Cutting Alloc laminate w/ aluminum locking


  #1  
Old 10-24-03, 10:38 AM
TDickson
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Cutting Alloc laminate w/ aluminum locking

Is there a special tool that one must use or is it more difficult to cut this type of laminate with the aluminum locking system?

Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 10-24-03, 11:12 AM
Cedwin
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I have installed 2-3 jobs using alloc. I used a regular carbide blade without any problems. It has been 2-3 years since I used this but if I remember correctly it works best if you push the side with the aluminum into the saw first. The aluminum is pretty thin.

Edwin
 
  #3  
Old 10-24-03, 09:23 PM
AzFred
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Snag the aluminum, spoil the plank. This and the gap between planks are the only downsides to an otherwise goood product.
 
  #4  
Old 10-25-03, 01:56 AM
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Snip the aluminum with tin snips before running the saw through it.
 
  #5  
Old 10-26-03, 08:35 AM
dedwards183
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Originally posted by AzFred
Snag the aluminum, spoil the plank. This and the gap between planks are the only downsides to an otherwise goood product.
Could you please explain about the "gap between planks"? I'm considering buying some Alloc and don't understand what gap this would be.
 
  #6  
Old 10-27-03, 09:56 AM
TDickson
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Hmmm...I'd be interested in hearing about this gap too. One of the reasons I was choosing Alloc was that I was told that the locking system was superior and helped prevent any gaps. I was going to order today...will talk to distributer again and wait for any replys here! Thanks everyone for the comments.
 
  #7  
Old 10-31-03, 02:33 PM
mradtke
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Hello,

I too would like to hear the reply about gaps. I chose Alloc Original because it was one of the few glueless laminates rated for kitchen and bath use. This is the note that I sent Alloc about a week ago. I haven't gotten a reply.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello,

About 3 weeks ago, I completed a kitchen floor installation of Alloc Original. I was quite pleased with the result. However, over the last 3 weeks, the joints have started to open up. The worst joint is just wide enough to insert a fingernail. Many other joints are quite visible. They seem to be in random locations, and both in side and end joints.

The floor was installed over old concrete with RapidRoll as a moisture barrier. The installation was slow due to my availability and took about 2 weeks. The material was acclimated for about 7 days stacked as shown on the boxes.

I live in Phoenix. The weather at installation time was still hot and the air conditioning was on at all times. Inside temperature was about 80 degrees. Since the installation, the weather has cooled, and we have had the windows open at night. However, the inside temperature has not dropped below about 75 degrees. The interior humidity has been about 10-20% since before the installation through the present time.

What do I do now?

Thanks,
Mike
 
  #8  
Old 10-31-03, 05:35 PM
florcraft
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by mradtke
[B]Hello,

About 3 weeks ago, I completed a kitchen floor installation of Alloc Original. I was quite pleased with the result. However, over the last 3 weeks, the joints have started to open up.





Did you install the floor, or did you buy over the net?
 
  #9  
Old 10-31-03, 08:21 PM
AzFred
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Florcraft, that is secondary in this case. The patent claims for the assembly system used, uses the word "Play" to imply a loose joint for the purpose accommodating expansion and contraction. I understand where you are coming from and often it is difficult to satisfy expectations under the circumstance you may be about to suggest but this one has a specific issue. Not to say that a pro may do better on the installation end. JMHO
 
  #10  
Old 11-03-03, 07:06 AM
mradtke
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to TDickson:

I'm sorry, I never answered your original question. I used a saber saw to cut my Alloc. I purchased a "laminate cutting" blade, probably for cutting Formica counter tops. I don't know what the saw material is, but it cut on the downstroke so you can work from the top side of the Alloc. I found the saw blade a liitle difficult to use when it was new and sharp, but it dulled quickly. From then on it was easy to use, but slow. I cut starting from the aluminum side as the instructions recommended. However, I quickly learned to cut the aluminum first with something other than the saw. A tin snips worked fine, but I found that I preferred a nibbler. Just cut a "V" back to the laminate and the saw will do the rest.

to floorcraft:

I bought over the internet and installed it myself. I mentioned why I choose Alloc. I chose glueless because of my ignorance. I thought that installation would be so much faster because I wouldn't have to wait for the glue to dry. My last experience with laying a floor was 30 years ago with vinyl tile. A room like this (220 square feet) was easily done in a day. The large laminate pieces and saw rather than scissors cutting took several week ends and many week nights. I might as well have used glue and spent a lot less on the laminate.

to AZfred:

You allude to the Alloc patent talking about joints that spread in tension to relieve stress. Would you please elaborate, or point us to somewhere that we can read about this issue with Alloc Original?

Thanks,
Mike
 
  #11  
Old 11-03-03, 08:19 AM
AzFred
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The patent holder is Valinge Aluminum of Sweden. Reading a copy of court proceedings relative to the defence of these patents will reveal this claim. Valinge vs. Unilin or Unilin vs. Valinge, Berry, Faus et al

The proceedings have been going on for several years all over the world.
 
  #12  
Old 11-03-03, 09:55 AM
mradtke
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Alloc Replies

Hello,

Since my last post, Alloc replied to my email. I probably shouldn't post the reply, but I should be able to comment on it.

The reply ignored most of my note and made no comment about my problem. It did suggest that I violated the installation requirements by installing at over 77 degrees and less than 40% relative humidity. Since indoor temperatures in Phoenix are probably about 80 degrees most of the year and the indoor humidity may never get as high as 40%, perhaps Alloc cannot be installed in Phoenix.

Phooey!

Mike
 
  #13  
Old 11-24-03, 10:19 AM
TDickson
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Post installation

Went ahead with it and thus far love it! Had contractor do it and he said it was very easy to cut and the locking system seemed to be superior to other brands he usually works with. Hmmm, it's only been a week and I live in Colorado where it's not 80 degrees (in fact it's been in the teens the last few days with snow, but it is very dry. I usually have a humidifier going in winter..am going to start using one, but was told to slowly acclimate the flooring to a more humid environment, so start on low setting.

Boy, after reading the gap post..I'm nervous, but it's too late..so I'll keep my fingers crossed. Will post again in a few weeks with results...gaps or no gaps.

Liked it so much I'm planning to do upstairs floor as well. Just have to see if I can use another pad under the laminate which comes with one attached (thin one) already.
 
  #14  
Old 11-24-03, 11:18 AM
mradtke
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Cracked Alloc Original

Hello,

I'm glad that your floor is doing well. Mine is not, and is still changing. The planks are shifting about and now the worst gaps aren't as bad as they were, but there are many more of them. The planks are cupped as well. If you stand on a joint with a gap, it closes somewhat. On top of that, a small chip has broken off at one gap. Since the floor has not been abused in any way, I expect more chipping will happen at the gaps.

Alloc insists that I did not acclimate my materials properly, but won't tell me what I did wrong. They have said that I need to work with my retailer if I feel that the product is defective, not them. My retailer, diyflooring.com, won't discuss it.

As far as I'm concerned, this floor was a colossal mistake and I would recommend that anyone not consider it in a dry climate.

Mike
 
  #15  
Old 11-25-03, 08:32 AM
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Joint movement will lead to chipped edges.

What you described sounds like the floor is heaving. Pull off the trim molding and check to be surethe expansion gap is there!!!

True cupping is a sign of moisture, but tenting is a sign it is locked in.
 
  #16  
Old 11-25-03, 09:17 AM
mradtke
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Hi Perry,

Thanks for your comments.

I maintained the specified 1/4 inch or greater expansion gap and I left the trim off for a month. I did not notice any change.

Winter humidity is a bit higher than summer humidity here in Phoenix. The floors are now cooler than the air so I would agree that mositure is the cause of the cupping. When the floor was installed, it was drier and the floor was warmer than the air.

AzFred pointed out that the Alloc joints allowed for expansion and contraction. Alloc doesn't talk about that, but rather talks about the strength of using aluminum in their joints. I think that I am just seeing what AzFred was talking about. As the planks contract, the aluminum allows for the joints to open up a bit to relieve the strain. On expansion, once the gaps are closed, any additional expansion is taken up at the borders. The error is that open gaps fill with debris and soon can never close. Other systems seem to force all expansion and contraction to take place at the borders where it is covered by trim.

In retrospect, it all makes sense to me now and I can be easily convinced by my experience that Alloc Original is not suitable for my climate. I have about $1000 invested in materials and a whole lot of my labor. Since Alloc nor my supplier has taken any interest, my only satifaction is that readers of this board may be warned to be careful.

The floor is unacceptable, and I will have to replace it. However, this is not an emergency, so I have plenty of time to consider what I should try next. It won't be a laminate. This is a kitchen. Ceramic is out because my wife will not tolerate grout. There are 8 openings into the room along with other irregularities so ease of installation is an issue. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Mike
 
  #17  
Old 11-25-03, 10:47 AM
TDickson
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Feedback from Alloc and reseller

Was able to speak to someone at Alloc yesterday. Unfortunately, what you get is just someone who quotes from their information manual. What I was told was that the humidity level should be around 45 at all times and that installation temperature should not exceed 75 degrees. Beyond that she could not tell me if there were areas of the country that they did not recommend Alloc be used.

I also contacted the the company that sold the laminate to me in Colorado and they said it had been on the market here for about a year and thus far they have had no complaints. He said that if they receive more than five complaints on a given product, they drop the line.

According the the relative humidity index, Colorado should be ideal as it's usually between 40 - 60 and the interior house temperature is not a problem.

From reading the other posts, it seems more complicated than humidity and temperature, but may also include factors in installation. Before going ahead with using Alloc in any other areas of the house, I think I'll wait a month or two and see how it goes.

I'll post the outcome of what happens with my flooring in a month or so...keeping my fingers crossed!
 
 

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