Welcome back to our reviews of the TrafficMaster flooring brand sold exclusively at Home Depot. Last time we took a look at TrafficMaster Allure Vinyl flooring. Next up is TrafficMaster’s highly popular laminate floor range. Scroll down or use these quick links to navigate our review.
- How To Install Trafficmaster Plank Flooringfasrthebig Vinyl Tile
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In terms of installation costs, TrafficMASTER offers a lot of money-saving advantages. For one, you don’t need to spend extra on nails, screws, adhesives or heavy equipment. Since the planks are pretty easy to install, the installers will spend less time on installation, potentially saving you more bucks from labor costs. Mar 20, 2019 The installation of TrafficMASTER™vinyl plank flooring requires acclimation for at least 48 hours in the room of installation. The room of installation must be between 65°F-85°F (10°C-38°C) before, during, and after installation. The HVAC system mustbe on and functional before, during and after installation. I put down Trafficmaster Traditional Oak Amber spanning a kitchen, pantry, hallway and walk in closet at the far end of an apartment. It took a long time to install, with turns to right and left into the pantry and closet, as well as 6 doorways to work around. Grade: Approved for installation above, on, and below grade. Install Flooring Last Rigid vinyl plank should be the last trade in the house (before base boards are installed). All concrete, masonry, plastering/drywall, texturing, and painting primer coats are completed. Do not install in direct sunlight. Easy GripStrip installation no glue needed install! This Trafficmaster plank flooring installs directly over your old floor; no floor prep or messy glue needed! Looks and feels like real wood and you can actually feel knots! Perfect in high moisture areas: basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Warm comfort and quiet under foot.
Overview: What is TrafficMaster Laminate Flooring?
There are two ways to answer that.
The general answer is that TrafficMaster laminate is an affordable brand of laminate flooring sold exclusively at Home Depot.
Home Depot manufactures and sells TrafficMaster. There is no “middleman” taking a cut of the profits, so prices are very competitive. Home Depot shouts its opinion of the flooring by spelling it TrafficMASTER.
The technical answer is that the word laminate means “layered” or “constructed with an overlay.” Both definitions apply to this inexpensive laminate flooring.
TrafficMaster laminate, like all laminate, is made with four layers of material.
Base layer: A waterproof melamine bottom layer provides a stable base and prevents moisture from below (in concrete, for example) from rising and damaging the flooring.
Core layer: High-density fiberboard (HDF) is the thickest layer. It is paper or wood pulp combined with polymer and resin binders for strength, additional moisture resistance and stability – preventing shrinking or expanding.
Design layer: Also called the visual layer, it is a high-resolution photo of the wood the laminate is mimicking.
Wear layer: This aluminum oxide layer is tough and clear. The thicker the wear layer, the better the floor’s resistance to scratches and general wear – and the higher the cost.
Installation: The material has tongue and groove design to create a floor that “floats” rather than being glued down. It’s among the easiest types to install.
TrafficMaster Laminate Product Specs
You’ve got limited options for plank sizes and the thickness of the wear layer.
Planks dimensions: Styles are produced in slightly varying plank sizes from about 7”x50.5” to 8”x48”.
Wear layer depth: This is a more important distinction than plank size. TrafficMaster uses 3 wear layer thicknesses. Here they are with popular styles in those thicknesses.
- 7mm: Goldwyn Cherry, Reclaimed Oak, Ember Oak, Embossed Brazilian Cherry, Embossed Alameda Hickory, Lakeshore Pecan, Natural Pecan, Saratoga Hickory, Russet Hickory, Anniston Oak, Grey Oak, Gladstone Oak, Reclaimed Oak, Cameron Oak
- 8mm: Cumberland Oak, Distressed Maple Cruise, Distressed Maple Lawrence, Embossed Hillside Oak, Hand Scraped Douglas Acacia
- 12mm: Birch, Oak, Sycamore, Colfax
Accessories:TrafficMaster makes transition strips in both wood and metal varieties.
TrafficMaster Laminate Flooring Pros and Cons
Like any laminate flooring product, TrafficMaster laminate has its benefits and potential disadvantages.
