Reggie Hill has 19 years of experience in the retail floor covering industry. His in-depth knowledge of various floor covering materials, and his specialized expertise in laminate products, has made him a sought-after consultant and instructor in the floor covering industry.
Laminate flooring arrived in the United States in the 1990s, and since then confusion has reigned as the category attempts to cross the threshold into the light commercial arena. Many professionals, including myself, have been uncertain about the product's ability to perform in these situations.
This is a prelude to a future article that will move step by step through a single installation. The objective is to stimulate the imagination with a variety of unique situations, performed at various times and locations, pertaining to diagonal laminate installations with a custom border. The work shown here was accomplished with ingenuity, skill, templates, jigs, conventional tools and millwork techniques. Something to keep in mind: not one of these installations was performed with the specialized tools designed for this type of customization.
The “Looking at Laminate” article in the July/August issue of FCI introduced some tools and features that have evolved in the laminate industry to make installation faster, easier and more accurate. I recently had a revelation that writing about tools and their use can sometimes be misleading when none of the problems of day-to-day job site situations are factored in.
I have always been a proponent of flooring pre-fabrication if there is just cause. Most flooring products, including laminates, can be pre-fabricated.
When considering pre-fabricating a laminate floor, or a portion of it, be sure to take into account the obstacles that can interfere with a successful installation, and remember to always plan the project from fabrication to installation...
Glueless installation systems, also known as mechanical locking systems, have been a part of the laminate industry for almost as long as laminates have been in the U.S. marketplace, but have traditionally taken a back seat to the conventional, adhesive-installation method.
One of the most challenging installations an installer can face is the installation of flooring around a fixed object. It does not matter what the product is - vinyl, ceramic, wood, laminate - it just does not matter. Fortunately, with a little pre-planning, finesse, and the right tools, you can install laminate flooring around the object perfectly.
As the floor covering market continues to expand, the number of retailers who carry laminate lines seems to lag a bit behind. Columnist Reggie Hill examines some of the reasons why laminate flooring is still on the sidelines in many marketplaces.