After recently installing the BerryAlloc Pureloc range of luxury vinyl tiles, I felt compelled to write a few words of my experience. I mainly install wood based floor coverings but with the growing popularity of LVT flooring, I’m discussing this additional options of LVT more and more with clients. Now this was my first installation of BerryAllocs Pureloc so in a sense you’ll be getting a raw view of this floor covering. There’s good and bad so grab a coffee and become enlightened…
Firstly, the specifications of the BerryAlloc pureloc :
- Dimensions : 1213 x 171 x 4 mm, 8 planks/ box = 1,66 m²
- Water resistant
- Graded for heavy domestic use and light commercial
- Wear layer : 0.3 mm
- Compatible with underfloor heating system – Yes : max. 27 °C
- Lifetime residential use warranty
- 100% recyclable
- Can be cleaned using a vacuum or wet mop with a mild detergent or household floor cleaning fluid
- Cost : Between £21 and £30 per metre (Average costs as of the date of this review)
Now on to the meat of this review..
Firstly, it is important to note that this flooring is subject to movement with in home climate change. This means, it must be left flat and sealed in it’s packaging in the room to be installed for 48 hours prior fitting. It’s potential for movement also means an expansion gap around the perimeter MUST be allowed. Always read the manufacturers accompanying installation guidelines.
The locking system of the pureloc is very good quality. The locking system with any flooring product is absolutely key when installing and really makes the difference between a nightmare and easy install. The planks aren’t very thick at only 4 mm. Hence, I did question how strong the locking mechanism could be. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as when locked in place I saw no reason for the mechanism to fail in normal conditions and with a sound and flat sub-floor. A nice added bonus is that the planks can be knocked together whilst laid flat. This makes installing far easier at awkward doorways and obstacles.
Add to that the use of the BerryAlloc Vin Tech underlay, which as stated by BerryAlloc, has anti-slip and light adhesive properties which frankly I found as an understatement, once the planks were positioned in place I was left with zero horizontal movement and the added advantage of being able to still lift the planks and re-install if need be.
I still required the use of a knocking block and hammer at times when trying to interlock the planks and advise you to have these at hand should you decide to purchase and install this floor covering.
It is vital that your sub-floor is FLAT! The planks are extremely flexible with little rigid strength. Therefore, any unevenness in the sub-floor can really be seen when the floor is walked on, with the added possibility of locking system wear leading to the potential for plank separation. This is an overlay floor covering which essentially means it’s not glued to the sub-floor.
Here’s a short video installation guide..
The absolute number one downside of the BerryAlloc Pureloc LVT is the number of planks that have matching patterns or prints! Perhaps, a cost cutting exercise by the manufacturer! I was absolutely furious with this aspect of an otherwise very good quality floor and felt it really let it down in a big way. To explain further, there were around six different patterns. Now when you understand that there are always six planks attached to one full board, it’s easy to see how it makes life very difficult to stop matching planks being placed next to each other. This may sound trivial but in the pursuit of a natural looking floor, the last thing you want is matching patterns.
BerryAlloc have tried to make this a little less obvious by printing the patterns at different positions on some planks and even turning the patterns to face in the opposite direction. However, most of the knots and grain features really stand out making it hard to disguise. In the recent installation I carried out, I had the choice of 43 packs or 344 planks. The repeating pattern story was the same through every pack!! What an absolute let down in my honest opinion.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you are keen not to have repeating patterns/grains/features show up next to each other, although this being slightly impossible, the plank choice will add at least a third to the overall installation time.
That truly is the only part of the BerryAlloc pureloc that I have a bad word for. However, on the overall look of the floor, it has a huge impact.
It’s tough!! With laminate flooring, the surface and core material are relatively hard. Impact damage from falling objects can happen with ease (depending on the quality of laminate of course!). With the BerryAlloc LVT and indeed most LVT’s there is a slight cushion or in other words a compression factor to the floor. This very slight cushion really absorbs impact tremendously. More than you’d think. Coupled with the extremely strong surface coating, I must say for busy households, this is an excellent product!
I very much liked the skirting boards that were supplied by BerryAlloc. The match wasn’t 100% but still very effective and easy to install. They’re made from a light weight pvc and simply glued onto the wall. The added advantage of this material is the fact it bends easily across it’s width. That might be hard to understand but all it means is if you have a slightly uneven floor, a little weight on top of the skirtings in the area and a small nail will leave you with a nice crisp finish.
It’s quiet!! Oh yes. Compared to a wood type floor covering, this luxury vinyl is exceptionally quiet under foot. Enough said. Just a fact!
Water resistant. I know resistance is a very broad term and should always be looked at with suspicion in my opinion. However, comparing a luxury vinyl to a wood based floor covering, well, there really is no comparison. For busy households I will certainly be recommending a luxury vinyl in the future. It is a pvc based product and although is still subject to dimensional changes with in home humidity, will not swell and blister like a wood based floor covering could. Often, it’s more the way a floor is going to be used that will dictate what floor should be purchased.
This is one of the hardiest floors I have installed. The low acoustics makes it very appealing and as for the cost on the grande scale of things considering it’s tough high quality surface wear layer and resistance to moisture, this LVT floor covering screams value for money due to it’s longevity.
I’m not going to dwell on the one negative aspect of this floor but I do urge you to think about what I said. I’d rather you go into this potential purchase with your eyes wide open and ALWAYS shop around for other LVT products!!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it’s helped! You can pass this review on to your friends using the ‘Share’ button below.© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor