Kempas floors at Lowe's?

Old 02-22-05, 12:10 PM
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Smile Kempas floors at Lowe's?

Hi all,

i am currently building a house, and i am trying to do things myself as much as possible. i just found this forum and registered today!

my question for today is, i wonder if anyone has Kempas wood for his/her floors. i found this Kempas natural plank at Lowe's (Bruce, 3/4" thick, solid wood.. this is not engineered hardwood) and its color is beautiful! so, i did some reseach today, and it appears that this species is quite unstable, thus prone to shrinking and swelling. i live in State College, PA, and it is sometimes quite dry, and sometimes quite humid. so, i am not sure if it is a good idea to have this type of floor in my house.

So, i was just wondering if anyone has experience with this type of wood, even better if it is from Lowe's. I would appreciate any kind of feedback!!!

PS. interestingly, this Bruce Kempas natural, 3/4" thick, hardwood is only found at Lowe's, and not anywhere else, not even at Bruce website (there is shown only Kempas engineered hardwood). So, I sent an email to Bruce and asked them about this floor. at first, they didn't seem to know about the existence of this Bruce Kempas natural plank. But later, they said that they have this Kempas solid hardwood at Lowe's.. which sounded somewhat fishy to me...
Old 02-23-05, 04:50 AM
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What does the product cost per sq feet? and how many year warrenty?

Do you have a gun that will intall 3/4" flooring. They are about $500 or you can rent them for about $100-125 per week.

Building your own home is tough enough without using products that aren't proven. Going prefinished hardwood isn't a bad idea, but also look into installing unfinished hardwood flooring. You will save tons of money installing it yourself and then you can hire a professional to sand and finish it. Please don't make the mistake of thinking you can finish it yourself by renting the sander. That will be a big mistake.

good luck
Old 02-23-05, 11:35 AM
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At Lowe's, their price for Bruce Kempas Natural is $4.39/s.f. At other online stores, Kempas wood ranges from $3.50 ~ 8.00/s.f. By the way, this is prefinished, and I am not thinking about installing unfinished wood because i know that it will be very hard to finish it myself.

According to some web sites i found online, Kempas wood is much less stable than red oak, whereas one company claims that their kempas wood is much more stable. i am not sure if this can depend on stores, or if some companies are providing wrong information.

Has anyone tried lumber liquidators? what was your experience with them?
Old 02-23-05, 02:45 PM
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I must not have explained myself very well. If you want to install the hardwood yourself, you can. It is easier than the prefinished product (mistakes can be fixed). Then after you install it, you can hire a pro to finish it for you. All in all, it would run about the same as prefinished (unfinished product is much cheaper). The advantage to you would be an easier install, with less risk and the ability to purchase a product that is well proven.

I am sorry, but I am not familiar with lumber liquidator products. Most pros steer clear of cheaper products, because they have too many problems associated with them (I don't intend that to be a slam, just have been burnt with cheaper products before and won't go back). Good luck.
Old 02-24-05, 02:08 AM
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I just finished the installation of 800 sq. ft. of the Bruce Kempas Coastal Woodlands engineered product. Although there are some in this forum who are not Bruce fans we were satisfied with the product and love the floor.
Regardless of the species you will have to maintain a constant humidity in the house.
In my opinion, if you have to buy from Lumber Liquidators you better look to this forum for your installation questions. Those guys at L.L. will sell you down the river !!! I almost bought from them a 3/4" solid Kempas that they insisted was ok to glue down directly to my slab. Thank goodness I did my research here first!!
You might also look at the Brazilian cherry. It has a similar look, might be more stable and is harder.

Lots of luck
Old 02-25-05, 08:36 PM
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Thanks for the information on your Kempas floors. However, the product I saw at Lowe's is not engineered. It is 3/4" thick solid wood. according to some web sites, the stability of Kempas is low, thus prone to swelling and shrinking. So, I really wonder how much trouble this would be.

Since you mentioned brazilian cherry, i have some questions. i know that b razilian cherry is much harder than red/white oak. so, i hear people say that it is much more difficult to install (when nailing or stapling) brazilian cherry because it is harder. i am trying to install hardwood myself, and this is my first time. do you know if it would be very hard for the first timer to install 'harder' hardwood like brazilian cherry?

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