Arbor Seal Hardwood Flooring Review
Arbor Seal Hardwood Flooring is a hybrid product, filling a gap between luxury vinyl plank and engineered hardwood flooring. Arbor Seal comes with a top layer of real wood veneer, attached to an SPC core. Arbor Seal is a click together waterproof product that can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms and basements. Products are available in white oak, maple and hickory.
Arbor Seal is a relatively small product line (10 colors), with each color having a board dimension of 6 1/2" wide by 48" long. Each colors comes with a nine layer jet coat aluminum oxide finish. The product comes with a click together installation method, making it a very easy product to install. Arbor Seal can be installed on wood or cement, and can be installed on or below grade.
Arbor Seal is a product line, that was developed to fit a niche floor covering shopper, one that is looking for a hardwood product, but is concerned about moisture and water. Arbor Seal offers a product that is both "real hardwood" and that is also waterproof.
Each plank has a 1.3mm sliced faced top layer of real hardwood, that is bonded to a SPC core. The locking system, along with the overall product construction makes this product waterproof, and perfect for any area of the home.
Another great feature of Arbor Seal is the attached pad. Each color comes with an attached underlayment pad, which helps with comfort and noise reduction.
Unlike other engineered hardwood products, you can wet mop Arbor Seal when cleaning. Water will not cause problems with this floor.
The 10 color line is mostly light and dark browns, matching popular colors of engineered hardwood flooring. All of the available colors are popular brown family colors that go with most paint and fabric colors.
The product has a website: Arbor Seal, but it is really a private label product, sold by Florstar Sales, a regional floor covering distributor. Florstar Sales operates in the Upper Midwest, and covers around 11 States.
In order to find an Arbor Seal product display, you will need to visit a store that has a relationship with Florstar Sales, and that sells other Florstar products.
Is Arbor Seal Hardwood Real Wood Or A Product Like Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is the fastest growing product in the floor covering world. If you go in to any retail floor covering store, you will see rows and rows of luxury vinyl plank displays. These are waterproof products, that resemble hardwood flooring. Companies are making these products in various board widths and board lengths.
While vinyl plank has grown in popularity, there is still a percentage of customers that do not want vinyl plank, but would rather have real hardwood in their home. The problem with hardwood flooring, is that it gets damages when subjected to moisture and water. Families that have little kids, and busy households, if not extremely careful, can damage a hardwood floor rather quickly.
This is where Arbor Seal fits in to the marketplace. With this product, you can have the best of both worlds. Customers can purchase a "real hardwood" product that is waterproof.
Instead of getting a luxury vinyl plank product, that is made with a "photograph" of hardwood, customers are getting a product that has real hardwood on the top layer, put together with a SPC core.
Arbor Seal fills a void in the marketplace that previously did not exist. No one had a waterproof hardwood floor.
How Is Arbor Seal Installed?
Arbor Seal is an incredibly easy product to install. With its click together installation method, it make it a perfect product for the weekend DIY'er.
As with any floor covering product, it is very important to install Arbor Seal based on the manufacturer instructions. In the event of a product claim, failure to follow the recommended installation procedures could void your warranty.
The product installations can be found on the Arbor Seal Website. You can also visit the site at: Arbor Seal Installation Instructions
One of the items that many customers forget about is: product acclimation. Customers should deliver their product material to the job site at least 48 hours before installation. This will allow the product to get used to the temperature of the room. Arbor Seal has very detailed information on pre-installation instructions, and customers should become familiar with these guidelines before starting an installation project.
The click together installation of Arbor Seal makes installation very easy, even for a non-professional floor covering installer.
What Kind Of Warranty Does Arbor Seal Come With?
As with any floor covering product warranty, you need to read the actual warranty document, to get a full understanding of the warranty. Information you find on the back of a sample, is for the most part, marketing propaganda, and it is completely worthless information.
As with any legal document (like a product warranty), there are always many exclusions and things you need to follow. When purchasing Arbor Seal, it will always be a good idea to ask your flooring store to print you a copy of the full product warranty. You can also get this information on the Arbor Seal Website. For example, in the product warranty, here are a list of some of the exclusions (the product sample won't mention):
The warranty does not cover mold and mildew issues
Stains as a result of negligence, or use of chemical industrial products
Any damage occurred while the product is being shipped
Damage from improper cleaning practices
Removal or replacement of furniture, cabinets, or hotel stays
Squeaking and cracking of the sub-floor or hardwood
Improper care or maintenance
Natural color change due to exposure to excessive sunlight
Arbor Seal advises homeowners to not use steam mops.
It is critical to get a complete warranty brochure at the time of your purchase. In this way, you can set-up cleaning and maintenance guidelines that will best protect the floor, as well as your product warranty.
In general terms, Arbor Seal comes with a 50 year residential finish and wear warranty, and a 5 year commercial warranty. Once again, these terms are really meaningless, until you dive in to the actual warranty document, to read the bullet points in each section of the warranty.
Credit: Arbor Seal
Where Can You Purchase Arbor Seal Hardwood Flooring?
As mentioned earlier, Arbor Seal is a private label product, sold by Florstar Sales. Florstar Sales is an Upper Midwest floor covering distributor. States included in Florstar's reach include: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
If you live in one of these States, more than likely, you will be able to find a dealer that is selling Arbor Seal Hardwood Flooring. Outside of these States, this product might not be available yet.
When shopping for Arbor Seal, it is always best to call ahead to your local floor covering store to see if they have the product display. If they do, most stores will allow you to borrow samples and take them home for a few days.
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Conclusion - Arbor Seal Hardwood Flooring Review
We have given Arbor Seal a rating of 3 1/2 stars. The only reason that we did not give them a higher rating is due to the newness of the product. At this point, we do not have enough information to evaluate customer reviews, durability and claims.
The concept of a waterproof floor is an excellent idea, and we see no reason why this product should not take off and be very successful. We could easily see this product getting reviewed again, and getting a 4 or 5 star review. The pricing on the product is certainly competitive with other engineered hardwood floors, and we also think the width of the boards, makes Arbor Seal a very attractive product.
The color line is very small, and we would like to see more options. However, with the 10 colors they do currently have in their display, they have done a good job of developing popular selling colors.
The Arbor Seal Website is not the best. We could not find a customer phone number, or any method (other than a contact page form), for someone to reach them. For DIY installation questions, this might be a challenge.
Buying Arbor Seal might be an issue. If you live in a State that Florstar Sales does not operate in, you might be out of luck.
Overall, we really like the product. Time will tell on some of the concerning areas (like claims and reviews). For customers that want both a waterproof and real hardwood product, Arbor Seal would be a good place to start your shopping adventure.
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