What Is Floating Floor? - Benefits and Disadvantages

May 28, 2014

It is very hard to imagine a house being cosy without the warmth of wood flooring. The best way to quickly get the new floor under your feet is to use floating installation method.

Many of us of course heard the phrase: “installing floating floor”. It is not entirely correct as floating floor is a method of installation rather than a specific type of flooring material.

Wood flooring floating installation doesn’t use nails. Instead of nailing down planks are attached to each other by snapping or gluing together and more importantly floor is not attached to the substrate. The wood flooring boards can be installed fast over any material: plywood, concrete, sheet vinyl or ceramic tile.

Engineered wood flooring is the best available wood flooring material. Layers of wood veneer glued to layers of plywood are very stable and look like solid flooring.

For years floor coverings were attached to the substrates. Porcelain and ceramic tiles need to be mortared to the base and hardwood floors need to be nailed down to the sub-floor. As DIY installations gained in popularity new methods had to be developed to make the whole process easier and less complex. Floor installer could be finally freed from automatic nailers and manual nailing.

Why floating floor stays in place?

Like the puzzle, a floating floor stays in place because of four factors:

– Joinery: engineered boards snap or glue together,

– Friction: below the floor there is an underlayment. Side movements are controlled by friction between boards and underlayment,

– Sheer weight: despite the fact that single plank is not very heavy, collectively they can weight several hundreds of kilos across a room,

– Confinement: wooden floor is closed on three or 4 sides by walls. Expansion gaps are required but these walls help to confine the floor.


Benefits of floating flooring:

– Floating floor can be used on substrate that is not completely level,

– Less expensive than solid wood flooring,

– In the basement it can be installed over the concrete sub-floor,

– This installation method allows for the floor to move and expand in response to changes in the room air condition’s (temperature and humidity),

– No need for specialized tools and easy DIY installation help homeowners to save on installation costs.

And few disadvantages:

– Floor installed using that method is thinner and less substantial that solid floor that is usually used glued down,

– It tends to command lower resell value that other traditional nailed down floors,

– Floating floors cannot be sanded and refinished as solid floors can be,

– More extreme and frequent changes to moisture and temperature  can cause the flooring to expand and contract and finally over time can damage the floor.

If you have any further questions regarding wood flooring installation or you are looking for an advice about the best flooring options for your home feel free to contact the ESB sales team. Contact us now to request your no hassle no obligation free samples or come down to our North London showroom for a closer look.

Pictures: Pinterest

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