As we progress into the 21st century, the flooring industry finds itself navigating an era of limitless possibilities. Nowhere is this more evident than in the laminate flooring segment. Companies are melding burgeoning new technologies with ongoing style innovations to create floors that realistically reflect textures and designs that, just a few decades ago, would have been impossible to achieve.

Today, installation has been made easier thanks to the proliferation of glueless systems. Sound-proofing underlayments are enhancing end-user satisfaction with the laminate product. Continuing advances in finishes and overlays, have made laminate virtually impervious to the potentially damaging effects of exposure to water, staining agents and abrasive materials. Designers, installers and consumers now have a plethora of laminate options to meet their flooring needs —- whether the focus is style, ease of installation or durability. The following is just a sampling of the latest advances the laminate industry now has to offer.

Hornitex launches Top-Lock-Silent

The latest laminate product debut from Hornitex, Top-Lock-Silent, combines the glue-free installation qualities of the company’s Top-Lock laminate floorboards with those of Sound-Ex, a wood-based floorboard developed to significantly reduce footstep sound transmission.

With the combination of these two product features, the entire installation may be performed in a single-stage operation that requires no glues, the company says. Hornitex also supplies a complete set of the simple installation aids upon request. The Top-Lock fastening system is based on the Terbrack joint; the boards are linked by precision-made profiles. By combining Top-Lock with Sound-Ex, the level of footstep noise is reduced by up to 5 dB (A), Hornitex says. In addition, the company is now supplying Top-Lock-Silent in its Comfort-Quality grade for use in Wear Class 31 applications.

Armstrong Laminate Flooring with the ArmaLock Installation System.

Armstrong Laminate adds glueless installation option

Armstrong Laminate Flooring’s new ArmaLock Installation System is now available in three designs, marketed as the Woodlands Crest Collection. Select designs from the Classics and Origins lines also will be available with the ArmaLock Installation System later this year.

The Classics and Origins collections feature wood looks that were developed to blend plank style, natural colors and grain varieties to provide authentic backgrounds in laminate floors. The floors’ standard tongue-and-groove installation method is designed to allow individual pieces to be fitted and glued together to form a bond throughout the floor, ensure a tight fit, and allow for the product’s natural contraction and expansion.

Armstrong says its floating laminate flooring can be installed over most existing floors, including concrete, vinyl, wood, and even some indoor/outdoor carpet. Armstrong Laminate Floors are warranted for 16 years against fading, staining, wear-through, moisture damage, and manufacturing defects.

BHK of America's Moderna Lifestyle Collection.

BHK covers new ground with Moderna Lifestyle

BHK of America has expanded its laminate flooring line with BHK Moderna Lifestyle Glueless Laminate Flooring. The new 9/32-inch product line, which was developed for fast and easy installation without the need for glue, comes in a variety of colors and wood grains with matching mouldings and accessories.

Moderna Lifestyle utilizes a tongue-and-groove joinery system designed to allow planks to be clicked securely into place. Performance characteristics include tight seams, strong joints and sealed edges to provide enhanced moisture resistance, BHK says. The product was designed to resist damage due to spills, stains, burns, chemicals, and impact.

Also available is the BHK Moderna Lifestyle Country Collection, featuring new textured wood grains created to combine the look and feel of real wood with the durability and easy maintenance of laminate flooring. The flooring comes with a lifetime warranty.

Manzanas from Faus Group's Macarena Flooring Ceramic Collection.

Faus Group offers ceramic looks in laminate

Faus Group’s Macarena Flooring Collection is an assortment of seven ceramic-look patterns. According to Faus, the collection was designed to combine the earthtone colorings and appearance of ceramic tile with the affordability of laminate flooring.

This textured product was engineered to have the feel of handcrafted clay tiles. The texturing is the result of the company’s FausTex technology, which also adds a slip-resistant quality to the flooring. The Macarena Flooring Ceramic Collection, which includes a line of matching mouldings, is designed for the consumer and retail markets. It is supported by a 20-year stain, fade and wear warranty.

Bruce TrueLock laminate floor in Dusty Oak.

Bruce Laminate showcases TrueLock glueless

Bruce Laminate Flooring has introduced TrueLock, a patented interlocking flooring system designed to hold the boards together tightly without adhesives. The floor’s construction features include Bruce’s HydraCore enhanced moisture-resistant coreboard, which is specially treated with resins to make the floor more resistant to swelling.

Initially available in six plank varieties, TrueLock includes both two- and three-strip designs in a range of wood grain looks. TrueLock comes with a lifetime structural integrity warranty, 25-year residential fade, stain, wear and moisture coverage, 15-year commercial fade and stain warranty; and a 5-year commercial wear warranty

Columbia Clic laminate floor in Rustic Pecan.

Columbia releases Columbia Clic

Columbia Flooring’s new Columbia Clic laminate flooring features a patented “click in” fastening system that locks panels together during installation. The glueless, locking nature of the floor was developed to provide a flat and tight joint between laminate units. The floor was designed to be walked immediately after installation.

Columbia Clic is available in 12 varieties that were colored and designed to meet the diversified tastes of consumers. Within the line are five traditional designs and four different NaturTex three-dimensional textures. Through the Columbia Lifetime Performance Promise, Columbia Clic is warranted against fading, staining, wear-through, and moisture failure.