Floating Floors Explained

floating floors

Choosing a floor for the first time can be quite daunting and becomes even more complicated when flooring terminology is thrown in. One such term you might come across is “floating floors”. Floating floors earn their name thanks to the method of installation and are also one of the most popular floors among homeowners right now.

As the name suggests, floating floor planks are laid straight down on to the subfloor without the need for any additional joining methods. Floating floors work by using a strong interlocking mechanism that, when laid on top of an underlay, provide a stable and safe floor. This means no glue and no nails are needed to further secure this floor.  As a result, installation time is cut down and if you’re a DIY fan, you may not even need to hire a joiner or fitter. Two popular floors that use this floating method are engineered wood and laminate flooring.

laminate flooring

Another advantage of floating floors is that the materials needed are minimal. This reduces the chance of glue damage to the underlay or even other planks. Floating floors have a simple and clean installation process, so is something to consider if you are planning to lay your floor yourself. It is always recommended to use an underlay with a wood floor of any kind. Underlays are great for heat insulation since they retain warmth and therefore will help to reduce your energy bills. Similarly, underlays are also ideal for sound dampening, so if you live in a block of apartments, for example, this is something to consider. Unlike wood floors that use other installation techniques, floating floors can be installed with underfloor heating. It is however highly recommended to use thinner underlays with underfloor heating as it facilitates the circulation of the heat.

Even though floating floors are full of benefits they have their limitations too. For instance, you cannot lay a floating floor directly on to joists since these floors need a totally flat subfloor. Floating floors are also not available with parquet and luxury vinyl tiles, so if you want these floors, you will need to use more traditional installation methods.  This is because parquet and vinyl tiles need much more precision and tighter joining methods.

Floating floors are great for most homes offering a reduced installation time, fewer materials and the ability to be used with underfloor heating. Of course, the installation method is entirely dependent on the floor you choose, but for an engineered or laminate floors, this is the best technique on the market!

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