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Hallmark floors

seashell456
August 1, 2018

I researched new flooring for our first floor remodel for ages, and finally settled on Hallmark's Alta Vista line. They are finished with Hallmark's own NuOil system, and are wide plank engineered. I went back and forth and back again on whether I would be ok with an oil finished floor, posting here on Houzz, contacting numerous people I could find that had them in their homes, talking with several flooring stores. What I found was that since the planks are wide, you need to be careful to control humidity. I could live with that. They are a bit more maintenance, as you also need to spray high-traffic areas with their renu oil every few months. Ok with me too, not a huge deal. And since they are matte, they inevitably show footprints after awhile, which could be cleaned off again with the renu spray. Could deal with it, as long as it's easily cleanable. Also, people I talked with seemed to be happy with them, very few unhappy stories. So we had them installed last week... they are beautiful. The installer said they went in great, very few scrap boards, nicely constructed. My issue is... the staining. For some reason, I never came across the fact that every drop of water that doesn't evaporate in 15 minutes leaves a light spot. Anything greasy, cheese, oils, dropped leaves a spot. Some things do wipe off yes but... not all, notably the above, and water drops are inevitable in a kitchen or at doorways even with rugs, as are grease spots with kids dropping things. I've been testing these things on a sample board (YES I should have done that before (kicks self)) and I cannot for the life of me get the spots out. I feel like I'm tiptoeing now around my own kitchen and it's driving me bonkers. Granted, some spots would blend in with the rustic look of the boards but given enough of them or a big enough one, it'll look bad. Wishing someone had shaken me and said, consider this!! Thought I'd done my homework. Feeling frustrated and perhaps a bit foolish. Perhaps I'll just relax after awhile... or not. This is a warning for others to consider! Anyone else have these floors, can share your experience, or otherwise have advice? Or am I just doomed to walk on eggshells til I move out? Thanks for following my rant til the end :)

Comments (34)

  • allison0704

    Hate you're having issues. What color did you get? We have Hallmark, Alta Vista, Laguna. Been in house since end of May. 3 inside dogs (2 are large and 1 drools a good bit!) and 2 cats. DH isn't a neat freak like me. No problems in bedrooms or stair landings (we did site finished treads to match). Kitchen has rugs in front of range, sink and fridge/freezer wall. We haven't spilled more than a few drops or pieces of ice. Wipe up any we see asap, and any wet paw prints. No problems in kitchen or hallway to garage.

    I did read about some staining issues before installing, but the width and color were what I wanted, so I was willing to take a chance. I did mention beforehand to DH that if they did stain, we could always redo/sand and finish with a matte poly.

    Did you post about your problems on a Pro Floor forum? Someone asked me recently on my post, and she was having problems like yours.

  • PRO
    Uptown Floors

    Pro Floor forum? At first I thought thefloorpro.com. Just guys that install all sorts of floors...not sure about imports though. I think they throw you under the trolley if mentioned...just kidding;) Fairly active forum.

    I'd be very curious to hear other opinions on natural oil finishes.

  • allison0704

    Yes, that's the one. I was close. ;) . Here is my thread on that forum, and I see it was not seashell that posted on that thread.

  • seashell456

    Allison0704, thanks for the comment. We have the Malibu color. I'm worried my floors will end up covered with spots, like the person who commented on your other post. I will try posting on that board. Part of my problem I think is that I was so used to our pre-remodel, 20-year-old, never-refinished floors, which were so worn that I didn't really pay attention much. Now I'm super aware, and the fact that drips and spills might cause a problem doesn't help. It's just that, these water spots seem to happen within minutes. And with greasy things, immediately. They seem to be ok durability wise as far as scratches and that kind of beating, but liquids/grease, no way. I'm kind of regretting not just going with a poly finish. It does look like with these floors, there's not much to be done but to avoid spills.

  • allison0704

    I wonder if it's just the darker (not light) colors that have this problem. We had site finished for 20 years/raised children there. Then last house 13 years on site finished flooring finished with only tung oil. If I could have gotten the light color with site finished I would have talked DH into it.

  • seashell456

    I was wondering that myself, whether the spots show up more on the darker colors... although Malibu isn't very dark. I'm really confused as to what is causing the wood to lighten when water has been on it. Did you have any issues with your tung oil finished floors?

  • allison0704
    No issues at all. No faded areas when rugs came up when we moved either.
  • Kesha

    Seashell, I too am looking at Hallmark Flooring. I fell in love with it after I saw Studio McGee, a home design firm, use them in their design studio, and in many clients. They're beautiful.

    Any more insight or changes on the food grease issue? Do your feet leave oil marks? I'm interested in Alta Vista as well. Thanks!

  • seashell456

    Keshacagle, if you message me I can give you the whole story!

  • Kesha
    Hi seashell, I can't figure out how to message on houzz.
  • seashell456

    keshacagle - Ok I'll try to keep my spiel shorter :) I know Studio McGee's website very well, that's where I first saw the floors too! Let me say first off that the floors ARE beautiful, they seem well constructed, and I appreciate that Hallmark seems responsive to customers and they provide a lot of info on their website and in their documentation. I've heard lots of positive feedback on them. I'll also say that most things do wipe off completely if cleaned right away. I'm really just concerned about undetected spills that may sit for awhile, and dropped greasy things. We use our kitchen a lot, and their are young kids in and out.

    We've only had them for a week so. The issues I've been concerned with are mostly pre-emptive, I've been testing on a spare board for future reference. Haven't noticed any footprints so far, but I've been told they will happen on a matte floor. Hallmark says to use their Renu spray on high traffic areas every 4 months, and I think that is supposed to clear up the footprints. How much we see the prints remains to be seen, I'm sure it depends a lot on your viewing angle and lighting.

    I did get some advice for the food grease but I haven't tried it out yet. I made a post suggested above which you can see here: floorpro

    In general I would say to make sure you get a sample you can experiment on. Drop things on it to see if it's durability works for you. Especially if you're installing in a kitchen - spill things on it to see how it resists them. Let spills sit for awhile and see what happens. Try to clean them. Then you know what to expect and you can decide if you're ok with the results.

    Let me know if I can offer any more thoughts.

  • Kesha
    Thanks so much Seashell that helps a lot. I definitely am very cautious now as yours isn't the first issue I've read about this flooring. I'm so torn on if we are going to keep engineered floors as our next install or try LVP. But my heart wants engineered and Hallmark is the only flooring (looks wise) that makes me excited to engineered (we had a water leak). I'm also extremely nervous about a floating floor (nervous about a hollow feeling) or a floor that can dent from furniture (LVP/WPC).

    We have a local coming this Tuesday to bring samples to our house. They only sell and install Hallmark flooring and Impressions. The guy said they're getting ready to install Hallmark in his own home. But these issues I've read make me very nervous. But also a floating floor makes me nervous that I won't like it or that they'll feel and look fake (we've gotten a few samples from LVP brands).

    Thanks for your input!
  • Kesha

    Seashell, how did you get a sample floor to keep of Hallmark? I don't see a place on the company website to order samples? We have a company coming this week to show us some hallmark flooring, but the sample boards wouldn't be mine to keep to test with water, food, etc.

  • allison0704

    Keshacagle, if you're going to order X amount, the local store you're ordering through might help you out. Our store had only showroom board samples, so we opted to order 1 box to see the variation before placing a large order. Our salesman was willing to eat the cost if we did not order that brand/color, but we ended up paying for the box since we used.

  • Kesha

    Good point Allison! And that was nice your salesman was willing to eat the cost of it in case you didn't like it.

  • seashell456

    Keshacagle, I understand, these decisions are tough. I think overall I've heard a lot more positive than negative reviews on Hallmark though. I'm not too familiar with LVP!

    I'm pretty sure I read somewhere along the way in a post somewhere (Instagram?) that Hallmark would send a sample to you. I would go to their website and contact them directly to see if they'll send you one. Note that I've had some trouble with their online information request form, not sure if it's just my computer or what. Much better luck just calling them.

  • jess1979

    I have Hallmark wood floors with the oil finish. I have had them for a few years and have not had any problems with water spots or any other problems. They are a lighter color. If I was to get more wood flooring put in our other rooms I would have got Hallmark brand. My mom had darker wood floors not real dark but a different brand then Hallmark but the oil finish. Those did slow water spots. Sorry you are having problems.

  • Amy Williams
    Please keep us updated . I was considering this flooring as well, I have 3 kids and this makes me question buying this flooring!
  • Kesha
    Jess, what hallmark product line do you have and in what color? I'm interested in alta vista.
  • Kesha
    Amy, do you know what hallmark product line(s) you were considering? I have two wild kids and two small dachshunds. I need floors that we can live life with an don't be terrified of water off shoes from the back door or a water drop in the kitchen.
  • jess1979

    I don't remember which product line it was or color. It has been awhile since they were installed. Maybe Ventura but not sure. Sorry I don't remember.

  • allison0704

    For those of you considering/not yet purchased, DD2 used Anderson hand scraped floors (Hickory Forge, in Ringing Anvil) in her last home. 4 dogs, 1 rambunctious little boy. Not a scratch.

  • Kesha

    Allison, I currently have Anderson flooring in a Lonestar, rawhide. It has aluminum oxide coating, beveled edges. But restoration company prematurely ripped up a section in a space that can't be pieced back together which is why we need new floors now. Ours are only 3 years old.

    Anderson is part of Shaw.

  • seashell456
    Jess, which rooms do you have that floor installed? In the kitchen, at entryways? Do you have kids or dogs if you don’t mind my asking? Thanks!
  • mtokar123
    I have Hallmark Alta Vista Laguna. I have the same issues with staining from undetected grease or water spots. I emailed Hallmark and never received a response. Did you ever find a solution to remedy the spots? My floors were installed in 2017 and the spots do not disappear with time. Thanks for responding.
  • seashell456

    mtokar, I’ve only really had success reaching Hallmark via phone. I’ve never been able to get an email response. I’ve been meaning to call again and ask about the grease spots but haven’t. I did get some helpful advice on another flooring advice board, I will dig up the thread when I get a chance. I haven’t yet tried to apply the advice to my actual

    floor.

    So far we have placed rugs in the kitchen which have helped with water spotting. My floor color and graining make it a little difficult to discern between stains and natural character, which I guess is good?? So far ive only noticed one or two small

    spots which I think might be stains. I’m still finding it sort of hard not to feel like I need to baby the floor though.

  • Kesha
    I contacted Hallmark on Houzz asking how to get samples. They replied generically with an email address to request samples from.
  • mtokar123
    Seashell 456, I have Laguna in the Alta Vista and it is difficult to discern the spots. I know they are there and so I am drawn to them. Hopefully there is a solution. I use the Nuoil cleaner routinely and the Nuoil Renu every few months. Neither product make a difference with the stains.
  • daduran

    Our Alta Vista floors were installed in November 2018 the color is DelMar. I love them, I didn't want them too light or too dark. We did have to remove the rug in our dining room because a line was appearing. We have great big windows so we figured we'd let the floors "season" before putting that rug back. The rug has been up from that area for a couple of weeks and the line is gone. We opted not to carry the wood flooring into the kitchen and I'm glad we didn't. We have grandkids that come over all the time and a 60 lb. dog but I haven't really noticed any spots that don't really look like part of the character of the wood...The variation of shades between boards is why I chose these floors, also the matte look of them. I didn't want to be the floor police every time they were over. I'm getting ready to apply the Renu oil product, which I understand helps to put oil back in the floor so water isn't so absorbent. Sorry to hear about your water spots.

  • Jeanne Poel

    Considering buying Alta Vista Malibu floors. I also found them on Studio McGee's website. I would love to hear from those of you whose floors have now been installed for several months or longer. We also have 3 young kids and I am nervous about feeling like the floor police. I just requested sample via Hallmark's website. Thanks!

  • PRO
    Oak & Broad

    Jeanne, With kids be wary of oiled finishes. They are often not as durable as a poly finish. Stains can happen more easily.

  • ken field

    We have had Alta Vista for 3 mon and they are staining terribly in the kitchen. If I had it to do over I would go with an aluminum oxide finish. I splurged on these floors that have been a great source of stress.

  • seashell456

    Jeanne, I would not install these floors in a kitchen or dining area with young kids. Spills that are wiped up right away seem to clean up ok, but anything left leaves a stain. I do wish I’d known that before I bought them. I’ve said before that the jury is still out for me on these floors but... lately I’m leaning towards thinking we should’ve gone with a poly finish. I still really love how they look but, the staining is very annoying. I dont like that the floors don’t look “Like-new”, even with proper specified care, simply because someone spilled a few drops of something and nobody noticed right away.


    ken field- contact Hallmark directly. I was told that the stains can be removed by applying their restoration oil and basically lightly sanding it out. Haven’t tried yet.

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