May 22/29, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 25
By Reginald Tucker
Phoenix—Välinge, which pioneered the concept of glueless click flooring, continues to demonstrate its knack for innovation with the latest iteration of its signature 5G locking system. Dubbed 5G-i, the new system is designed, in part, to expand the installation options for a variety of new floating plank flooring products hitting the market.
“The new locking profile is just as easy to install as the traditional 5G system, but it has replaced the flexible plastic tongue with an integrated locking tongue,” said Susanne Hjorthagen, director of surface technology, Välinge Innovation AB. In illustration: Slits underneath the groove side of the panel provide flexibility so the tongue side—when pressed downward in a single-action motion—clicks into place.
Another plus, especially for installers who are already familiar with the 5G system, is floor layers don’t have to learn a whole new procedure when installing the panels. “Installers can take it apart the same way they would with the traditional 5G,” Hjorthagen said.
A big advantage of the system is that it reduces costs (no need for plastic tongues or insertion machines). With respect to locking strength, it is not quite as sturdy as the traditional 5G but it’s still strong enough to endure the rigors of a typical application, Hjorthagen said. Välinge conducted demonstrations of the new 5G-i system at the NWFA convention last month and at Surfaces back in January. The company reports strong interest among both existing and potential licensees. As Geir Waland, director of sales and marketing for Boen AS, stated, “5G has contributed to raising the standard of our hardwood and indoor sports flooring.”
Covering the bases
Välinge Innovation’s patent portfolio comprises more than 1,600 granted patents and a global license base of over 200 licensees. The company’s range of locking systems provides an industry standard for installing floating floors. At the same time, the company realizes all floors are not created equally. To that end, Välinge has developed solutions optimized for all flooring products in various widths and thicknesses. (For example, 5G-i comes in two different versions that have been optimized for laminate and LVT/WPC products, respectively.)
Following is an overview of the locking systems available: