At the start of March this year, I found myself up at the Hardwood Floor Center in Toronto, Canada picking up some floor finish and quarter round. I noticed this cute little sign on the contractors desk promoting Gator-Tuf Titanium ®. "What the heck is a titanium finish ?" I asked, sensing yet another gimmick. It was Frank the owner, who coaxed me into the adjoining showroom. I'm not a big fan of showrooms and the plethora of prefinished flooring panels leaves me bored (board) stiff.
Frank brought me in front of one of the panels and showed me a fairly typical looking prefinished floor. So this is the Melrose ® brand so what, I thought. He then took out a piece of steel wool and rubbed a hand held sample vigorously. I held it up to the light and sighted down the board and saw: no, none, nada, scratches, in the semigloss finish. As if anticipating my next question Frank brought me to another panel and I winced as he attacked it with the same steel wool. This was a sample of a major North American supplier, and in a few seconds the upper right hand corner was white with scratches. I hope you don't have wreck all your rival's samples to prove your point, Frank.
There are a few more advantages to the Melrose ® brand, besides this titanium finish additive. Not all manufacturers bother to put a bevel on the ends of the boards. Check this out next time you're in one of those showrooms. Well Melrose ® has made a small but effective chamfer on all edges that should give you as close to the smooth feel as a sand-on-site floor as a factory can get. If (as they claim) they have carefully selected, and milled the hardwood, no chipping should ever occur to these floors.
Which brings us to the guarantee. A very ambitious 25 year (non-prorated) warranty is included. This means they will replace (on site, doing the work themselves) any defective board, and if the finish ever wears out in that time they will sand and refinish the whole floor at no cost to you. Sounds simple? This is probably the best warranty in the business. If this product holds up, and they stay in business Melrose ® will set a new standard in the hardwood flooring industry.
Corresponding Articles: Product Review: Melrose ® (REVISITED) - 07/07/00