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30.09.20 Advice

What Is A Floating Floor?

Written by: Yarl Christie


There is a lot of flooring terminology you’ll come across when you’re on the lookout for a new floor. One of them which you may be wondering about, is floating floors.

Used to describe an installation method, floating floors have become a popular choice for a wide range of floor coverings. So, what exactly are floating floors and what benefits can they provide? Here, you’ll learn more about different types of floating floors and how they can be installed within the home.

What is a Floating Floor?

A floating floor is basically a floor which isn’t installed directly onto the subfloor. Instead, it is typically installed on top of a good quality underlay. It isn’t fixed down, which means you won’t nail or glue it. Instead, you’ll use either a tongue and groove or click installation process, depending upon the flooring type.

Which Types Of Floors Can Be Floated?

You can use the floating floor installation method for numerous types of flooring. These include click luxury vinyl, engineered floors, laminate and hardwood floors. It tends to be most popular with engineered and luxury click vinyl floors.

Basically, any floor that comes with a click or tongue and groove system can be floated with ease.

What Are The Benefits of a Floating Floor?

There are a lot of great benefits that come from using the floating floor installation process. These include:

  • It’s fast and easy
  • Reduced mess
  • Easier to move and repair
  • Saves money

The speed and ease of installation is by far the biggest benefit of the floating floor. Click and tongue and groove systems are easy for anyone to use, meaning you can install the floor yourself. This also saves you money as you won’t need to rely on the professionals to fit it for you. While you will need to install an underlay, this is also a quick and simple process.

As you won’t be using nails or adhesive, you’ll also find the installation process reduces mess too. One of the more useful benefits is the fact that you’ll find it easier to move and repair the floor when needed. If it’s glued down, you’ll struggle to replace and repair the floor if it does suffer damage.

These are some of the main reasons why the floating floor has become the most popular type of installation process in modern homes.

Disadvantages Of Floating Floors

Like everything in life, there are a few downsides to installing a floating floor. Depending upon the type of flooring being used, it can potentially lower the value of the home compared to flooring that’s stuck down. However, many buyers might prefer a floating floor as it means they can change it much easier if they want to.

Perhaps the biggest downside is that floating floors can be a little noisier and hollow underfoot. However, you can rectify this by choosing a good quality acoustic underlay.

How Can You Install A Floating Floor?

If you’re interested in installing this type of floor, you’ll want to start by preparing the subfloor. While the floor isn’t going to be stuck directly onto it, it’s still a good idea to make the subfloor as flat and even as possible.

Next, you’ll need to install the underlay. There are a lot of different types, so you’ll need to ensure you’re choosing the right one. Some offer great acoustic benefits, while others are designed to provide a moisture barrier. The one you choose will be dependant upon where it is being installed.

After installing the underlay, simply follow the installation instructions for the type of flooring you’ve invested in. The manufacturer will have supplied instructions you can easily follow.

Floating floors do offer a great range of benefits. If you’re looking for an installation method that’s easy to do yourself and allows you to remove the floor with ease, a floating floor is the best option.