As you know, the quality and reliability of a flooring called laminate are determined by two main points. Firstly, the panels (in fact, they are the laminate) are a thin, but very durable "layered cake", it has all the load: stomping, spanking, dances, and various disfavors of the owners. Secondly, the mechanism for attaching panels to their neighbors.
Laminate flooring manufacturers strive to improve every part. More attention is paid to the functionality of the laminate - that is, the wear resistance of the coating and the strength of the fastening system.
Until now, most often, when laying laminate, laminated boards were attached to each other using special glue. The result is a solid monolithic coating. However, this connection has its drawbacks. For example, glue loses its properties over time, and the strength of the bond is lost - this leads to the formation of gaps. Having glued such a floor once, you cannot repair or replace a separate board: the board is firmly glued to another board, and breaking off one laminate will break the entire structure.
Click-click - and the whole installation
But specialists from different "laminate" firms have come up with new fastening systems. For example, the Austrian company Kaindl has created its own glueless system, the so-called SNAP-system ("snap-snap" literally means "click-click"). Due to the special profile-latch at the joints, the panels are firmly attracted to each other during installation and fixed without creating gaps. No glue or special tools needed, just click and you're done. The SNAP system motto is: modern (i.e. glueless) fastening + easy snapping-in = excellent result.
This is how the glueless fastening system (SNAP system) from Kaindl works
In addition, for the SNAP series, a load-bearing panel called HDF AQUASTOP 6 has been specially developed with an increased resistance to moisture penetration inside this covering. That is, with a water-repellent impregnation. Previously, only locks were water-repellent, but now the entire system is protected from water: both the panels and the lock.
And the Norwegian company Alloc AS, spun off from the Norske Skog concern, is now producing a whole series of improved laminated flooring: Alloc Commercial, Alloc Original, Alloc Universal, Alloc Home. One of the main achievements is the Alloc fastening system (which means "aluminum lock"). The Norwegian laminate with this lock has a lifetime warranty.
This is how the Alloc Original laminate with a locking system is installed
1.the top and bottom layers are made of high pressure laminate
3.mechanical locking system
4.HDF core made of high density fiberboard
5.wax impregnated edges for improved moisture resistance
The lock is able to withstand a load of 1200 kg / m, and this is considered the best result in the world of laminate. The grip is so easy that even a child can handle it. One panel is laid with a profile on another at an angle, then lowered down, parallel to the floor. At this moment, a fixation occurs, a slight snapping. All! It is impossible to separate the panels from each other in the same plane. But at the same time, each board can be replaced if desired. To do this, one panel must also be "snapped off" at an angle.
A super novelty is Alloc Universal laminate from Alloc AS. In this creation, the company's specialists have combined all new achievements: an improved fiber lock, which works on the same principle as the above-mentioned aluminum, but is made of the same material as the base - durable HDF with a wax water-repellent coating. This mount will be able to support up to 860 kg / m.
Alloc Commercial, Alloc Original and Alloc Universal coatings from Alloc AS use a super-strong top layer - High Pressure Laminate (that is, a laminate with a high degree of compaction). But the most important thing is the new version of the underlay - the soft bottom part of the Silent System underlay.
The backing is needed to cushion the surface when walking on it and, in addition, to soundproof. Previously, a cardboard backing was used with Alloc laminate. Cardboard worked well when laying laminate on plywood or chipboard. But when laying on concrete and other difficult-to-level surface, an additional substrate was used. Now many companies working with laminate flooring are looking for a new, perfect type of substrate - a soft resilient material. For example, the Alloc AS company calls this super-material Silent System. Due to its density, it absorbs noise 5 times better than a conventional substrate. If you walk on such a floor in high-heeled shoes, you will not hear that ringing annoying clatter that spies are so afraid to make. And one more important property: this material is fireproof, it does not burn at all.
Flexible moldings and skirting boards
Another original novelty, which, by the way, has long been known in Europe, and is just beginning to penetrate the Russian market, is the so-called "flexible molding" (the word "molding" can be translated as "nut"). In Russia it is represented by the Austrian company FN. The novelty is directly related to the laminate: it is a convenient T-shaped sill, which can close the edges-borders, for example, of laminate and carpet, and give the joint a neat, stylish look.
It differs from classic, straight moldings in that it can connect surfaces even with a curved line. The flexible molding is made of a durable plastic that becomes flexible when dipped in hot water for a few minutes. After this procedure, the molding can be bent even into a ring with a radius of 30 cm and in this position let it harden. In the cold state, the flexible molding can bend up to 60 cm in radius. Thus, with its help, you can create a unique design in the house, and most importantly, constantly change it. Only the "cut" of the floor coverings will have to be taken into account. By the way, the flexible nut can be used to connect any type of coating, even for multi-level surfaces. For example, parquet and linoleum, carpet and parquet with laminate, as well as different colors of carpet, laminate or linoleum.Moldings are produced mainly in "wooden" colors: for example, "under beech", "oak", "maple", "cherry" and "mahogany".
The second novelty of FN is a flexible solid wood skirting board impregnated with special substances that enable it to bend. A distinctive feature of this skirting board is the ability to attach to walls of any configuration, even to columns. It is fastened simply - with liquid nails or self-tapping screws.
Another innovation from the Austrian company Kaindl is the new design of the Big foot laminate flooring. These are panels with an increased width - 331 mm instead of the previous 195 mm (they are also interconnected using a glueless SNAP system). In addition, this series has a new herringbone pattern, which was not previously used in laminate (most often the deck pattern was used), in contrast to the pattern of block parquet. But good wood parquet is not cheap, so now herringbone lovers have the opportunity to save money, but remain true to their aesthetic principles.