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Old 09-30-2011, 12:02 PM   #121
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I'm kicking myself for buying the Allure Ultra. After six weeks, gaps are emerging between the planks. Small, but noticible if one is looking....and that means water can get in between those. Second, because of the texture, dirt and other kitchen gooey stuff is getting stuck in them and unless I take a needle or tooth pick... they don't wash out. For the same price, I wish I had bought the high definition sheet vinyl that look like real wood floors. I even could get some tile that were the same price as the Allure Ultra. I think my floor is pretty... but this new product has a lot of faults to work out.

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Old 09-30-2011, 12:29 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by willingtolearn View Post
Hi John, As a female who has had no prior home improvement experience, I am a novice but eager to learn. HD recommended the allure ultra for my basement which currently has vinyl (glue-on type) tiles which are warping in some areas due to plywood subflooring which has become wet in some areas due to excessive rain this season. My questions are 1) is allure ultra appropriate for damp basement conditions (basement has sump pump installed; so does not flood but becomes damp with excessive rain) 2) want to confirm that I need to hire contractor to pull up current flooring and subfloor before installing allure ultra 3) what kind of prep is needed to prevent moisture and mold buildup under the allure ultra? I really appreciate any input you (or others) can provide. Thanks much!
Check out Tyroc subfloor first! I'm going with that soon.

http://www.tyrocinc.com/

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Originally Posted by customerS View Post
I'm kicking myself for buying the Allure Ultra. After six weeks, gaps are emerging between the planks. Small, but noticible if one is looking....and that means water can get in between those. Second, because of the texture, dirt and other kitchen gooey stuff is getting stuck in them and unless I take a needle or tooth pick... they don't wash out. For the same price, I wish I had bought the high definition sheet vinyl that look like real wood floors. I even could get some tile that were the same price as the Allure Ultra. I think my floor is pretty... but this new product has a lot of faults to work out.
Thanks for the feedback. Sorry about your experience. I'm going with Pergo or a similar laminate on top of Tyroc subfloor.
I would hate to have your problem after stetting the pool table on top!!!
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:00 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by seamus Mc
Check out Tyroc subfloor first! I'm going with that soon.

http://www.tyrocinc.com/

Thanks for the feedback. Sorry about your experience. I'm going with Pergo or a similar laminate on top of Tyroc subfloor.
I would hate to have your problem after stetting the pool table on top!!!
Thank you so much for the response. Will check out tyroc subfloor and will share my experience after all this is done!
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:10 AM   #124
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I started working on this floor last spring. It's now October, and my floor still isn't done. Not for lack of trying. After pulling up the floor twice and realizing that I had sags in my floor over the recommended amount, I talked to folks at halstead and at Home Depot, and they recommended filling the sags with self-leveling compound. So we tried that.

It was a disaster. That stuff is really difficult to work with. We poured, scraped/sanded/grinded, etc. Poured again. Still not right. The issue is that unless you cover the entire floor, you don't know the liquid volume of the sag. So you're either going to have too much or not enough, and either way, it sets up a vicious cycle of re-do.

Here's the bottom line. Check your floor with a straight edge. If you have a sag/depression in your floor, don't even think about putting this in by yourself. Hire someone to level your floor first, or go with sheet vinyl. It is not worth having your house a wreck for 8 months while you figure it out. And even if you start out with a level floor, unless it's concrete with no give, this floor will fail by design. Just don't do it.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:06 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Bobbimcgee View Post
We had a contractor install it in two rooms (about 500 sq. ft total) and it took him about 6 hours including replacing the baseboard. He didn't seem to have any problem with the interlocking pieces. I tried putting about 10 planks together prior to having him install it and it seemed pretty easy, but I wasn't cutting any planks, just putting them out in the middle of the room to see what they would look like. They sat there for about 4 days and didn't come apart even though they were walked on.

Now that it's all installed, it looks beautiful and feels great underfoot. The finish looks great and I can't imagine why anyone would want to put Mop & Glo or any kind of wax on it because it has a beautiful finish. I'm very happy with the results so far.
Bobbimcgee - I was hoping for an update on the floor. no issues a few months later? I just purchased the Allure Ultra and will be installing this week. after reading all the reviews here I'm a little nervous about it not staying together.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:53 PM   #126
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Only poly as underlayment on my concrete basement floor? (It's very dry and in very good condition.)

