trafficmaster laminate flooring review

Trafficmaster Laminate Flooring Review

By Fortino Rosas / February 9, 2018 / 30 Comments

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    Do you need a master to manage the amount of traffic in your home? Do you find that your floors are worn down easily? Are you tired of finding scuffs and scrapes throughout the house? If so, it might be time to look into Trafficmaster Laminate Flooring.

    This product claims to be one of the most durable laminate floors on the modern market. But is it worth the investment?

    What is it?

    Pergo, a Swedish company, invented laminate flooring in 1977 and eventually started to export the material to the United States in 1994. Because of its easiness to install and clean, it quickly became popular and spread across the country.

    Most laminate flooring is made of several synthetic layers with a vinyl overall to prevent damage. Many varieties have materials designed to look like more expensive materials such as hardwood or stone, which can be difficult for regular homeowners to take care of.

    Although some people have some concerns about laminate because it uses a chemical similar to formaldehyde, laminate is safe for homes, restaurants, and other businesses.

    Trafficmaster is a brand manufactured by Shaw Industries, Inc, which opened in 1946. You can find this product at numerous hardware and flooring retailers, including the Home Depot.

    Trafficmaster primarily produces something referred to floating laminate, which means it doesn’t need to be nailed or glued to the subfloor.

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    Is it easy to install?

    The floating laminate produced by Trafficmaster allows you to skip several steps during the installation, which simplifies the process. Each individual section clicks together with the other boards and tiles through tongue and groove connections, forming a complete floor that doesn’t need to be attached to the subfloor below. Through this process, you can avoid unsightly screws, nails, or glue bubbles that can warp the laminate.

    The pieces also snap together, which means you don’t need to use an adhesive to keep it together. The majority of the pieces should slide into place, saving you potentially hours of labor that can be better spent admiring your new floor.

    The main downside is that people with a concrete subfloor need to allow it to cure for 90 days before laminate can be installed. Trafficmaster laminate additionally needs to acclimate to a new environment for several days to prevent the boards or tiles from shrinking or expanding due to the moisture in the air.

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    Is it durable?

    Every producer of laminate floor claims to make theirs durable, but Trafficmaster genuinely is one of the most resilient brands currently on the market. The thick vinyl cover on the upper surface of each panel or tile prevents unsightly scratches, and it’s easy to buff out scuffs.

    Each plank or tile available for purchase has also received certification from the North American Laminate Flooring Association and has undergone rigorous testing to demonstrate its reliability.

    If you have children or pets, then you might worry about the potential for stains. Just like it’s easy to remove scuffs, it’s also easy to wipe up spills from staining materials such as orange juice, tomato sauce, food dye, and mud brought in by excited paws.

    The main thing you have to watch out for in terms of durability, though, is how much you spend at the beginning. Trafficmaster makes many varieties of laminate flooring that range in price. A cheaper product that costs the same as a single stick of gum will not be as hardy as one that cost more per square foot. Despite this drawback, you can still expect your Trafficmaster floor to last for several years as long as it is well-maintained.

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    What styles are available?

    It’s time to let your interior designer out to play. Trafficmaster sells a limited selection of products with 46 varieties of wooden laminate. You can choose from a range of popular materials, including walnut, oak, and hickory. Interested individuals can also find less common types such as cherry.

    Unlike some manufacturers, Trafficmaster strives to ensure that no two planks or tile look the same, so your floor looks similar to natural wood. The textured surface adds to this illusion.

    Another important factor is the edges. You might have experienced the irritation of V edges, which can leave grooves in the floor which collect dust. To avoid these problems, Trafficmaster laminate features square or beveled edges which lock together with a tongue and groove mechanism. These styles are more seamless and easier to clean than other types.

    Ultimately, you might not find the perfect style for your home, but you’re bound to find one you like.

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    How much does it cost?

    Now comes the question most people dread to answer: How much will new flooring set you back?

    Trafficmaster is actually one of the more affordable brands for laminate flooring. Because the company primarily produces its products using synthetics and thinner layers, most styles can be bought for $0.50 to $2.00 per square foot.

    The majority of laminates can additionally be purchased with either a lifetime residential, limited commercial, or 15-year residential warranty, so it’s easy to replace pieces which are damaged by accidents. If your pets decide to run through your living room so it looks like a tornado spun through the area, then you can most likely order a replacement.

    Since you don’t have to buy nails or adhesives, you also save money on installation costs, which leaves you with more money to find furniture that will match your new floor.

