Established some 80 years ago, Monarch Plank is an upmarket, quality American flooring company headquartered in Santa Fe Springs California.
Monarch Plank exclusively manufactures engineered hardwood flooring in a large selection of styles, colors, plank widths, and finishes, so you’re sure to find something to complement your home’s design scheme.
Because all they do is engineered wood flooring, the biggest advantages Monarch have are their in-depth expertise and quality product.
If you love the look of hardwood flooring, but want the durability and versatility of engineered planks, then Monarch is definitely worth looking into.
Here is our review along with more detailed information on their flooring products.
Monarch Plank offers 11 collections of engineered floors in a variety of woods and grades, plank widths, treatments, and finishes. There is also a wide range of unfinished flooring.
Their tag line says that they offer “a modern interpretation of old world luxury”, which gives you an idea of the general aesthetic of the prefinished options: classic and timeless.
The overriding inspiration is European textures and colors, and this is reflected in the names of some of the collections, such as La Rue, Boulevard, Alpine Riftsawn and Forté. Colors range from the deepest browns to nearly white.
Almost all the Monarch Plank collections are extra wide with long length planks at 6.5”, 8” or 9.5” wide by 7’ or 8’ long; some of the collections are sold in random length selections, between 2’ – 7’ long, for a more natural look once installed; and the Lango Herringbone collection come in shorter uniform sized planks to form the herringbone pattern.
Monarch Wood Species
Monarch Planks uses three species of hardwood to make all it’s flooring: US and European oak, walnut or hickory.
Oak is known for its attractive natural color and unique grain. The wood is very durable, making it ideal for a variety of textures and stains.
Walnut is one of the most valued American hardwoods featuring a unique straight grain, highlighted with waves, giving it a distinctly attractive appearance.
Hickory has a complex grain structure with a dramatic range of light to dark tones within a single plank.
Monarch Plank Wood Grades
The different collections feature different grades of wood; each grade is chosen to compliment the aesthetic of the collection.
For example the Manor collection, which evokes the well-worn and characterful flooring of old French manor houses, uses a rustic grade oak which highlights grain and character marks such as knots and cracks.
Meanwhile, the sleeker, more streamlined aesthetic of the Alpine Riftsawn collection uses a select grade wood that is almost entirely free of knots and character marks.
In the Unfinished engineered hardwood collections are available in rustic, prime or select options.
Monarch Plank prefinished engineered hardwood flooring is available in a choice of textures including smooth, wire brushed processing that reveals more of the grain’s beauty, and hand scraped, which provides a warm, classic, slightly distressed appearance.
There is an array of stain colors available from very light, to very dark.
For instance, the Windsor Collection, featuring European Oak, includes Winterfold, a very pale beige and Nottingham, a very dark chocolate brown. Hardwick, from the Manor Collection is a deep, warm caramel brown. There are also gray choices available.
As well as standard staining, Monarch also uses different processes to bring color from within the wood, enhancing the natural grain and features.
Monarch offers a fumed (smoked) technique which provides a darker finish and brings out the natural tannins in the wood. Warm, rich, browns are achieved through a carbonized heating process that caramelizes the natural sugars in the wood.
Reactive stains create an aged appearance through the reaction of the particular stain to the tannins and sugars in the wood.
Monarch Plank floors are available with a UV protective oil or urethane finish. Natural oils are used to penetrate the wood creating a protective barrier. The advantage of an oil finish is that small areas, rather than the entire floor, can be refinished if damage occurs.
In a urethane finish, a coating is applied as the protective barrier. Urethane generally requires less maintenance than oil, but if damage occurs, the entire floor typically must be refinished.
Pros and Cons
The advantages of Monarch Plank engineered hardwood are:
- they specialize in engineered hardwood flooring, so they offer a high quality product
- an attractive range of timeless designs that will suit most homes and stay fashionable
- the option of unfinished flooring allows you to create a unique finish on site
- Monarch Plank is sourced from environmentally responsible forestry programs and is LEED and FSC certified
- generally good customer feedback
The disadvantages of Monarch Plank engineered hardwood are:
- this flooring is not ideal for novice DIYers, use a professional installer for best results
- this high quality flooring is harder to track down compared to big box store brands
You’ve got several options based on the specific line of flooring you choose. They are glue down, nail down, and floating floor. There are detailed installation guides on their website for each collection.
Whilst it is possible for experienced DIYers to install Monarch Plank flooring, the company strongly recommends getting experienced professional flooring installers to ensure a high quality finish.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The Monarch website provides in-depth cleaning and maintenance instructions based on the different type of finish selected. Basic requirements include cleaning often with recommended products, not allowing dirt to build up and wear the finish, not wet-mopping, placing protective mats or rugs at doorways and in other high traffic areas and keeping pet nails trimmed.
Almost all of the currently available online reviews for Monarch Planks are favorable. Customers indicate they are happy with the selection and their installed floors, and would recommend Monarch Plank to others. One customer wrote that his flooring had arrived with a few planks unstained.
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