November 21/28, 2016: Volume 31, Number 12
By Lindsay Baillie
Floor covering installers looking to tackle laminate flooring jobs without damaging surrounding walls—or floors—can turn to the Lam-Hammer. The innovative tool, developed about 10 years ago, is designed for installing interlocking laminate flooring and makes locking in the last board on a run, against a wall or under the cabinet toe kick easier, according to the manufacturer.
“Everyone always thinks bigger is better and heavy is always better but that is not always true,” said Jeff Van Horne, inventor and owner. “It doesn’t require a lot of beating to get the boards in place. The Lam-Hammer eliminates cabinet damage and wall damage [often caused by other tools]. It’s a horizontal weight that takes the board right into position.”
Manufactured in the U.S., the Lam-Hammer is made of high-quality, powder-coated steel —with the exception of its stabilizer ring, which is made of polypropylene. The tool comes in four models: the Lam-Hammer Jr. (lighter and for do-it-yourselfers), Standard (ideal for laminate floors), Atlas (ideal for engineered wood) and Titan (heavy and capable of moving several boards at once). Extensions (6, 9 and 12 inches) for tight places and tapping blocks (3 x 6 ½ x ¾) are also available.
Designed for the knowledgeable installer and the inexperienced do-it-yourselfer alike, the Lam-Hammer puts an end to nail pops on the wall or damaged toe kicks from conventional pry-bar pressure. It protects the toe kicks of cabinets from being broken off, and it also eliminates crushed plasterboard and the need for the pull bar and hammer. “You can break the locking part of the floor when you use a pull bar and hammer with too much force,” Van Horne said.