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    The Verdict

    It’s time to master the traffic in your home by potentially investing in Trafficmaster laminate. This product is less expensive than some other varieties of laminate on the market and is rated efficient for areas exposed to moderate foot and paw traffic.

    One thing you want to consider before purchasing this product is that it is mid-grade. It’s not quite the handmade, artisan cupcake you can find at the nifty corner bakery, but it’s also not the week-old stale muffin. Overall, Trafficmaster is average, with limited styles and reliable materials.

    Do you have a different opinion or would like to reaffirm what was said here? One way you can help people choose the flooring which is right for them is to share your experiences, pictures, and videos here on this website or through social media.

    About Fortino Rosas

    Chief Floor Critic, 32 years of experience in flooring installation and sales

    Fortino Rosas is an independent flooring contractor with 32 years of experience in residential and commercial flooring installation and sales. He joined the Floor Critics team to share his expertise with our readers. Fortino has acquired vast knowledge and skills in the areas of product selection, space planning, and installation. He has installed flooring in residential, government, and commercial office projects in the Midwest. Visit Website.

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    30 thoughts on “Trafficmaster Laminate Flooring Review”

    1. We had installed in Fall of 2018 – TrafficMaster HandScraped Hickory 7mm in a rental apartment we manage. The apartment was vacant. The floor was the last item for remodeling to be installed. The floor buckled within three months – before anyone even moved in. That was repaired. We should have realized then something was not right with the flooring. It should not have buckled. The new tenant occupied in March 2019. Floor looked just fine, clean, no marks, no scrapes, no buckling. In the late Fall 2019, the laminate was starting to flake off in very small spots, then in larger chunks. Too bad I cannot show you pictures. Our installer-expert diagnosed the flooring as totally defective. He’s been installing flooring for 20+ years, and NEVER SAW this happen before. We do not recommend TrafficMaster flooring. There’s a five-year warranty on the flooring to not do that. But no guarantee would change our minds. Never again.

    2. I bought Grey Oak Trafficmaster Laminate for our new house and I have to say…I LOVE IT! For those of you sayingg it will not click together, You have to click the LONG EDGE in first! This is done by getting down on your knees, holding the plank at about a 15 to 20 degree angle and pushing in then down….It will ABSOLUTELY click into place absolutely flush with every board. Then you’ll jave to take your block and tap from the end until the short side seam comes together. I just laid over 400 sweater feet in a day and a half…That includes removing 1000 staples and 200 nails from the knucklehead who ( shoddily) installed carpet before in the this house for the prior tenant. It was the easiest, most gorgeous floor I have seen or installed in a long time! I bought a 3 in 1 underlaymrnt and made absolutely sure that my concrete/ wood floor underneath was completely free of any debris…ANY debris. Then, just place, tip, push and click into place. The most attention had to be paid when using the rubber block and mallet, or the pull bar to achieve a smooth, consistent seam. SSOOOOO worth it. I bought this on sale from HD for .49 cents a square foot. It is GORGEOUS! Admittedly, I am now 52 and I used to lay carpet/ flooring 35 years ago, but I still cannot believe how simple, easy, and beautiful all of this was. The underlaymrnt underlayment needs to be a good quality to improve the durability and feel of your floor, but IMO, there was no reason to spend more. I do not wear my shoes in my house, I DO have dogs ( large and small) and my floor is still absolutely perfect. I DO advise using a laminate cleaner and not using much water to clean. I like to use a light sponge mop or a swiffer with not much water on it..and we do have beautiful area rugs down in places.
      All in All, I would absolutely use this Trafficmaster again. It will last me for years since I take proper care of my floor, and the price and ease of installation cannot be beat!

    3. Installed easily but would recommend having on hand some basic tools that were not listed. A small rubber mallet was super hand to lock together short end joints. We quickly installed 300 square foot in a day and a half.

    4. TrafficMaster laminate flooring is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. I recently purchased a condo which I have not moved into yet. The listing agent purchased this flooring and arranged to have it installed by a professional flooring contractor. Less than 6 months after the installation, the floor is buckling and there are bubbles throughout the unit. Yes, the contractor’s work was bad, but part of the problem stems from the very low grade quality of the material. I had 3 different contractors come out to look at the floor when I first observed the problem, and all agreed that it’s cheap material. They also all stated that TrafficMaster’s planks are too thin to “float”. The only way to repair the problem now is ripping everything out and installing new flooring. It may be a bargain, but you will inevitably run into problems with this product. Do yourself a favor and get good quality luxury vinyl. It may be more expensive ($4-$5/ sq ft), but you won’t have to worry about defects and paying for repairs.

