Last updated on August 16th, 2019 at 08:18 pm
Shaw Floorte Nobility Series 7
Ted Cook here and this description is going to sound predictable. Also a little self-serving, but I want to be upfront…..the Nobility Series 7 is my favorite LVP that we have ever sold. know. Had we been talking face-to-face I would have seen that eye roll. I understand.
If you want to learn about all the Floorte Pro series watch my overview video below.
However, if you will give me a couple of minutes I will tell you what I like about this floor, compared to other floors. Please keep in mind that I am not saying this floor is the best choice for you, as I have no idea what characteristics are most important to you.
The Solid Polymer Core
Let’s start with the basic construction of a solid polymer core LVP or Luxury Vinyl Plank.
Almost all LVP floors are made using one of 2 cores: either the older, quieter, and softer WPC, or the newer, denser, cheaper SPC. Personally, I prefer the SPC, as it will not dent like a WPC, and it is a lot cheaper.
An SPC floor is made up of several layers, each integral to a particular task. Let’s start at the top!
ScufResist Platinum is a long-winded way of saying that the floor has an Aluminum Oxide wear layer. Hands down, Aluminum Oxide is the hardest, most scratch=-resistant finish in the industry. Other companies, such as COREtec, offer a UV-cured acrylic. While not as hard, they say it offers a better visual. My turn to do the eye roll thing! The only downside to Aluminum Oxide is that it isn’t cheap.
Nobility Floorte Pro Wear Layer
Next is the wear layer. Technically, it is the same as the finish, with Aluminum Oxide, but we are naming them separately because of the difference in thicknesses that are available.
The most common thicknesses are 6, 12, and 20 mils, but occasionally we see wear layers up to 30 mils.
The Aluminum Oxide
Here some of my manufacturing friends will disagree with me, but I think that this specification is the least important. If your topcoat is Aluminum Oxide, what difference does it make how thick it is? Sure, a 20 will last longer than a 12, marginally, but the other aspects of construction are more vital to stability and longevity. BTW….Nobility is a 20 mil.
The image layer is what provides the visual. On Nobility, Shaw uses a high-definition layer that has far more detail than most of their offerings.
SPC Rigid core is what makes a floor much denser and dent-resistant. We talked about this already. Please keep up.
Now to what I consider the second most important feature of a Luxury Vinyl Plank floor, the balancing layer.
The Unspoken Balancing Layer
Sadly, the balancing layer has been a casualty of the rush to be the cheapest floor offered. When manufacturers start making things cheaper, they have to give up something, and it ain’t gonna be profits!
Most of the features of an LVP are visual, and a customer might notice. Not the balancing layer. Just take that off and hope for the best so you can save 10-15 cents!
The truth is that a large part of the quality on LVP is determined by it’s stability, and stability requires balance, Look at how a sheet of plywood is made...using layers of wood, each perpendicular to the last. Take off one of the 6 layers of a sheet of plywood and you hurt the stability a little. Take off 1 of the 2 structural layers of an LVP floor, and guess what you get? A floor that separates when the sun hits it all day. Or if the humidity gets a little high. Who is to be blamed, the retailer? The manufacturer? The retailer? Yes!
Sometimes I visit our different locations (when I am allowed) and I look at the different cars that our customers drive. Everything from the cheapest jalopy to high-end imports. But we retailers want to make your purchase all about price. Why? Because we are lazy. It is much easier to sell the cheapest floor than to explain the differences between the products and allow our customers to make that decision. If you want the cheap stuff, we have that. If you want to upgrade a little or a lot, we can help with that as well. But do not buy a floor without the balancing layer. We offer the COREtec Mills River, a 12 mil SPC with a balancing layer for $1.79. If the price is really important, buy that.
The Attached Pad & Fold-N-Tap
The bottom layer of construction in the attached pad. This component is there to cut down on sound, nothing else. On our Nobility, Shaw uses a 1.4 mm pad, where most competing floors include a 1 mm version.
If you are doing your own installation then the Tap n Fold is a big deal. Essentially, when you install most LVP floors, you have to be a bit of a contortionist. You can choose to do either the long side or the end the easy way. The other is going to be a struggle, with lots of tugging and tapping with tools. When using the patented Tap n Fold, installation is much easier. Tap the long side that is away from you, and drop the board into place. If that sounds too easy, come by one of our stores and we will show you.
A Wood-Like Texture - Registered Embossed
The last feature that we will discuss today is the registered embossing. If you haven’t seen it, please order a sample and see what you think. Typically, each board in a box has the same texture, regardless of knots or grain in the visual. Our Nobility floor, with registered embossing, makes the texture match the visual. See a knot? Feel a knot! Very few floors offer this feature, because it isn’t cheap, but in some visuals, like the wide rustic planks in the 7 Series, it is a very big deal.
Now don’t get me wrong…..I love to save money. As I get older I realize that the value I get is more important than the money I save. The difference in cost on a 1000 sq ft job between our cheapest LVP and the Shaw Nobility Series 7 is about $1200. Is it worth spending? That is up to you. I am just here to explain the differences. And hope that you will hold other retailers to the same standards of information that we hold ourselves to. Learn about LVPs, and buy the floor that you will be the happiest with, whatever your needs.