy access for water, dirt and grime to settle in the joins. Also not a good look! The Baelea when locked together is tight and frankly flawless.
Moving on, some engineered floors can be designed in such a way that they are a real pain to install. Leading to an ensuing fight to lock such boards together and the very real potential for damaging the floor during installation. Rather than explain what such design flaws are and as this is a first look at the Baelea engineered flooring, I’m going to explain why I was pleasantly pleased with the design of the Baelea locking mechanism. It is installed by positioning each full plank close to the last plank in the row, locking in the long length of the board into the last row and then tapping the plank down so the short ends can interlock. You can probably see why I don’t want to explain a badly designed floor as it does tend to get complicated to put in writing. The way the Baelea short end locking mechanism is designed enables this easy installation technique to be adopted and trust me, especially if you’re taking on the installation as a diy’er, you’ll be very glad that the boards where made this way.
Finally, I looked at the quality and consistency of the surface finish. I tend to look for blemishes, strength of the bond between the top surface veneer and core material (lamination), poorly applied lacquer, and face defects. The samples I received had none of these and the standard of finish extremely high. The application of the lacquer was very well executed. There were no signs of delamination (or potential delamination) of the top surface veneer from the core board.
Of course I wasn’t able to look at an average across several boards but through experience, when looking so closely at sample boards, I can often spot minute signs that would place doubt in my mind, and for you more sceptical readers this is still often the case even if the sample boards where carefully selected. It’s hard to hide general standards of engineered flooring construction as each board is produced on the same production line and not by hand!
In summary, I would certainly give the new Baelea range of engineered flooring my recommendation to clients. It is a first impression, but from the initial unwrapping of my sample pieces, the boards oozed a high standard of quality. Weighing that up against the cost I feel that this flooring will have a firm place in the vast engineered flooring industry.
If you’d like to see the current cost and specifications of the Baelea engineered wood flooring CLICK HERE…The guys can send you FREE sample boards out within a few days. What have you got to loose?© Copyright 2014 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor