Laminate flooring features a decorative layer sandwiched between a fiberboard or cork base and a clear plastic top. The tough top layer helps keep the floor free from minor damage such as nicks and scratches. Although not as long-lasting as wood and slate, laminates provide the look of these natural materials with easy installation and lower initial cost. Sierra Slate is a laminate flooring product by Armstrong.
Sierra Slate laminate is a type of SwiftLock flooring available exclusively at Lowes. As part of Armstrong's SwiftLock collection, Sierra Slate features planks that snap together without glue. The pieces measure 51.5 inches long,13.0 inches wide and 8.0 millimeters thick. The background color is gray, with light peach swirls simulating natural slate. Sierra Slate is "embossed in register," which means Armstrong has embossed the flooring so that the texture lines up with the printing.
Lowe's recommends Sierra Slate for residential use, although Armstrong warranties it also for light commercial use. You can install Sierra Slate on top of concrete, vinyl or ceramic tile. You can even put it over an existing carpet without pad if the carpet pile measures less than 1/4-inch. Follow special sealing procedures if you wish to install Sierra Slate in bathrooms. SwiftLock Sierra Slate flooring is installed by the floating floor method. Rather than gluing it to the subfloor, you simply lock the boards together, leaving a small expansion gap at room edges and covering the gap with moldings. According to Lowe's, two nonprofessionals can install a typical SwiftLock floor in a weekend.
Care and Maintenance
Armstrong recommends using mats outdoors to protect its laminate floors from moisture. Put felt floor protectors under chair legs and other heavy furniture to guard against denting. Routinely clean your laminate floor with a dust mop, vacuum floor attachment or damp cloth. Wipe up spills immediately. Don't apply floor polish or wax to your Sierra Slate laminate. Don't use soaps or any type of abrasive. For occasional deep cleaning, use a good-quality laminate cleaner on a slightly damp mop.
For residential installations, Armstrong warranties its SwiftLock laminates for 20 years, with Lowe's adding five more years. The warranty protects against fading, staining and manufacturing defects. It also protects against wearing through to the design layer and breaking apart of the seams. It covers water damage under normal household use if you follow maintenance recommendations. Armstrong also provides a five-year warranty for SwiftLock in indoor, light-commercial installations. For the warranty to hold, commercial installation must include a 3/32-inch glue bead at the top of the flooring tongue. If Sierra Slate is properly installed, the commercial warranty protects against defects in manufacturing, staining, fading and wear-through during the five-year term.
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