Flooring designed to last

FRESNO, Calif.

"Introducing Cliks floor tile, where style meets innovation, featuring uniclik technology... "

This video spot for a flooring called Cliks, sold at Home Depot, sure sounds great. It's among the first ceramic floor tiles you click together and install yourself. No adhesive or grout needed!

Consumer Reports put it through the same tough tests all flooring goes through in its labs, including wood and plastic laminates.

This machine scrubs flooring up to 500 times with an abrasive substance to simulate wear from years of foot traffic.

To assess how well a flooring resists stains, testers apply 18 hard-to-remove substances, from nail polish, to mustard, to crayon, and leave them overnight.

John Galeotafiore with Consumer Reports said, "Cliks was impressive in most of Consumer Reports' tests, but when it came to what we call the drop test, that was a different story."

Testers drop metal weights from various heights to see how well flooring holds up. Look at all these chips and cracks.

Galeotafiore said, "And since the tiles lock together, you'd have to remove a whole row just to replace one."

In the drop test other flooring like wood can dent, but the damage is less severe.

When all the tests were done, a good, inexpensive flooring is Surface Source plastic laminate. It's sold at Lowe's for just a dollar a square foot.

If you prefer a wood floor, Mullican St. Andrews prefinished solid-wood flooring rated very good. It costs around six dollars a square foot.

If you've got a busy kitchen and dropped pots are a concern, Consumer Reports says consider vinyl flooring. A very good choice is the Congoleum DuraCeramic Sierra Slate that costs five dollars a square foot.

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