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Glueless Laminate Flooring Prevalent at Surfaces 2001.

Most major manufacturers add click or snap together products to their offerings.

GLUELESS LAMINATE flooring products were the buzz of Surfaces 2001, the North American flooring industry's premiere annual event.

Surfaces 2001 also served as the launching pad for many new engineered wood products, including several seeking to ride the coattails of laminate flooring's early success,

By the numbers, the show was a hit for its new owner, Hanley-Wood, which purchased Surfaces from the World Floor Covering Assn. for $40 million last year. The show drew a record 39,183 visitors to the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, up 13 percent over Surfaces 2000's attendance. Exhibit records were also established with 898 companies utilizing 516,553 net square feet of space.

Glueless Floors Makes a Splash

At Surfaces 1999, the North American market for glueless laminate flooring pretty much belonged to two companies: Alloc and BHK of America.

At Surfaces 2000, several other manufacturers introduced glueless products, while others who planned to do so, kept them under wraps rather than chance being named in a patent lawsuit.

This year, more than half a dozen companies displayed glueless laminate floors. Highlights include:

* For Surfaces 2001, Alloc Inc. of Racine, WI, increased the thickness of its high density fiberboard core by 20 percent; Alloc says the extra thickness makes for a more stable product and increases moisture resistance. The company uses a glueless aluminum joint locking mechanism for its products that it developed in 1996.

* BHK of America, Central Valley, NY, introduced Moderna Lifestyle Glueless Laminate Flooring, manufactured by BHK in Germany. This new 9/32-inch product line's tongue and groove joinery, system enables plants to click securely into place. The Moderna collection is available in 15 woodgrains; a similar number of tiles are scheduled to be introduced this summer.

* New Pergo Express is a glue-free product that, like BHK's products, also uses a joinery patent held by Unilin. Pergo says the glueless system can help professional installers reduce installation time by an average of 50 percent. Pergo plans to add 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space and a new 187,000-square-foot distribution center to its plant in Garner, NC,

* Loc-Tech Laminate Flooring is Witex's entry into the glueless market. The Kennesaw, GA-based company's system uses the Unilin joining technology to lock each plank on all four sides without the use of glue. It has a 20-year residential warranty.

* Bruce Laminate, Addison, TX, a division of Armstrong, offers TrueLock, an interlocking glueless flooring system. The product also incorporates HydraCore, an enhanced moisture-resistant coreboard that Bruce says is specially treated with resins to be resistant to swelling, Bruce also introduced SoundGuard, a sound dampening layer that is directly attached to the underside of some of its Traffic Zone planks.

Glueless technology is not limited to laminate flooring, Kahrs International of Altamonte Springs, FL, for example, introduced its new patented Woodloc Joint System for its Linnea flooring line that sports veneer over high-density fiberboard, The Woodloc joint is milled directly into the HDF core. Patricia Costello, a Kahrs spokesperson, said, "It's all about warmth, nature and the alternative of wood."

Other Flooring Highlights

Anderson-Tully of Memphis, TN, introduced a new 3/4-inch engineered hardwood flooring line. Capella Hardwood Floors, which is being made with hardwoods certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, features a aluminum oxide finish for wear protection and scratch resistance.

CBT-USA Inc., High Point, NC, displayed a line of prefinished engineered wood flooring. Pat Buckley, flooring manager, said, "The advantage of real wood flooring is that you don't have any repeating patterns because you won't find any two wood planks that are the same." Buckley says CBT plans to come out with a glueless product later this spring.

Wilsonart International, Temple, TX, introduces the Classic Estate Collection featuring a 25-year warranty against wear-fade-stain and water-damage. The company also introduced its first line of laminate flooring designed specifically for commercial use that carry a 10-year warranty against wear-through, fade and stain resistance.

Surfaces Returns in 2002

Surfaces 2002 will be held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas.
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Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2001
Previous Article:Forest Stewardship Council Steps Up Certification Campaign.
Next Article:Two Cities, Two Shows.

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