TrafficMaster Laminate Advantages:
Affordability: This is clearly the top reason for TrafficMaster’s popularity. It is cheap laminate flooring in part because Home Depot cuts costs by manufacturing and selling it. As an example of the low price, TrafficMaster 12mm laminate costs about $1 per square foot less than Pergo’s 10mm laminate.
Decent durability: Expectations are the key. Depending on the wear layer thickness and what type of traffic it gets, TrafficMaster laminate should last 7-15 years. It might last longer in no-shoes, no-pets, light-traffic settings.
All TrafficMaster laminate has a 15-year warranty against manufacturer defects – but the flooring could be worn out long before that.
Low maintenance: It’s as easy to care for as hardwood, but without the need to seal it periodically. The keys to maintenance are to vacuum or sweep away gritty dirt and use a damp mop as needed to keep it looking good. You can find out more about the best laminate flooring maintenance tips here.
Easy and quick installation: Many handy homeowners choose DIY laminate installation. If you hire a pro, the labor cost should be less than for materials like tile and hardwood that take longer and require more supplies to install.
Versatile installation: Laminate can be installed over concrete and some flooring types. Details are found below.
Works with radiant floor systems: TrafficMaster laminate works well over radiant heat in concrete or beneath wood subfloors. If you’re installing it, read the instructions about letting the system cool first.
TrafficMaster Laminate Flooring Disadvantages
Not as pretty as wood: Homeowners that want the genuine beauty of real wood might be disappointed with a photograph of wood.
Limited style range: TrafficMaster makes fewer styles than Pergo, Armstrong and other top brands.
Noise: This is a shortcoming it shares with hardwood and tile. Noise-reducing subfloors are available to absorb the click-clack of laminate.
Not for wet areas: Laminate isn’t recommended for bathrooms, laundry areas or anywhere else it might be exposed to standing water. When used below grade, a vapor barrier with taped seams must be installed beneath it.
Not green: The flooring is not recyclable or biodegradable and is typically disposed of in landfills. Small amounts of formaldehyde are used in TrafficMaster production.
TrafficMaster Laminate Flooring Installation
TrafficMaster does not void the warranty if you DIY, but it does make this statement in the list of warranty exclusions: “The warranty does not cover wear or damage caused by improper installation.”
If you install it, read the instructions and follow them exactly.
If you go pro, hire an experienced installer familiar with laminate.
How TrafficMaster Laminate installs
TrafficMaster laminate has tongue and groove design on both the long and short side of each plank. The planks easily lock together with an audible click to form a floating floor.
The planks are all the same length. To avoid butt-end seams lining up across your floor, the first row should start with a full plank, and the second row should start with a half or quarter plank to stagger end seams. Alternate starting with full pieces and the scrap from the end of the last piece.
TrafficMaster requires a minimum 5/16” (8mm) expansion space at the perimeter. Spacers are included with the flooring. This space is easily covered by floor trim.
To Get Started
The first step is to bring the flooring inside at least 4 days before installation.
Lay the boxes flat, and leave the plastic wrap on per TrafficMaster’s instructions. Indoor temperature should be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
This allows the laminate to acquire the same temperature and relative humidity as your home. Acclimation prevents the laminate from shrinking and pulling apart or expanding and buckling once installed.
Inspecting your Flooring Before Installation
The TrafficMaster Warranty Exclusions section says, “The owner must inspect for color, finish and quality before installation. The manufacturer cannot be held responsible for costs incurred when a floor with visible defects has been installed.”
In short, make sure that your flooring planks are straight, flat and consistent in color before installing them. If they’re not, contact the retailer with your concerns.
TrafficMaster Laminate Installation Requirements
One of the benefits of laminate is that it can be installed over concrete, wood, plywood, O.S.B., sheet vinyl, tile and some carpet.
TrafficMaster guidelines state the surface beneath must be in good condition and level. Low spots should be filled with self-leveling concrete.
The TrafficMaster Laminate Flooring Installation Guide is “must” reading before beginning the job. Following this guide is the best approach to installation success and not voiding the warranty.
