Vulcano by Mafi, the Newest Superhero in Engineered Wood Flooring

Joseph Starr was the first 3ringer to write about engineered wood floors (don’t quote me but I think this is correct since Starr reviewed EcoTimber in September 2008). Since then, I have been adequately confused by the term. If you, like I, have been mystified, allow me to define the beast: an engineered wood floor is real wood, not laminate, that is layered. Engineered wood floors use less wood in manufacturing, and hence are more eco-friendly/sustainable. It is composed of finish wood on top with non-finish plywood underneath—completely, totally natural wood, just packaged differently, if you will.

Vulcano Collection. Designed by Mafi.

The plywood base is usually laid in the opposite direction as the finish layer, which strengthens the flooring. Engineered wood floors are also pre-finished—less work for you! Austrian company Mafi makes engineered wood floors in all varieties, using a wide spectrum of woods, from birch to tiger oak. They have a special finish, however, that differentiates their product: their walking surface is lacquer-free and environmentaly-treated with “oils that have been especially developed for the treatment of wooden floors.” Although Mafi flooring withstands everything that lacquered floors do, they feel better, “warmer to the touch.” And they look good too. Vulcano, with its “artistically integrated cracks,” is one of Mafi’s most alluring designs; it also has the benefit of a 4mm backing in the same wood and a middle layer confier (basically, it’s more than the standard engineered wood floor sandwich).







The distressed Vulcano comes in acacia, ash, beech, chestnut, fir, larch, maple, oak, pine, spruce, and tiger eiche. Colors range from white to dark brown; Mafi uses special heating, not chemicals, to achieve some of their finishes. The US branch is located in Avon, Colorado, close to the notable town of Aspen, which seems a suitably bucolic landscape for a particularly artistic company. Mafi’s tagline is a complex metaphor: “Nature composes itself in layers. The foundation builds the base, the surface reveals its essence, the middle provides strength.” A wood sandwich never sounded so good!

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