This is a non-sponsored non-affiliate review of Kahrs Oak Lecco flooring. This engineered wood flooring has a real oak wear layer and a solid slat substrate.
This finish is the mat lacquer: “The subtle finish of our matt lacquer produces a bare wood look. Matt lacquer is as hardwearing and easy to maintain as satin lacquer. A matt surface is coarser than a satin surface.” None of their finishes contain aluminum oxide, titanium dioxide, or other metals.
In North America, Kahrs offers three-layer, three-layer veneer, and their “Life” line with High-Density Fiberboard (HDF) core. The three-layer veneer has a very thin wear layer that can’t be sanded. The “Life” line has real wood on top and an HDF core, which has no added formaldehyde.
The 3-layer floors, which we will be reviewing in this article, are either 13 or 15 mm thick. The wear layers are between 3 and 3.5 mil. Both can be sanded and refinished 2 times (even with a floating floor installation), and both use a wood lamella inner core which is also called quarter-sawn or solid slat (the best construction type for people with sensitivities or avoiding toxins).
All of their engineered floors are zero-VOC, even the HDF core version.
This review covers a firsthand review, with a one-year update, from a reader, and I will address other concerns from online reviews I have read online as well.
There is no sponsored or affiliate content in this article.
Firsthand Review of Kahrs Flooring
This article is a review of the Oak Lecco from the “Tres Collection” with a total thickness of 13 mm. The top layer is real oak, the substrate is solid strat.
This review is by a reader “B”.
We installed this in three bedrooms, a few hallways, and the open den downstairs.
It’s been a year since we had the Kahr’s installed, and so far the upkeep has been great. The floor looks and feels amazing (I’ve laid down on it quite a few times), and cleaning up has been simple.
We have two large dogs with click-clacking nails, and we haven’t noticed any scuffs or issues from that. The floor can be a bit slippery for the dogs though, so we have a few machine-washable rugs that help them with traction.
We haven’t had to do any touch-ups yet (though there is one scratch that we will get into).
Selecting a Flooring
We first went through the process of figuring out which brand and type of flooring we wanted, using the article on non-toxic floor brands. We had gotten samples of CaliBamboo hybrid (wood/vinyl), Marmoleum (natural linoleum), and Kahrs, and out of all of those, the wooden Kahrs flooring had the least amount of odor (I had severe MCS at the time), with practically zero smell.
Once we decided Kahrs wood flooring was our choice, we ordered a few samples from Kahrs directly, which came in 8×11” sized pieces. We ordered the Oak Lecco from the Tres Collection, and the Oak Siena from the European Naturals Collection. We laid them both down on top of our existing carpet, just to see how the wood tone and patterns would show up down below with minimal light.
We chose the Lecco over the Siena, as it had a warmer golden tone and was less ruddy/red than the Siena.
Installation was a breeze! We hired a local place, Dawson’s Flooring in Placerville, and it took about two full days of work to do a little over 1,200 sf, upstairs (wood subfloor) and downstairs (concrete slab) with matching molding.
The installer was willing to use the special non-toxic underlayment (QuietWalk Plus) that was recommended in the article on underlayments.
In order to get the flooring surface leveled and prepped, the installers ground down the existing concrete in some spots and used the safer self-leveling material listed here, as needed.
The installer said they love working with Kahrs.
The company recommends professional installation but DIY is possible with experience. Be sure to hire a really good installer to avoid problems that others have had in the last section of the article (Corinne chiming in).
We lucked out with the price – it was super reasonable compared to other flooring companies that we got quotes from, in particular, because they had this exact color and style of Kahrs flooring in stock in their local warehouse already.
- The wood floor from Kahrs cost $8,442.10 (1,207 sq ft of flooring)
- Matching T molding from Karhs cost $443.527
- QuietWalk Plus underlayment was $1,011.967
- A few more supplies plus shipping was $150.00
- Cost to install the wood floor was $4,200.00
- Another $1,364.00 for carpet removal, waste disposal, and installing baseboards and trim.
- The sales tax in California was $818.00
- Total cost was $16.428.57
Did you get multiple bids?
I called two flooring companies that would come to my town, and only Dawson’s Flooring in Placerville works with Kahr’s flooring. They carry it in stock regularly.
They actually had the flooring I wanted in stock, and quoted me a really reasonable price. I was expecting it to be well over $25,000 for the amount of square footage we were going to have installed, but the price was significantly less than that ($16,428) – and we were able to schedule the demo of carpet and floor prep and installation within two weeks.
How Does it Feel?
I can definitely feel the difference walking on the old engineered wood plank flooring in the kitchen and living room/dining room area and the Kahr’s flooring. The old planks creak and shift in some spots (it is over 20 years old) and feels hard to walk on. There are some areas where the old planks are lifted a bit, and they move when you step on them.