I have three wishes:

One, to deaden any of that tapping noise I've heard on wood over concrete floors caused by seemingly even the slightest bit of plank/laminate lift or drycore board or other underlay float.

Two, to gain even the slightest bit of thermal break between the floor and the planks. (when it's minus 30 or worse outside I hate not being able to warm up my feet. :-) )

Three, ever so slightly soften the hardness of the feel of vinyl on concrete.


So would that very thin sheet rubber "shower liner" also work? (It's available in large rolls.)

Or, would moderately thick "landscape fabric" work? (That fuzzy side might make a bit of a difference) ...and the breathability might prevent spills from being trapped under the planks.

Note, I do plan to carefully level, scrape, sweep and vacuum my basement floor.

Last edited by KinNorth; 11-05-2011 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:59 PM   #127
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Allure Ultra is manufactured in China, imported by the marketeer Halstead International, and is distributed exclusively by Home Depot.

Like others who have posted here and elsewhere on the web, my Allure Ultra planks did NOT come with instructions for installation and maintenance. Fortunately though, there are two similar <.pdf> documents available on the web; one published by Home Depot and the other by Halstead International. Nobody should attempt to install this product before carefully going over the numerous technical details covered in those docs. Unfortunately both docs fail to address a few crucial questions, but are still a must-read !

Neither doc advises how best to narrow the width of a (usually final) row. Score and snap is OK for shortening the length of a plank, but that technique is impossible for making full length planks narrower. As of this writing I'm surprised that nobody else has yet pointed out this daunting problem, as Allure Ultra's predominately vinyl composition is too tough and gummy to be cut with a circular saw without loading the gullets between teeth. Imagine cutting a total row length of 15' or more with aviation snips??? I would like to see available a dedicated circular saw blade that is expressly designed for cutting Allure Ultra.

And there is no advice as how best to install the final row of the room area. Considering that the wall trim will be no more than 5/8" wide, you cannot leave a wall clearance margin wider than 5/8". Moreover, since a plank's tongue protrudes 1/4", that clearance margin is at most only 5/8" - 1/4" = 3/8" until the plank is inserted into the next-to-last row. So the crux of the problem is: jamming your fingers into that 3/8" space in order to pull those last planks back to snap into the previous row.

TIP #1: Because of the unavoidable awkwardness and reduced grip (and reduced force) that you can exert during the final row in the room, lubricate the mating parts. So for that final row use a small squirt bottle filled with 90% isopropyl alcohol (available at drug stores) to wet the tongues. Vinyl is impervious to alcohol, and with time it will completely evaporate away.

The choice of floor cleaner for Allure Ultra is divided. According to Halstead International use "nonrinsing, nonpowdered, nonsoap, no residue". According to Home Depot use either mineral spirits or their Allure One Step.

TIP #2: Here again is where the 90% isopropyl alcohol comes in handy. Just squirt it from a squeeze (not pump) bottle or fill your Swiffer WetJet bottle with it.

Scoring and snapping across the 7 1/2" widths is laborious even for someone with a strong a grip as myself (weight lifter and former college wrestler). With a sharp knife blade it takes me about (10) initial strokes of light pressure followed by an additional (20-30) heavy strokes to adequately score it. Yet it still cannot snap off completely.

TIP #3: You can only snap it so that it hangs down 90-degrees. Anticipating that to happen, do it over the edge of a high bench, such as a table or the footboard of a bedframe. And keep your knife near you, because immediately afterwards you you must cut thru the last remaining (bottom) section of the thickness with a single stroke of the knife. It is easiest to hold down the already snapped plank on the bench with one hand while drawing the knife toward you with the other hand with the blade at about 45-degrees from horizontal.

I can't stress enough how important it is to assemble it all such that the top surfaces of adjacent planks make continuous contact with each other. You must not be able to see any small bit of any gray substrate. Otherwise the assembly will not progress correctly and the problem will likely worsen as you continue.

I was able to use a 1 1/2" dia hole saw to provide neat clearance holes for a hot water radiator's piping and legs, but the saw gullets had to be picked clean about halfway thru each of those (6) operations, because of the poor machinability of vinyl.