      1. first the traffic master allure planks look really nice when you first install them but after a month it looks horrible they start open up at the seam where the adhesive is and then you can see a big opening and you see the grey adhesive and to try to fix it the whole thing comes apart ….. I hate it and this was not cheap…. I should have gone with the old school laminate that has been upgraded.

    5. I planned on using some laminate (cheaper stuff but Traffic Masters) for my sun room. It is not heated or cooled and I am concerned the boards will separate with temperature extremes and possible moisture. I do not know a professional installer. I am not willing to spend any more money on kits, saws, etc. I will return the laminate I purchased today and go with outdoor carpet. I am also concerned with some of the installation problems mentioned in the reviews.

    6. Purchased the Boston Cherry laminate flooring a few months ago just getting around to installing now. Panels will not stay locked together get about 3 rows in and when you step on it the panels come unlocked worst flooring I have ever installed I would not recommend buying traffic master flooring.

      1. Maybe we got lucky……we purchased (and installed) our Trafficmaster flooring almost 20 years ago & we just now have to replace it due to about 3 tiles loosing a small piece from the top layer. The reason I’m certain of the timeline is I lost my Father the same year. Thank you Trafficmaster for many years of a beautiful floor & all the compliments we received.

    7. Home Depot recommended Trafficmaster Vynal flooring. Paid a contractor to install, and after a 1 1/2 years it looked horrible and I needed another new floor. It was chipping and had scratches even though one of the selling points was how durable and scratch resistant ir was supposed to be. I hate that I istalled this it was a complete waste of money and time.

    8. My husband installed traffic master in my daughter’s bedroom, it looks great but I see several scratches afterwards I had to use a dark wood marker to blend it in ,I also notice they have grooves which I’m not sure if should’ve been closed overall it looks nice

    9. I installed the Gladstone oak 3 years ago, it installed fairly easy. I purchased the laminate saw, cut some wooden spacers, cut a special wood block for tapping laminate tight once I had the section interlocked. Only area of difficulty was at edge of door openings, but over came that by purchasing one those vibrating saws ( don’t remember name of tool) it it worked great. My first time installing laminate. Flooring still looks great after more than 3 years, even with our grandchild spilling his drinks and snacks on the flooring. We cleanup his mess as soon as we discover it. Great Flooring!

    10. As a professional installer, in comparison to equivalent products sold, Traffic Master is easier to install and surprisingly durable for the price.

    11. Trey Anastasio

      Installed 245 sqft of Gladstone Oak. I have experience with installation of laminate and hardwood. Make sure you start each piece with the butt (short) end first with the long end real close together. Once you get the butt joint together the long end will click in place. Takes awhile to get a rhythm going. But it does look good and all joints went together nice and tight. Stay off boards while you install them together. Keep your body weight on subfloor, not on floor you just layed. That way it is easier for them to go together. In other words work from the unfinished side. Not the finished side.

      1. Hey Trey,
        Thanks for the input, I’ve been looking at this flooring the 7mm laminate for a while. Do you think this properly installed would work for an efficiency on a cement subfloor? The main complaints I’ve seen have been from improper instillation so I’d like to hear from someone that has seen it professionally done and has experience. Thanks so much!

    12. My wife and I purchased the “cheap stuff” for 69 cents a sq ft. We knew going in that it was just temporary. Installation does take patience, I found clicking the butt ends first then sliding/clicking the long end worked best for me. Also bought the laminate installation kit which helped a lot. It was my second time installing laminate so found this to be easy for me. There are better products out there but going in with the mindset of this being a lower grade,makes it easy to deal with. Looks great and we are both very happy with the product. Expecting it to last 5 years then replacing it with real hardwood. This allowed us to save money for real hardwood and gave us a quick fix.

    13. Definitely need patience when installing. Planning and practice connecting pieces before starting helped. One box had minor corner damage, didn’t notice until open and in middle of project. Those pieces went under bed area so not a big deal. Looks great when finally down correctly, but wasn’t an an easy install. Check boxes carefully before putting in cart…

    14. Brutal product!!! DO NOT BUY!! I am an experienced installer and my client bought this at Home Depot. How can they dare sell this stuff? 79. a sq ft ya just to get rid of it. We were helping the Home Depot guy load it and he was smiling because he knew he found a sucker.

