Puzzled by what type of floor to put in your home? Many homeowners are looking for something unique, eye-catching, durable, and easy to clean.

A new style of hardwood is putting some curves into the common straight-edge, plank-wood floor and giving homeowners options of creating a classy and stylish or a creative and whimsical look.

"The look of the tile itself is what promotes and sells the floor," says Dan Briggs, President of Briggs Engineered Wood Products Inc., the manufacturer of Puzzle Floor.

Think of your childhood when you maybe spent hours piecing together a puzzle. This type of flooring gives that same look. It creates an entirely different look from the typical interlocking, plank-style hardwood floor. You actually piece the Puzzle Floor together just as you would a jigsaw puzzle.

"People who install this floor are looking to enhance or promote that puzzle appearance so they are mixing different colors within the floor," says Briggs.

The company designs a custom floor based on the dimensions that the homeowner provides. Using the Internet, you can see a digital floor plan that shows you exactly how many puzzle pieces you need to make a floor for your desired area. They also design an integrated border to outline the Puzzle Floor.

"We can make it, and we have in the past, so that you open our floor out of the box and follow our drawing for the installation and every piece fits into place and you've got a new floor," says Briggs.

There is no need for nailing or gluing with this type of flooring. If the floor is installed as a floating floor, an underlay with an attached adhesive is used to help hold the Puzzle Floor in place.

"You roll the underlay out on your sub-floor and then you peel back a layer to expose the adhesive and then you attach our Puzzle Floor directly to it. Once you install the first piece of the puzzle in a room, every other piece aligns automatically with that piece. So you keep building the puzzle to fill the room and you don't have to worry about alignment; it is precision machined to within about 3000th of an inch," explains Briggs.

Each piece is about 13 inches by 13 inches and is solid hardwood that is pre-finished. The individual patterns interlock quickly and easily.

This style of flooring is relatively new. It's been in development for three years and on the market for about a year.

"It's created a fair bit of excitement in the sense that people want to have something different. They like to have one room in the house that they like to do something a bit special in and game rooms seem to be the most popular area to place this product," says Briggs.

There is considerable room for creativity with this flooring. It comes in 13 colors and can even be customized with an engraving of a favorite logo, image, slogan, or just about anything you desire.

To see samples of how the product looks in various rooms, click here. As a premium product, Puzzle Floor ranges in price from $18 to $22 per square foot. As for durability, the product has a 25-year residential warranty. Cleaning, Briggs says, is very easy; just use a vacuum and the same products you would use on a regular hardwood floor.

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