When walking on the Kahr’s flooring, it feels cushioned yet firm, and it is definitely quieter than the old plank floors.
I stand a lot in the kitchen and my legs feel fatigued after standing on the hard floor for a long time.
I have tested standing on the bedroom and downstairs floors, and my legs don’t fatigue the same, and my feet don’t hurt, because it feels somewhat cushioned.
Is the flooring easy to clean up spills?
Messes wipe up pretty easily, especially if cleaned up right after they happen.
The cleaner made specifically for Kahr’s flooring works really well. I used it on the bedroom floor where it was sticky from dripped tea that wasn’t cleaned up right away. One quick spray, let it sit for about 30 seconds and it wipes up smoothly. No sticky residue, quick dry.
Cleaning up dog messes is super easy. Muddy paws (and dog hair stuck in the mud) comes up easily with just a damp paper towel. We have even had to clean up dog vomit several times in the middle of the night, and it comes right up, cleans easily, and dries fast (and their cleaner doesn’t have a smelly residue.)
B describes the Kahrs cleaning product as basically odorless, and he has chemical sensitivities -Corinne.
Any water damage?
We did have one small area that sustained some water drops that sat for a couple of days, but I covered it with a dry cloth and aimed a fan at it, and the watermark disappeared completely. There was no lifting of the floor, so I can surmise that the water did not penetrate the floor. The water was not on the seam of the flooring where the water spilled (it was just one area of solid floor).
Does it scratch easily?
The floors stay really shiny, without being very slippery. They look natural and ‘real’ and don’t get scratched up at all from three 80+ pound dogs constantly running through the house.
I dragged a chair across the floor and it didn’t leave a mark or scratch. However, we did have one incident where my husband dragged our very heavy dresser across the floor and it did leave a mark. It didn’t go through the flooring (rip up the surface), just left an indentation.
Any areas where there is regular movement like a trashcan that gets pulled across?
I have a metal wire hamper that gets moved across the floor weekly, but we try not to drag it much. So far no scratches there. I also use a 360 lbs power wheelchair, and it does fine on the floor. No scuffs, marks, or dents so far (the whole wheelchair plus me weighs over 500 lbs!). I’m surprised and happy with how well it has held up under my heavy wheelchair.
Any pulling apart/separation of boards? Any splintering of the wood?
I haven’t noticed any splintering, peeling, or splitting. The floor in my bedroom at least, where I spend most of my time, is solid and smooth. It still looks new, besides bits of surface dust.
Our indoor humidity ranges between 30% RH and 45% throughout the year (note that 30% is the absolute lowest humidity level you can have with this floor).
Has the color changed over time?
We haven’t noticed any color change. The sun hits the wood floors through the windows during the afternoons, but so far we haven’t noticed any color changes there.
We ordered the Kahrs Hardwood Floor Cleaner in the spray bottle (reasonably priced). For cleaning the floor I use just plain water and a dry cloth, or the Kahr’s floor cleaner, or for a stubborn stuck-on piece of ‘whatever’ I spray a tiny bit of Force of Nature cleaner and it comes right up. There has been no stripping of the finish, or marring of the floor when using any of these things to clean up spills or dirt and mud.
I did call Kahr’s customer service and asked about a flooring sample and they did send me two samples very quickly. They were actually the ones who gave me the name of Dawson’s Flooring as a recommended place to purchase the flooring.
One thing to note (Corinne here) is that they do not allow returns even of unopened boxes.
Addressing Other Complaints of Kahrs
- Some people complained about creaking floors, this doesn’t have to do with the brand of floors but with the subfloor and installation (and yes, even a concrete subfloor can easily be uneven), the humidity, and/or the expansion space. The relative humidity needs to stay within 30-60% with Kahrs otherwise you get too much expansion or buckling which can cause uneven boards (and therefore creaking). And also if you don’t leave enough expansion space around the edges then you will also have too much expansion in the boards for the space. Make sure you hire a good installer.
- Some reviews mention splintering of Kahrs engineered wood floors. This could be from the installation and the way they banged the boards together or extremely low humidity could cause face cracking.
- Some people complain about scratching. This is a real wood floor so you will get scratching and denting like you would with real wood. Walnut and American Cherry are softer wood species compared to others. Brazilian Cherry is the hardest that Kahrs offers. All of their finishes have the same durability, though higher gloss shows more scratches. Remember that Kahrs does not use aluminum oxide in their finish. Aluminum oxide added to UV-cured polyurethane makes floors more scratch-resistant (and you can go way longer without re-finishing them). One thing to keep in mind is that a multilayer finish with aluminum oxide can sometimes look like a plastic finish because it’s that thick and durable. So if you want a more scratch-resistant surface go with one of those engineer floors.
If you have chemical sensitivities and would like to submit a review of a non-toxic product, please see this post.
If you would like to support the research behind this blog you can make a donation via Kofi!