Kährs has been in business since the 1850s when they began producing products from the forests of Sweeden. From solvent-free flooring to the creation of engineered floors, the company is an innovator in the flooring world. In our Kährs hardwood flooring review, we’re going to take a look at the species they carry and some of the interesting techniques used in the production of their flooring.
Kährs Hardwood Collections
Kährs sources their lumber from over 3,000 timber suppliers and are globally certified in the U.S. and abroad. Their catalog is a bit different from other manufacturers; however as they only produce engineered hardwood flooring and have no solid planks in stock. As for the company’s site, navigation is a breeze, and you can find flooring by grade, color, species, treatment, and type.
Currently, Kährs produces three types of hardwood flooring with veneer, 3-layer, or 2-layer construction. Each is engineered, but there are some important differences between the styles. Their veneered boards have three layers like traditional engineered flooring with an HDF core. The total thickness is 7mm, and they cannot be resanded like 2-layer flooring.
Kährs 2-layer floors have a core made from pine or spruce lamella and an overall thickness between 9 to 11mm. They are installed using glue and can be refinished 3 to 4 times over the course of their lifespan. The company’s 3-layer flooring holds up just as well but is considerably thicker with planks coming in between 15 to 20mm.
You won’t find any wild colors in the Kährs flooring catalog. There are several series in light grey or milky white like Ash Alabaster, but for the most part, their color palette is relatively tame. There are slight shade variations between their thin and multi-layered flooring options as well to go along with a wide range of natural tones.
There are a lot of styles and variations spread throughout their catalog, so you can find some interesting options if you dig around. Oak Palazzo Rovere and Ash Gotland are two that stood out, but there are several Chevron styles as well. In all, there are around 108 styles of flooring from Kährs, and while they don’t have the largest collection, it is varied across the board.
The type of product comes into play with the durability of Kährs flooring. Obviously, 3-layer flooring that’s 20mm thick will be more durable than their veneered boards, and the ability to resand your flooring is a plus as well. Warranty information is not easy to find, but they appear to have a tiered system at 15, 20 and 25 years.
Hardness is another factor to consider with durability, which is where the Janka scale comes into play. Kährs uses domestic species like Ash, Beech, Cherry, Maple, Oak, and Walnut in most of their styles. Hickory isn’t an option although it’s one of the harder species in North America. Most of their flooring is made from Oak, but there are a few options that use Brazilian Cherry or Jarrah wood.
Texturing and Finishes
Every flooring manufacturer uses the same basic flooring techniques when it comes to finishing and texturing their planks. When it comes to surface treatments, Kährs is no different with silk matte, high gloss, and matte finishes. Oil surface treatments are also an option, however, and something you that’s hit or miss from other manufacturers.
Kährs textures are under the “Design Features” section of their catalog, and they have far more options than most. Handscraped, brushed, and lightly smoked are options along with smoked, saw marks, and boards with wooden plugs. While not a texture, there are also options for 4-sided micro-beveled boards as well as beveled 2-sided and 4-sided flooring.
The overall quality is excellent across all lines of Kährs flooring, but they are one of a handful of companies to use a grading scale as well. This lets you know what to expect in terms of characteristics, and there are five styles with Calm, Variation, Lively, Dynamic, and Expansive. Their Calm or City quality boards are the closest you’ll find to clean, uniform flooring as there are only small imperfections and variations in this series.
Expressive flooring lives up to its namesake by providing you with planks full of character. That includes cracks, knots, and variations in tone. Dynamic is a dialed down version of that series while the Lively or Country series is similar to a rustic grade flooring from other companies. Last but not least are their Variation boards, which have slight variations in their pattern and coloring.
The Green Factor
With the exception of Brazilian Cherry and Jarrah wood, all of Kährs flooring is of the domestic variety. That said, most don’t come from America, but from Sweeden. Their unique approach to manufacturing results in every part of the tree being used, including the sawdust and bark. Those by-products are used to heat houses in their homeland, so they are certainly eco-friendly.
If you look for companies that are certified in all the key areas, look no further than Kährs. They are part of two forest stewardship programs with the FSC and PEFC. Kährs also has ISO 14001 and 9001 accreditation and are registered with EMAS. Green builders will be thrilled to know about LEED credits, and as you’d expect, their building materials are FloorScore certified.
Kährs Hardwood Cost & Availability
Any global brand can be a little more difficult to get in the U.S., but Kährs can be purchased through several hardwood dealers online. It’s not available through shops like Home Depot or Lowes, but you can find it at flooring stores in your area by using the tool on their site.
Kährs Hardwood Pros, Cons and Ratings
Kährs is a premium brand, as you can see from their pricing. You can expect to pay at least $5.00 per square foot at a minimum, although you get what you pay for. In this case, that’s a good thing as we didn’t see many complaints or bad reviews on Kährs hardwood flooring.
Premium flooring that’s been sourced and manufactured in a responsible fashion. Nice range of species, styles, and colors. Wide variety of installation options for consumers that prefer the DIY installation method.
Smaller catalog than some of their competitors. No budget tier, their flooring is expensive and harder to source online than some brands.