Over concrete: New concrete should cure for 3 months prior to laminate installation. A non-permeable polyethylene vapor barrier with taped seams should cover the concrete.
Over carpet: It can be installed over glue-down carpet unless the subfloor below the carpet is concrete. All other carpet types and the padding beneath them should be removed.
You might also want to check out the series of One Day Booklets that Juniper produced that are available for free download, attached 'Exploring the Junos CLI' that might be of particular interest. Commands for almost everything. If they are there to make sure the right vlan is hanging off the right site.Just sign into the Juniper forums to get it. All i have to check on the juniper layer 2 switch is if the vlans for the sites are there and if they are going out the right interface.
Over radiant heat: TrafficMaster guidelines are to lower the radiant heat system to 60 degrees F one week prior to laminate installation. Once the flooring is installed, the heat can be increased to a maximum of 85F in increments of 10 degrees per hour.
To Get Started
TrafficMaster Laminate Maintenance
Keep it simple. Stick to these tips to keep the flooring looking its best.
Regularly Remove Loose Dirt
Walking on dirt and grit hastens the demise of aluminum oxide wear layer. Sweeping is OK, the best vacuum cleaner for laminate is one that is designed for use on hard floors.
Remove dirt about once per week for each person or pet in your home, especially in main traffic areas.
Get to Spills Quickly
Use a towel or sponge to soak up spills, and then clean the floor with mild soap and water. Rinse and dry the laminate.
Soak Away Sticky Stuff
Squeeze a few drops or light spray of warm water on stuck-on messes. Give the water a couple minutes to soften the mess, and wipe it away.
Mop as Needed
Steam mops should not be used, but a damp microfiber spin mop or similar is ideal. Only make the mop as damp as needed to pick up dirt, pet hair, etc.
If the floor is quite soiled, use a pH-neutral cleaning solution recommended for laminate.
Avoid Shoe Mats and Rubber Mats
We recommend a no-shoes approach to laminate. However, we do not recommend keeping a mat or boot tray for shoes by the door.
Those items typically get dirt beneath them. As they move, even slightly, the dirt beneath acts like sandpaper on the flooring. The abrasion will quickly show.
Rubber mats – and latex and vinyl mats too, can discolor laminate. The backing material doesn’t breathe, and a chemical reaction takes place that can discolor laminate.
Protect your TrafficMaster Laminate
You can prevent damage with these easy steps:
- Wear soft slippers on laminate instead of shoe.
- Use pads on the bottom of chairs and furniture legs.
- Keep dog nails neatly trimmed.
- Lift and move heavy objects rather than dragging them.
How To Install Trafficmaster Plank Flooringfasrthebig Vinyl Tile
Prices and Options
Here is a table with the prices of TrafficMaster laminates, at time of writing (April 2019).
Cost/ square foot
Cost/ square foot
|Gladstone Oak||68 cents||Cumberland Oak||72 cents||Oak||$1.29|
|Lakeshore Pecan||79 cents||Hand Scraped Douglas Acacia||$1.70||Birch||$1.29|
|Saratoga Hickory||89 cents||Distressed Maple Cruise||$1.70||Sycamore||$1.29|
|Goldwyn Cherry||89 cents||Distressed Maple Lawrence||$1.70||Colfax||$1.39|
|Russet Hickory||89 cents||Embossed Hillside Oak||$1.70|
|Alameda Hickory||95 cents|
|Embossed Brazilian Cherry||96 cents|
|Grey Oak||99 cents|
|Reclaimed Oak||99 cents|
|Cameron Oak||99 cents|
|Anniston Oak||99 cents|
|Natural Pecan||99 cents|
|Dark Brown Hickory||99 cents|
Other Laminate Flooring Options and Prices
In comparison, here is a list of other laminate flooring brands and current prices.
