This is not a sponsored article, and is my honest opinion.
BerryAlloc seems to be some what of an unknown or not widely recognized brand here in the UK. It being more popular on the continent. We’ve installed a decent amount of it through our local BerryAlloc supplier, Cheshire Tile and Bathroom Studio – based in Cheadle (Stockport), so thought sharing our experience might benefit you if this particular flooring company (BeryAlloc) or parquet range is on your radar.
This article is worded in the broader sense as all the BerryAlloc parquet ranges have essentially been produced using the same technology i.e. locking system, machining, finishing etc. The product in the pictures is located within the ‘Prince’ range.
When choosing an engineered wood floor, it really is a serious game. As you’ve no doubt found, they’re not bloody cheap! You’re in need of some genuine reassurance before you take the plunge. Yes, samples are great, but more often than not, they’re barely a little bigger than your toe nail (slight exaggeration perhaps).
Well, look, I’m not going to beat around the bush here with some convoluted drawn out several thousand word write up – trust me, I was tempted! What I am going to do is pick out the two main important points that really matter about an engineered wood floor, run through how BerryAlloc parquet meets up to these points, as well as surmise the downsides. So let’s crack on :-
- The locking system
Obviously, from my point of view as an installer, this is pretty much the first thing I look for. If the locking system (as illustrated in this picture – the mechanism used to lock the boards together via machining a particular shape around the perimeter of the core of each board) is rubbish, I’m going to have a bad day, couple of days, or even weeks. From your point of view – if you’re going to install it yourself – the previous comment stands. However, and more importantly, if the locking system is rubbish, the question begs ‘how long is it going to last?’, ‘is it going to creak?’, ‘are the planks going to start separating?’. You may think, ‘well surely that’ll all be covered by the guarantee?’. Not always. If the locking system is faulty, it simply shouldn’t be installed – guarantee void. If the locking system is a real pain to work with, it’s relatively easy to damage it during the installation process (especially by the inexperienced), which can lead to all of the above questions being answered in the negative. Of course court is an option, anyone can argue anything, right? But who needs all that palava?
Anyway, I digress. The locking system of the BerryAlloc parquet range is outstanding. If I could describe it in a single phrase, that phrase would be ‘effortless effort’. We didn’t need a hammer or knocking block on our recent project. A lot of engineered wood manufacturers say that no knocking block and hammer is required, but it’s rarely true. In the case of BerryAlloc parquet, it is absolutely true (Of course, for standard basic installs).
The long lengths slot in a treat! The short ends (headers) which is typically where all the problems happen with engineered floors, just click down positively and firmly with a simple vertical push or soft tap with the hand. Once pressed into place, the header seam is flush. No shadowing in the light due to the header not aligning correctly or in other words lipping. Just an absolutely beautiful finish, every time!
- The surface finish and general quality
Sometimes you can get slight variations between planks. This is natural and simply one of the aspects that gives a nice wood floor its character. On the other hand, sometimes plank variations can be a subtle manufacturing fault. Showing up as dullness in certain planks. This can be extremely hard to notice, especially during the installation. It’s often only when you clean up and stand back, that one or two off planks start taunting you. You can bet your life it/they will be right in the middle of the floor, exactly in the right position for the light to make it pop.
We didn’t find one dull or faulty plank in our latest project and I can’t actually think of a time we have. The manufacturing quality is excellent. That’s not just isolated to the surface, but the consistency of the overall machining is excellent.
Wow! A pretty tough question, and that’s not me trying to blow smoke up BerryAllocs’ @@@@!
I tend to judge a floor on how it’s treated me during the installation process. Okay, I know it’s not a conscious breathing entity (Please, no comments from hippies or philosophers), but regardless, if an engineered wood floor has proved to be a nightmare to install, you can really take it personally and feel pretty beat up at the end of the day. With BerryAlloc parquet, there were no such feelings, no animosity towards the flooring or BerryAlloc. This alone should speak volumes to you the reader.
If I was to be extremely picky and draw out one downside, it would be to point out the dark filler areas. However, this is consistent with the cost of the flooring. Should you want premium unfilled engineered flooring or in other words, grade A surface quality, be prepared to pay for it. I think from the pictures of our latest project, you can make up your own mind if this issue is something worthy of note. There really isn’t that many of them, but I had to pick on something.
By virtue of the quality information in this article (If I do say so myself), I hope you don’t think I’m being lazy in wrapping this up so abruptly. It’s just for me there really is nothing more to say, and that’s the absolute gospel.
So, without further ado, just buy it already!
Again, there has been no outside sponsorship of this article, just my own opinion.© Copyright 2016 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor