When you're considering installing hardwood in your house, you may run across this odd new product. What is it and why did I give it only 2 stars?
What is Puzzle Floor?
Well, as they say, it's the newest rage. It's 5/8" thick, solid hardwood flooring. Instead of the traditional strip, plank, or parquet shapes, it's cut in the shape of puzzle pieces. Yes, just like those 150-piece puzzles that kids have, with the "male" and "female" interlocking parts.
Because of the unusual shape, this is a floating floor. So instead of nailing this down, like you would do with a regular hardwood floor, you install it on top of a cushioned adhesive pad called Elastilon.
That's the good part. Now for the shocker--the price. $15 per square foot.
To put that in perspective, you can get pretty fair hardwood for a few bucks per square foot. And good hardwood for $5 or under.
An 8'x10' room of Puzzle Floor will set you back $1,200.
But It's for the Kids' Rooms
"But it's for the kids' rooms," you say. Perhaps, but can you imagine spending that kind of money for the kids' rooms? Ask me how much time my son spends admiring the pattern of the floor in his room. Like, zero?
Keep in mind, this is not a floor puzzle. It's not one of those mega-size puzzles that kids can play with. Puzzle Floor is real flooring that does not get assembled and disassembled on a daily basis.
The another strike against Puzzle Floor is cleaning. Dirt gets trapped in the beveled joins between pieces. With strip or plank flooring, you can sweep in one direction and get the majority of the dirt out. But with these curved edges, it's not clear how you sweep, or if you even sweep at all.
I imagine it has to be vacuumed.
Summing up, it's cute, it's unusual, but it's a gimmick. If you're serious about hardwood, you'll want to pass on Puzzle Floor.