      The long lengths click in ok but you have to lift and drop to snap it in. Soooo, how do you lift it when you have to join the butt ends???? After clicking the length I tried to slide into the butt ends but it won’t, it’s too tight. So I ended up using the recommended tools and with a few taps it joined the butt ends but left it uneven where I tapped. Tapped more for some butts that went in unevenly and did it again, and again, and again and….. With the lights on it looks like crap. Uneven joins show shadows on the floor, unacceptable. Even some gaps were noticeable.

      Tried joining a whole row and then clicking it in by the length. ARghhh!! Some joints came undone and fighting fighting it. I was walking on it and my sock got caught on the corner and took a chunk out. Had to take all the lengths up to the damaged plank to replace it. Pretty ticked. I’m taking it all out and putting it back in the boxes, going back to HD and demanding some kind of compensation.

    15. I purchased this flooring to replace some carpet in the basement. Followed the directions to the letter and will agree with several others that the locking of the long side does require some patients. I installed some the first day and notice a lot of open joints. Removed it and farted around for a good hour but did finally get it to lock. There is a trick. You have to have it at the right angle and preferably against a wall to push into place. Once it is locked though it does look nice. If you’re not a DIY person with patience get something more idiot proof.

    16. Wow, I have installed many laminate floors. This is by far the simplest install ever because of the locking edges. Make sure your floor is level and clean.

    17. Having issues with my trafficmaster floors. My floors are about 10 years old and have loved, loved them. Mine have actual grooves where they interlock to give more of the appearance of hardwood. Now it looks like the edges are separating where it interlocks. Not the interlocking area but the sides. Is this covered under a warranty?

    18. Is the flooring flame retardant? Our room will be used as a work room where acetylene torches will be used, and we were concerned about sparks possibly setting the floor on fire.

    19. Katherine Venancio

      We used Traffic Master. Had water damage at my dance studio. Tried to reorder… discontinued. So Home Depot had a replacement. Ordered 7 boxes of a perfect color match and same diameter, thickness, length and width. They would not click together. This is not right. I was heartbroken.

      1. I’m in the same boat. Had water damage to a small area of master bedroom at a rental. Bought same exact flooring to replace 80 feet of trafficmaster flooring. They do not click together. Now I have to replace the entire floor.

        I went to several Home Depots to try and see if maybe it was a bad batch, but nope. In hindsight I should have purchased backup flooring. However, now I have to change the entire room’s flooring. Costing me an unnecessary $700.00 because they do not click together. Ridiculous because it’s the same exact style:color/make/brand. Very disappointed.

    20. I purchased trafficmaster laminate flooring (Goldwyn cherry). I am having it professionally installed. My subfloor is concrete. What do you mean the floor has to cure for 90 days? I’m going to have a moisture barrier installed.

    21. Would not recommend purchasing this brand. It’s awful to install. A project that should have taken a few hours is still not done after 12 hours straight of work. We would have much rather spent more money on a better floor that we could put together more easily.

    22. I am installing trafficmaster floating laminate in my mom’s house in place of carpet. I pulled the carpet up and cleaned down to bare subfloor, put in traffic master 2 in 1 underlayment. I can not get the flooring to lock tight at all and fighting to get ends locked without the rest coming undone, or one 3 over coming apart. I’ve installed pergo and they are much nicer and really lock together. This is the cheap stuff, so I can’t speak for more expensive lines of traffic master, but the cheap stuff stinks. I’m not a happy camper to say the least.

    23. Horrific. Purchased TrafficMaster Gladstone Oak Laminate Flooring because it was a “Simple do-it-yourself Installation.” NOT SO. In the best of circumstances, the pieces would NOT interlock along the short end, and there was little instruction about proper equipment needed (such as a fine toothed circular saw, etc.) required. It is NOT an easy DIY project, and it requires a great deal of skill to properly install AND FINISH. The finishing requires installation of quarter-rounds around the room, or other flooring transitioning strips. If you’ve got loads of free time and a mentor who can guide you, then go for it! Otherwise, it’s just too frustrating.

    24. Installed traffic master in December 2016, it’s now July 2018 and the floor still looks great. I have 4 dogs and there are no nail marks. I’m getting ready to remove the rest of the carpeting throughout the upstairs and install more floating laminate, same brand and color. I’ve spilled bleach and water with no I’ll effects. Just be careful, of course, of sliding furniture. It does not scratch easily but if you drag something heavy without a care, you will not be happy. My daughter did but I cannot easily see where the scratch is. I have moved furniture without ill effects, and dogs have not scratched it. Just my daughter :/

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