By Reginald Tucker The incorporation of modern locking system technologies across today’s laminate flooring offerings are designed to perform key functions ranging from expediting installation to fighting moisture incursion. Offering more than just “bells and whistles,” these advanced locking systems play to laminates’ strengths while giving suppliers the tools they need to better compete against the likes of other popular hard surface alternatives.
Major laminate suppliers are looking to leverage the latest locking mechanism technologies to their advantage. Laminate floors produced by Inhaus, for example, feature Megaloc 2.0, an innovative, water-resistant locking system that is standard on all Inhaus laminate products, including its newly launched Lamdura line.
“The joint is designed to prevent water from penetrating the product’s core as well as the subfloor, which can occur during 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 locking joint.”
This advanced locking feature behind Lamdura, which is built on an 8mm, high-density core platform, is the key to the product’s high-performance properties. “Megaloc 2.0 utilizes the same angle-fold locking technique that has become a standard for us, but now it includes a special design that stops water from penetrating and seeping down to the subfloor,” Welbourn said. “We have also added our secret edge treatment, which further enhances moisture resistance.”
Some other top laminate flooring suppliers have enhanced their snap together flooring systems to better repel moisture incursion. Mohawk’s ever-expanding RevWood Plus offerings, for example, entail a complete waterproof laminate flooring system comprising the Uniclic MultiFit locking system, Mohawk’s GenuEdge pressed beveled edge and the company’s HydroSeal perimeter coating to trap liquids on the surface of the floor, thereby preventing damage to the coreboard. 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 have taken performance to the next level,” said Adam Ward, senior product director, Mohawk. “The combination of HydroSeal, GenuEdge bevel technology and the Uniclic glueless locking system makes the flooring completely waterproof.”
Not to be outdone, Mannington has raised the ante with its SpillShield Plus technology, an innovation featured on its popular Restorations laminate collection. “Thanks to innovative technologies like SpillShield Plus, which guarantees the floor will not be damaged from spills, standing moisture and pet messes for 72 hours, consumers can now install it in any room in the house—even bathrooms and laundry rooms where it really couldn’t go before,” said Dan Natkin, vice president of hardwood and laminate.
Increasingly, laminate flooring suppliers are working more closely with the companies that hold the patents for various locking mechanisms. The aim is to further enhance an already robust offering of glueless systems. “CFL has agreements related to its intellectual property 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 each type of flooring product we manufacture.”
Another example is Republic Floor, which features the Välinge 5G locking system on its laminate and wood offerings. The click panels are featured on its Malta Islands collection, which boasts high-quality HDF panels with edges that are sealed with hot wax to repel moisture, according to Rotem Eylor, CEO.
Beauflor, another Välinge licensee, offers a water-resistant laminate collection designed to install faster and easier than previous iterations. Each plank is equipped with a flexible plastic tongue that mates with a groove on the adjoining plank. The end result is a seal that effectively locks out spills for up to 72 hours.