Many customers come in the store (Seattle simpleFLOORS) asking about click together hardwood and bamboo flooring. Dave put together a simple explanation for them to help understand the differences.
Click Together vs Tongue and Groove Flooring
Click together flooring is becoming more prevalent recently in the flooring industry. However do not let the marketing gimmicks that a lot of manufacturers have been dishing out fool you. The most common theme is that click together floors are much easier for installation. For a professional installer who uses the same lock system frequently, this may make installation 20% quicker. But for the average home owner click together floors typically take as long as or longer than standard tongue and groove. This is because a lot of the time when one is tapping the board into the next board, boards from previous rows comes loose. Ultimately a lot of people end up using blue painters tape just as they would if they were using glue with a tongue and groove system. The biggest fault on click together floors is that they force the installer to do a floating installation only. Certainly some people want to do a nail/staple or glue down applications. The locking systems used in click together floors do not hold as well as glue-together tongue and groove floors either. Thus they are not as “flexible” when in situations where there is a lot of expansion and contraction and will fail much easier. It is also not recommended to sand and refinish click together floors because the belt sanders put a lot of pressure on the lock system. This can loosen the lock system and leave gaps in between boards.
Tongue and groove floors tend to be cheaper as well. Flooring manufacturers typically pay between 8 to 15 cents per linear foot to use one of the two patented lock systems that must be used. This adds up quickly over the course of even a couple rooms. Tongue and groove floors that have been floated will not squeak due to the locking system loosening up. Also, tongue and groove floors that have been floated will provide much better moisture protection from spills and such. The glue acts as a barrier and does not allow the moisture to get under the flooring nearly as easy. When choosing your next flooring, please do not let the marketing gimmicks of some manufacturers sway you on making your correct choice.