I was formerly a manufacturing engineer here in the USA, and I'm disturbingly impressed by the excellent quality control of this Chinese made product. The (7) cases that we ordered for our first installation had amazing uniformity of flatness, edge straightness, and surface finish. And the dimensional tolerances were extremely close. I was particularly concerned about the surface width dimensional control and the tongue-groove fits; both of which were astounding! Moreover, there was not a single cracked or broken piece. And the material is so robust that it is almost impossible to accidentally damage during installation.

So I'm guessing that the various complaints posted about lifting/gaps at the joints must really be due to improper installation.

TIP #4: Thoroughly read the <.pdf> docs published by Home Depot and Halstead International before beginning an Allure Ultra installation !
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:01 PM   #128
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I really have to say that (though I only read the first two, and the last page) my experience with Allure Ultra has been atypically excellent.

My wife and I were looking around at flooring that could go in our finished basement as it does get some minor flooding from time to time (we have more sumps now, but didn't want to put in carpeting without a few years to see how things go) and wanted a flooring that was simple, inexpensive and easy to install. We had several different stores talk to us about a floating floor (anything not glued/fastened down) and the prices were a lot more than we were willing to pay.

Enter Home Depot. Now I used to really have some bad experiences there, but over the last few years my local one (Danvers East) has been really getting good. We were looking at all the flooring and a guy comes up and asks what we were looking for. We explained and he took us over to the Allure Ultra stuff. He explained how it works, and did a demo right there of how you put it together--in his hands, not even putting it on the floor. He explained how to cut it, how to use 1/8 inch spacers and told us where to find the demo installation video on Home Depot's site.

That was in October, we didn't have it in our budget then to do it, but last week I bought two packs to do a small part of the basement where the carpet was in rough shape (ultimately I'll need another 18 to finish the job).

I also did a small area because I had read some of the comments here and was rather afraid of how poorly this would work. So here's how things went when I got my two boxes.

I opened them up and there were installation manuals. The mention the 'Grip Strip', but I found myself wondering if they just meant the back of the 'boards' because you probably do want to keep those clean so they grip the surface well. The manuals did state on the front that it was for the Ultra product. They also had cleaning and maintenance info as well as installation and tips.

I read the manual and it agreed with the few good stories here and the Home Depot's installation manual. Despite the fact that some folks here had stories of having to score dozens of times, or use a saw, I decided to do a light score (to create a groove for the harder score--so that the blade didn't slip sideways) and then a good hard score. Not pushing with all my might, just a good solid effort.

Picked up the board, supported the longer of the two pieces with my left hand right at the scored point and bent it. Pop! snapped perfectly along the score mark and I sliced the back of the snapped part and voila! I had my cut. Think of how you do the scoring and snapping exactly like you'd do with sheet rock/dry wall. Its about the same effort as 1/2 drywall to snap--pretty much the same process except these boards are a lot easier to deal with that a 4x8 sheet.

I laid down my two boxes and except for me making one mistake with a cut on the wrong end of a board, the process went perfectly. I have no separation after several days, no buckling, nothing bad at all. The only part that can be a bit tricky is when you add a piece that has a side and an end to hook into. If you watch the Home Depot installation video they show good technique for this (http://ext.homedepot.com/video/?bcpi...d=648249881001)

One other note is that I'm doing a 40 foot by 20 foot area that I all but expect to get wet (flood) before this floor lives out its life. To prepare for that I am not doing a full 40 foot run of the planks, I'm going to break it into 3 sections with a small strip covering the section joints. This way if I need to pull up a part to allow it to dry out I won't have to rip up the whole thing.

Lastly, as to time and effort. I did probably the trickiest part of my basement first and it took me about 45 minutes to lay down two boxes. I expect that once every plank width doesn't require cuts that the whole basement shouldn't take more than 6-8 hours.

Last edited by soyarma; 01-01-2012 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:18 PM   #129
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Hello,

I'm a DIY'er with some experience. In our new house I am currently planning a basement remodel and this basement has a decent chance of water at some point. This has the wife spooked and I'm looking for a flooring that will survive minor flooding, which is what has me looking at Allure Ultra.

I'm considering laying this down over either Tyroc or Superseal All-in-one. How much of a concern is breathability?

One thing that bugs me is the posts I'm reading at this website:
http://ottoblotto.blogspot.com/2009/...ng-stinks.html

From what I read there this stuff would seem to be just about the worst idea I've ever had.

Yet there's very little on this website of people having those problems.

Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:21 PM   #130
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We've had our floors in since some time in Sept. 2011 and we're still really happy with them. We had a contractor install the floor over concrete. I just vacuum and mop it once a week or so and it' looks beautiful. We have the walnut color and we're happy with the choice.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:00 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by tara8595 View Post
I started working on this floor last spring. It's now October, and my floor still isn't done. Not for lack of trying. After pulling up the floor twice and realizing that I had sags in my floor over the recommended amount, I talked to folks at halstead and at Home Depot, and they recommended filling the sags with self-leveling compound. So we tried that.

It was a disaster. That stuff is really difficult to work with. We poured, scraped/sanded/grinded, etc. Poured again. Still not right. The issue is that unless you cover the entire floor, you don't know the liquid volume of the sag. So you're either going to have too much or not enough, and either way, it sets up a vicious cycle of re-do.

Here's the bottom line. Check your floor with a straight edge. If you have a sag/depression in your floor, don't even think about putting this in by yourself. Hire someone to level your floor first, or go with sheet vinyl. It is not worth having your house a wreck for 8 months while you figure it out. And even if you start out with a level floor, unless it's concrete with no give, this floor will fail by design. Just don't do it.
Great advice. Scared the heck out of me, too. On your last point, I'd say that applies to any long strip flooring with joints. Even hardwood with more thickness along the joints would likely splinter or crack at the joints or if not, you'd get a "creaking or clacking" where the subfloor flexes or sags below any flooring or lifts the flooring.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:05 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by KinNorth View Post
Only poly as underlayment on my concrete basement floor? (It's very dry and in very good condition.)

I have three wishes:

One, to deaden any of that tapping noise I've heard on wood over concrete floors caused by seemingly even the slightest bit of plank/laminate lift or drycore board or other underlay float.

Two, to gain even the slightest bit of thermal break between the floor and the planks. (when it's minus 30 or worse outside I hate not being able to warm up my feet. :-) )

Three, ever so slightly soften the hardness of the feel of vinyl on concrete.


So would that very thin sheet rubber "shower liner" also work? (It's available in large rolls.)

Or, would moderately thick "landscape fabric" work? (That fuzzy side might make a bit of a difference) ...and the breathability might prevent spills from being trapped under the planks.

Note, I do plan to carefully level, scrape, sweep and vacuum my basement floor.

Any thoughts on my comments above? I one flooring product recommends landscape fabric to prevent clacking:

http://www.buildinghomes.ca/communit...ad.php?t=16321

And would it provide a slight thermal break?



.

Last edited by KinNorth; 01-28-2012 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:37 PM   #133
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Hey all! Got a lot of good info while deciding if I wanted to go with Allure Ultra from this site, so thought I'd contribute my experience back. I describe reflooring my studio with Allure Ultra Clear Cherry here: -------

Last edited by Gary in WA; 04-03-2012 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Blog belongs below sign. link, set it up in "User CP", thanks.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:41 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by wyllder View Post
Hello,

I'm a DIY'er with some experience. In our new house I am currently planning a basement remodel and this basement has a decent chance of water at some point. This has the wife spooked and I'm looking for a flooring that will survive minor flooding, which is what has me looking at Allure Ultra.

I'm considering laying this down over either Tyroc or Superseal All-in-one. How much of a concern is breathability?

One thing that bugs me is the posts I'm reading at this website:
http://ottoblotto.blogspot.com/2009/...ng-stinks.html

From what I read there this stuff would seem to be just about the worst idea I've ever had.

Yet there's very little on this website of people having those problems.

Any input would be appreciated.
I came across that blog too, but that one concerns the old ones with the adhesive strips. I smelled those on purpose in the Home Depot store and they did kinda reek, faintly, of chemicals. The Allure Ultra click lock ones I currently have my chair on don't smell at all. Well, a teeny tiny bit, but it's rubbery and not toxic to me, and now (2 weeks after install) I don't really smell anything at all. The surface of these click lock ones are somewhat more matte and seem tougher than the Allure adhesive kind, so it might be differences in manufacturing.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:26 PM   #135
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I'm a grown man and all I feel like doing is crying. My wife and I spent four grand on allure ultra on a home depot credit card. It has been nothing but a nightmare. Seems popping every where. Redid the floor several times. Seams pop at random. And yes we put them together correctly. Just my two cents.

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