Toss aside the glue and the rags. Glueless laminate flooring is a snap. By Katy Tomasulo
Thanks to realistic looks and an attractive price point, laminate flooring products exploded onto the scene a few years ago and continue to experience double-digit growth. Now glueless laminate versions – available from most manufacturers across several price levels – are adding to that sales boost.
Glueless laminate products are installed via locking mechanisms similar to tongue and groove. But rather than just fitting together, the planks snap solidly in place. The result is faster installation – up to 50% quicker for some lines – and little to no cleanup.
While popular among DIYers, some pros are still skeptical about the products' ability to stay down. To help quell these misgivings, says Mike Hoelscher, owner of Hoelscher flooring in Temple, Texas, contractors should choose products whose warranties also cover the locking mechanism. Wilsonart, for example, offers a 15-year warranty on its DuoLink glueless laminate. Armstrong guarantees that its ArmaLock flooring will not unlock during the life of the warranty.
"Once the product is in, it's not moving," assures Chip Braulick, vice president of marketing at Tarkett, referring to the company's QuickLock laminates. "It's a very secure mechanism that locks it in place."
Remodelers should keep in mind that for bathroom installations, a small amount of glue will still be needed to ensure the seams are moisture resistant.
Many glueless laminates carry a higher price tag – some as much as 20% to 30% more – but some lines are about the same price as glued products.
Wilsonart. DuoLink laminate flooring features a dual tongue and groove glueless system that does not require angled installation. The flooring, which features a high-density fiberboard core with moisture-sealed edges, comes in eight woodgrain plank styles, including walnut, beech, and cherry. (800) 710-8846. www.wilsonart.com.
American Florim. Kassel Stone combines rustic tiles with silver or bronze metallic-look accent pieces. The line includes stone-look field tiles in four sizes: 3-by-12-inch bullnose, 6-by-6-inch relief decos, 6-by-6-inch metallic glaze decos, and 2-by-12-inch metallic glaze listelli. (877) 356-7462. www.americanflorim.com.
Crossville. Offering the look of tumbled marble, Manor Stone porcelain tile comes in 6-, 12-, and 18-inch squares and eight colors, including rose garden, gold, and mist. Borders and trim also are available. (931) 484-2110. www.crossville-ceramics.com.
Armstrong. With 3-D surface embossing and irregular gloss levels,
Nature's Gallery laminate flooring mimics the looks of wood and stone. The flooring's ArmaLock locking system allows for installation without glue. Seven stone designs and three wood designs are available. (800) 233-3823.
Tarkett. Quick Lock glueless laminate flooring features a milled tongue and groove construction that incorporates a flat-lay locking system for 50% faster installation. The high-density fiberboard core is reinforced with a high resin content for moisture resistance. The planks are available in 12 patterns. (800) 367-8275. www.tarkettusa.com.
Robbins. Bradley Strip hardwood flooring features a True Square edge profile and a no-wax polyurethane finish. The 1/2-inch-thick flooring measures 21/4 inches wide and comes in random lengths. Six colors are available, including ginger, topaz, and mink. (800) 733-3309. www.robbins.com.
Pergo. Designed to add a decorative touch to the company's Pergo Select laminate flooring, Select Accents accessory pieces include inlays, borders, and small tile pieces. The 26 accent pieces come in five shapes and 14 colors and are precut and pre-milled. (800) 337-3746. www.pergo.com.
Ironrock Capital. The
Meredith Collection of handcrafted and painted ceramic tile includes flooring and wall tiles with a range of glaze and design options. This flooring design features 8-inch Parallelogram tiles in biscuit and 8-inch Hexagon tiles in sandstone. (800) 325-3945.