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No Glue vs. Glued Laminate Flooring

Posted: 01 JUL 2002

Since it's inception, No-Glue locking type laminate flooring has been a huge success and has totally changed the flooring industry. We get consumers asking us every day, "which is better, a glued laminate floor or a no glue"?

This article discusses the differences between the two and which will be better for your application.
What is it?

No-Glue type laminate flooring is exactly what it states. It is a laminate floor that locks together requiring no glue. Below is an animated illustration of the no-glue locking system. The picture shown is the Uniclic locking system.
Uniclic Locking System
Why are the No-Glue type floors better?

There are several reasons why the no-glue flooring is a better choice. The most obvious being the ease of installation. No-glue flooring is by far the easiest to install. You simply lay down your underlayment, and the floor gets laid on top of it locking together using no glue. Most consumers, even with little or no experience, can install these floors themselves.

Aside from the ease of installation, there are some important technical benefits to using this type of flooring. Whether you are installing the floor yourself, or having it professionally installed, if you use the no-glue flooring, there will be a lot less chance for something to go wrong during the installation. With glue together floors, you have to use straps to get the joints tight and for them stay that way until the glue dries. You also have to make sure that the floor is running square as you are doing the install. With no-glue flooring, it is almost impossible to go out of square because if it started to, the flooring would not lock together. Since there is no glue used, there are also no straps required.

There are also some technical benefits built into the product itself. Since there is no glue being used, most manufacturers that make this type of flooring use a very tight joint and locking system. Some of the better quality no-glue flooring such as the Uniclic Quick Step and the Witex are using tolerances at or near 1/10,000th of an inch! They also usually either treat the edges so the moisture can't get into the core, or in the case of the better quality ones that we mentioned, they use a core that is completely water resistant throughout*. This type of core combined with a super tight joining system help prevent any damage to the flooring by moisture. When it comes to repairing a laminate floor, it has always been somewhat of a hassle with the old traditional glue together laminate flooring. The procedure being that you would have to buy a router bit, cut out the bad piece or pieces with a saw, create new grooves and add tongues as needed, and install the replacement flooring. The router bits are expensive, and the replacement flooring never seemed to sit perfectly level with the existing floor. If you choose to have the repair done by a professional, the cost is outrageous with some installers getting $250. or more to replace one plank! Well no need to worry. Using the no-glue locking floor will also solve this problem. If you have a damaged plank, you simply uninstall the floor up to that point, replace the plank and reinstall the floor. That's it! It doesn't get any easier than that.
No-Glue Manufacturers

There are several manufacturers that are producing no-glue type laminate flooring. You have to be careful though, because there are also a lot out there that are not a very good quality. Some No-Glue Manufacturers include (in no particular order) Uniclic Quick-Step, Columbia, Witex, Alloc, and Pergo Express.