Laminate: Locking systems serve multiple purposes
By Reginald Tucker TThe integration of modern locking system technologies into today’s laminate flooring offerings is designed to perform important functions ranging from speeding up installation to combating moisture ingress. Offering more than ‘bells and whistles’, these advanced locking systems capitalize on the strengths of laminates, while giving suppliers the tools they need to better compete with other popular hard surface alternatives.
Major laminate suppliers want to use the latest locking mechanism technologies to their advantage. For example, laminate floors produced by Inhaus feature Megaloc 2.0, an innovative, water-resistant locking system that is standard on all Inhaus laminate products, including the recently launched Lamdura line.
“The compound is designed to prevent water from entering the core of the product and the subfloor, which can occur with wet mopping or spills,” said Derek Welbourn, CEO. “This is achieved through a tighter fit between the planks and an overlapping architecture of the mechanical interlock connection.”
Built on an 8mm, high-density core platform, this advanced locking feature behind Lamdura is the key to the product’s premium features. “Megaloc 2.0 uses the same corner-fold-locking technique that has become a standard for us, but now it includes a special design that prevents water from entering and seeping into the subfloor,” said Welbourn. “We’ve also added our secret edge treatment, which further improves moisture resistance.”
Other major laminate flooring suppliers have improved their locking systems to better repel moisture ingress. For example, Mohawk’s ever-expanding RevWood Plus offering includes a complete waterproof system comprised of the Uniclic MultiFit locking system, Mohawk’s GenuEdge pressed bevel and the company’s HydroSeal perimeter coating to trap liquids on the floor’s surface, allowing damage to the core board is prevented . The waterproof seal is so reliable, according to Mohawk, that consumers can even regularly wet mop a RevWood Plus floor – something unheard of with traditional laminate floors.
“With RevWood Plus, we’ve taken performance to the next level,” said Adam Ward, Senior Product Director, Mohawk. “The combination of HydroSeal, GenuEdge joint technology and the Uniclic glueless closing system makes the floor completely waterproof.”
Not to be outdone, Mannington has raised the bar with its SpillShield Plus technology, an innovation featured in its popular Restorations laminate collection. “Thanks to innovative technologies such as SpillShield Plus, which guarantees 72 hours of floor damage from spills, stagnant moisture and pet litter, consumers can now install it in every room in the house, even bathrooms and laundry rooms where it really could. don’t go sooner,” said Dan Natkin, vice president of hardwood and laminate.
Laminate flooring suppliers are increasingly collaborating with the companies that have patents on various locking mechanisms. The aim is to further improve an already robust range of glueless systems. “CFL has intellectual property agreements with many other major flooring IP holders,” said Barron Frith, president of CFL North America. “This allows us to offer the most effective locking technology for every type of flooring product we produce.”
Another example is Republic Floor, which has the Välinge 5G locking system on its laminate and wood offerings. The click panels are part of the Malta Islands collection, which features high-quality HDF panels with edges sealed with hot wax to repel moisture, said CEO Rotem Eylor.
Beauflor, another licensee of Välinge, offers a water-resistant laminate collection designed to be faster and easier to install than previous iterations. Each plank is fitted with a flexible plastic tongue that fits into a groove on the adjacent plank. The end result is a seal that blocks effectively for up to 72 hours.