|Pergo Outlast+||10 mm||$2.79/sq. ft.|
|Pergo XP||10 mm||$2.29 to $2.59/sq. ft.|
|Home Decorators Collection||8 mm||$1.49 to $1.89/sq. ft.|
|Home Decorators Collection||12 mm||$1.79 to $1.99/sq. ft.|
|Home Legend||8 mm||$1.79/sq. ft.|
|Home Legend||12 mm||$2.49/sq. ft.|
|QuickStep Studio||10 mm||$1.79 to $2.39/sq. ft.|
|Allen + Roth||8 mm||$1.49/sq. ft.|
|Shaw Crowing Point||10 mm||$3.49/sq. ft.|
|Shaw Repel||12 mm||$2.39/sq. ft.|
|Armstrong Premier Class||8 mm||$2.39/sq. ft.|
|Armstrong Architectural Remnants||12 mm||$3.39/sq. ft.|
Homeowners that have installed TrafficMaster laminate are generally happy with it. The average rating on Home Depot for all styles are 4.3 to 4.5 stars. Here are the most useful customer reviews pointing out TrafficMaster laminate pros and cons:
“We chose Saratoga Hickory 7mm laminate for our kitchen as a temporary flooring until we do a major renovation upon retirement in 4 years. It has surpassed our expectations for beauty and water resistance. This flooring has made us think twice about using genuine wood when we do the remodel.” – Toledo Mo
“I’m not super handy, but DIY installation went well with a few early hiccups. Use a rubber mallet to tap the planks into place and eliminate gaps. First and last rows are trickiest, but the instructions help. The distress maple looks fabulous in the entryway and living room.” – Steve in the 60120
“Hillside Oak. It gets 5 stars for looks. 5 stars for DIY ease. 3 stars for durability. Too easy to scratch and dent it. Indentations under the legs of the bed.” – Elizabeth P
“Shopping for more TrafficMaster laminate, so I figured I would leave a review about the 8mm oak-look laminate we put in our bedroom six years ago. It still looks new. We’re easy on it, but have a 50lb German Shepherd. The floor is holding up better than I would have guessed.” – S Han
“I have 12mm Birch throughout the first floor including a full bathroom. A few of the edges in the bathroom started to cup after 4 years. Buy an extra carton or two for repairs. We’ve gone through half a box already to replace scratched, stained and cupped pieces.” – Miggy G
“DIY Saratoga Hickory was a snap, literally and figuratively. Did 400+ square feet with help in a day. Gorgeous stuff, even if not quite on par with real wood.” – Drummer in the D
“Expect 5-10 years from this max depending on how much traffic it gets. Our household: two adults, 2 teens, 3 midsize dogs and we do a lot of entertaining. We’re thinking after 4 years that we’ll maybe get 7 years from the 8mm Hickory we installed. Still, that’s pretty good value for $1.19 a foot.” – Biggs in Beaverton
“Chips easy. First year – 5 stars. Second through fourth year – 4 stars. Now, after five years, I’d say 3 stars due to edges chipping and chair legs gouging. Pad all legs. Don’t drop anything heavy. We have the Reclaimed Oak which I think is 7mm.” – Justin 044
A fair summation of the reviews is that the floor offers good value because it costs less than most other decent laminate flooring. Looks are great, but care should be taken to avoid scratches, chips and dents. Prevention goes a long way toward protecting the flooring.
- Very Satisfied5
- Somewhat Satisfied1
- Somewhat Unsatisfied3
- Very Unsatisfied11
The opinions expressed in these reviews are the opinions of consumers that submitted reviews to Flooring.net.They do not necessarily represent the opinions of Flooring.net.
