Latest Advances in Locking Systems Tout Big Benefits

By Floris Koopmans

Since their introduction, locking technologies have made the installation of a floor less complex, easier and faster. Nowadays, click systems have to be designed to withstand even the most active households and are being used on different flooring types. On top of this, click systems have to provide a worry-proof flooring experience.

To improve the locking systems and enhance all aspects of their performance, innovation is necessary. Recent innovations focus on creating locking systems for different panel formats, floor patterns, and more intuitive and quicker installation.

Newer click profiles add features and benefits to a floor that can play an important role in a consumer’s decision-making process. With their ease of installation, they open up the flooring market to DIYers.

Drop-down Locking Profile
Fold-down locking systems allow for more rapid and effortless flooring installation. The panels lock intuitively — simply angle in the long side and drop the panel down to lock it.

When choosing the right fold-down locking system, it’s important to keep the following in mind: intuitive (de)installation, no folding damages after installation and locking strength. These locking systems should install fast but last a very long time.

Unidrop by Unilever Technologies is a one-piece, fold-down technology that provides superior locking performance without plastic inserts and guarantees easy installation for the short sides of the panel.

Ceramic Alternative with Real Grout
Locking systems create not only a secure installation but also offer opportunities to change the look of the floor. With technological advancements, resilient flooring design more closely mimics ceramic tile. When combined with a locking system, today’s resilient flooring enables the use of real grout to create 100 per cent waterproof flooring. The waterproof feature combined with a click system ensures a perfectly aligned grouting groove, and makes these resilient tiles a lightweight, impact-resistant and easy-to-install alternative to ceramic tile.

This click system also enables the installation of square tiles, such as checkerboard patterns. The grouting enables flexibility for the alignment.

In contrast to ceramic tile, resilient click system flooring can be installed on top of existing flooring. Panels click into each other and are then grouted. There’s no need to use spacers in-between tiles, resulting in a speedier installation. Grout drying time is also reduced to a few hours. What’s more, grouting grooves will always be uniform and perfectly aligned thanks to the click system.

One-panel Herringbone Flooring
A couple years ago, herringbone made a comeback as a beloved flooring option and it continues in popularity. However, the herringbone pattern traditionally uses left-sided and right-sided panels. This is not only a huge inconvenience for the end-user, but it’s also a big hassle for manufacturers, transporters, warehousing and stores that need to produce and stock two types of panels and make sure an equal amount of left-side and right-side panels make their way through the supply chain to the consumer.

Locking systems that enable installation with just one type of panel solve many of the logistical and installation issues associated with a traditional herringbone floor. Installation is faster and easier, and still ensures a strong locking on all four sides of the panels. Each panel fits into the other panels every which way, so there is no wrong way to install the flooring.

Floris Koopmans is sales director at Unilin Technologies, innovator and technology provider in the flooring, furniture and construction industries. Unilin manages the worldwide protection and commercialization of market-leading product and process innovations, granting of licences to trusted partners. The company launched the first one-piece locking system, which is optimized for production efficiency and flexibility.

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