Trafficmaster Allure floating vinyl plank flooring can be a great vinyl floor product for bathroom or kitchen flooring when installed properly. Unlike self-stick vinyl tiles or glue-down vinyl tiles, both of which are installed with a full glue-down application under the entire tile, plank vinyl flooring is adhered only at the edges, "floating" over the subfloor. Its integrity is dependent upon on just 10 percent of the plank area for adhesion.
About Allure Flooring
The Allure brand, one of the most popular, is private-labeled and available only at Home Depot. It is made by the manufacturer Metroflor® out of Darien, CT, and sold under a subsidiary called Halstead New England Industries LLC in Norwalk, CT.
This vinyl plank flooring product, sold under the name Trafficmaster Allure, is durable, affordable, and easy to install since it floats over the subfloor. It also comes in a broad variety of realistic wood, stone, and ceramic looks for great bathroom flooring or kitchen flooring options. It is easy to clean and maintain and comes with a 25-year limited warranty based on proper installation.
Like any product, the life of the floor will depend on the quality of the installation and, in this case, also depends on proper acclimation to an acceptable temperature range during and after installation.
Installing Allure Flooring
Installation is easy with self-stick adhesive along the edges of 12 inches x 36 inches interlocking planks. Since the planks are flexible and designed to float rather than bond to a subfloor, they may be installed over a variety of properly prepared subfloors, including plywood, particleboard, OSB, chipboard, wafer board, gypsum underlayment, and existing floor coverings.
This product is not a good choice for installation in basement applications, according to many experts. The promotional material states it can be used in basement applications, but only if proper testing is done to determine the level of concrete slab vapor emissions and hydrostatic pressure. This is difficult for the normal DIYer to do, and as a result, there are many failures of the adhesive joints in basement installations, due to moisture in the basement slab. For DIYers, it's best to use this product only in above-ground applications.
In order for the adhesive strips to work properly, the product must be acclimated in the space where the tile is being installed, so that the planks, room temperature, and the sub-floor are all at least 65 F for at least 48 hours before, during, and after installation. Do not open the packages but spread them out. Stack no more than three high with at least 4 inches of airflow around the boxes. Do not place next to heating or cooling ducts or direct sunlight. Do not remove the paper from strips until use, as it is critical the adhesive remains free from dirt or oil.
When installing planks, work with a minimum of three boxes and mix planks as they are installed. When each plank is joined, use a hand roller directly on the joined seam to create the proper bond between the two strips. This is a mandatory part of the installation procedure.
After completion, roll the entire floor in both directions with a 100-lb. roller. The manufacturer recommends that before starting an installation, two planks should be joined and rolled, then pulled apart as a test. You should be able to see a continuous bond along the whole strip, with adhesive transfer seen from one side to the other. This provides a confirmation that the material is properly acclimated.
Note that failing to roll the product after finishing may void the manufacturer’s warranty. Promotional material from TrafficMaster recommends, but does not require, rolling; however, the installation requirements in the manufacturer's Konetco information does require rolling.
Construction of Allure Flooring
- 4-mil (thin) urethane wear layer
- Patterned vinyl upper layer and vinyl under-layer that is offset 1 inch, creating an adhesive edge along two sides of each flexible plank.