Write a review of your Synthetic Floor
Location: Bunnell, Florida
Model: Grip strip
Very Unsatisfied, 1 out of 5
'Poor product for temp changes'
I am a floor installer with over 35 yrs experience and floor covering instructor. after retiring to florida and buying a home there. I installed this flooring in a sun room. after being installed for 2 weeks, this flooring showed signs of seams and ends parting. After evaluating the situation the self adhesive glue used on the product breaks down after change in temperature. Poor product and should have had more factory research done and pulled from the market. Do not buy this product. Very disappointed in your product
Location: Sinking Spring PA
Very Unsatisfied, 1 out of 5
Home Depot claims rigid core vinyl plank flooring is a commercial grade flooring to they customer. I found this item to be falsely advertisement do not recommend this floor to know one. This is the worse floor ever brought does not lock crack very easy and has imperfection. How HomeDepot recommend this product to any one is unbeliable. The is not my first floor I put down plenty. This floor is garbage. Do you research before buying this flooring or any flooring.Name: Todd LeMaire
Location: Klamath falls Oregon
Model: Chestnut Oak 6 in. W x 36 in. L
Very Unsatisfied, 1 out of 5
This floor was scratched up after 6 months of use. Home Depot sent in an 'independent inspector' who created a false report saying our plastic chairs scratched it up. The chair bottoms are vinyl. Several spots where the adhesive didn't stick $1800 of junk..Name: Amy Walker
Location: Upstate New York
Very Unsatisfied, 1 out of 5
I put down Trafficmaster Traditional Oak Amber spanning a kitchen, pantry, hallway and walk in closet at the far end of an apartment. It took a long time to install, with turns to right and left into the pantry and closet, as well as 6 doorways to work around. The tiles shrank and popped away from each other all in one area in the hallway and when people walk over it with their bare feet, they get cuts on them. I filed a claim and Trafficmaster said it must have been something I did, only this was near the end of my flooring activity, with the most challenging places still perfect. They deny their product shrank and refuse to honor my claim. It was a huge amount of work to install all that flooring. They have no suggestions on how to repair the floor and didn't even offer a box or two of replacement planks to redo the area where it popped. For the amount of cost, time and effort it took to put this down and now have to tear it all out, and install new, I would not recommend this company to anyone. I notice it is now discontinued so I can't even redo just part of the floor. Worst customer experience ever! Look elsewhere for flooring.
Location: Brantford Ontario Canada
Model: 37671AG Boston Cherry
Very Unsatisfied, 1 out of 5
How To Install Trafficmaster Plank Flooringfasrthebig Plank:
Worst floor I ever installed, panels won't stay clicked together, I get about 5 rows installed and it comes apart. Had to take it up and start over again more than once. When you run your foot across the flooring you can feel every seam. Do not recommend buying this product.Name: Denise L
Location: York PA
Model: GripStrip flooring - Sedona
Neutral, 3 out of 5
'I'm torn between Love and Hate'
My boyfriend installed the flooring in our kitchen with little problems. He did take the time to watch a few videos before installing and read the directions prior to beginning the project. We used a silicone chaulk once we were finished on the seams as recommended. We instantly loved the appearance of the floor as it looks like tile! However, it became slippery in just a few days and has remained so. My pets have difficulties walking on it as well as my boyfriend and I. I have followed the care recommendations from the manufacturer for cleaning the flooring by only using a soft broom or damp mop with only water and vinegar on it. The slipperiness of the floor seems to also have been transferred to the adjoining rooms and staircase. Because of the slipperiness of the floor I do not think I would recommend it. If someone knows how to fix this problem I would love to know.
Location: Ventura, CA
Model: Lineal Charcoal
Very Satisfied, 5 out of 5
A box of tiles fell onto a busy street where I live. I heard cars driving over them all night long. The next day no one had picked them up, so I did. I wanted to tell you, these tiles don't have a mark on them! The backside does, but at least 100 cars drove over them and became scattered.Thought you would like to know what a great product it is. They are also very attractive.SincerelyName: Sally Fisher
Location: Wentzville, MO
Model: Vinyl peel and stick
Very Unsatisfied, 1 out of 5
'What in the world?'
I ordered 4 boxes of traffic Master peel and stick vinyl planks and most of the boards are back to back stuck together. All the boxes, pairs stuck together back to back! You can't peel them apart! Ridiculous. They break if you try to peel them apart. Really aggravating.Name: Michael Fox
Somewhat Unsatisfied, 2 out of 5
Out of five boxes (9 pc per box) I had at least one what should have been a reject at the factury. QC your stuff! Seriously QC your product!
Very Unsatisfied, 1 out of 5
How To Install Trafficmaster Plank Flooringfasrthebig Wood
Had to return 11 boxes of defective laminate flooring boards that had uneven edges or no locking groove. All were from lot 360731-00308. Do not buy this product