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What Are Floating Floorboards?

If you’re new to the flooring topic, you want to learn something, or you’re preparing for your first flooring project, you might be surprised or even overwhelmed by the abundance of choices and factors that need to be taken into consideration. That’s why we prepare our short guides – to provide you with the necessary information so that you can make the most suitable choice.

If you have already done some research, you have probably come across a floating floor type, which might sound bizarre to those who have no idea what it is, especially once you discover that it’s incredibly popular among home and business owners. In fact, it’s not as complicated or unreliable as it may sound.

What are floating floorboards, and what are their pros and cons? Is the installation process easy or difficult? Read on to find out!

What Is a Floating Floor?

A floating floor doesn’t refer to the flooring type in terms of materials – it describes the installation process.

A floating floor is not glued, nailed, or attached to the subfloor in any way. It is allowed to ‘float’ as such over the substrate and allowed to slightly move around with expansion.

For such floors to be installed, you can attach floating floorboards to one another by either a tongue-and-groove method or a click-together system. It’s the manufacturer who decides on how their product will have to be installed, though sometimes, you might have a possibility to adjust it.

Therefore, you can find various different types of floating floors to choose from – from laminate flooring, through hybrid, to timber flooring – which makes it more likely to get what you truly want.

What Are the Types of Floating Floors?

Here at Integra Direct Flooring, we offer the following types of floating floors:

What Are the Pros of Floating Floors?

The Ease of Installation

Floating floors are one of the best for a DIY project. They lock together like a jigsaw puzzle, making the whole process pretty straightforward.

Eco-Friendliness

Since the floating floorboards lock together by themselves, you don’t have to use any smelly chemicals like adhesives. You can also find some planks are made from eco-friendly materials. Plus, most of them can be placed over different types of flooring, so there’s no need to remove the existing floor and throw it away.

Lower Cost of Installation

Floating floorboards are cheaper, don’t require adhesives, and since they’re easy to install, you also don’t have to hire a professional for the job. Additionally, your old floor if level and sound can function as a subfloor, as a floating floor will serve well over most types.

Comfort

Thanks to the underlay allowing air beneath floating floorboards and the substrate, the whole floor will give you the soft feeling of giving in and flexibility. It’s also easier on your knees, ankle, and back, which is a huge benefit for those who experience joint problems.

The Ease of Removal and Repair

Floating floors are not permanently adhered to anything, so it’s pretty easy to remove planks that need to be repaired or even replaced. You can even relocate the whole floor!

Are There Any Cons to Floating Floors?

Floating floors, just like everything else, come with their own share of disadvantages. Their significance, though, will depend solely on your individual needs and expectations.

Less Durability (in Some Cases)

Because of the gap between the floor and the subfloor that provides the soft cushioning, floating floors might be more prone to damages. They need to withstand more, so the impact of daily activities on the floor is stronger. However, this also depends on the type of planks you choose and a particular subfloor.

Movement and Sound

As the floor is a floating floor, there is the expectation that it can move with changes in temperature and foot traffic. With any movement, there is the possibility of sound being generated. This could be a creaking sound or a clicking sound, which emanates from the joints of the planks. If a floor is not level, this can make this noise worse under foot traffic.

Amplified Sound

In some cases, the empty space beneath your floating floor might cause the amplification of sounds, so it’s not the best option if you aim to quiet your steps. However, it can be quite easily fixed with the right underlayment.

No or Little Refinishing

When it comes to hardwood floating floors, these are usually engineered hardwood floors instead of solid. This means that a wood plank is composed of two layers, with the natural hardwood being only on top with the veneer. As such, it can’t be refinished – sometimes at all. And in the case of laminate or hybrid flooring, you can’t refinish them in any case.

Response to Humidity and Temperature

This can be either an advantage or a disadvantage. Because of the gap under the floating floor, it can contract and expand in response to humidity and temperature changes. It makes the floating floors more flexible, but if you live in an area with high humidity or temperature changes, it might result in further problems – mold growth, pitting, warping, and so on. However, it can also be remedied with the proper underlayment.

How Do You Install A Floating Floor?

The details of installation will depend on your chosen type of floating floor – the installation of floating laminate floors is a bit different from timber flooring, and so on.

Whether you will have a floating laminate, hybrid, engineered wood, or luxury vinyl floor installed, the most important thing is to prepare thoroughly for the process. Make sure to evaluate the whole space to know how much you will have to cover, and buy a little more materials in case of mistakes.

Then, prepare your space. Depending on the type of your subfloor, it might need some tending before the installation of the floating floor. For example, if it’s concrete, you may be required to level certain sections with self-levelling compound.

Next, ensure the floors are even. Slightly unlevel spots can be filled with a patching compound, while bumps and ridges should be sanded down.

Then, right before you start the installation, vacuum the whole space to remove any dust and debris.

You can easily find detailed instructions with the product, but if you need guidance, our team will be more than happy to help you!

Contact Integra Direct to Ensure the Success of Your Next Flooring Project

Floating floors are a great option if you look for something good-looking on a budget; you can even carry out the installation all by yourself!

They are also more eco-friendly than most other types, especially if you find floors made from better materials; plus, they will feel comfortable under your feet. And if anything happens or you simply get bored, it is incredibly easy to make some changes, or even move the whole floor to another room.

Floating floors have their disadvantages, but you need to consider whether they are significant compared to the many benefits.

If you still have any doubts or further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Integra Direct. Our friendly team of flooring experts will be more than happy to assist you in any way to make sure your next flooring project is a smashing success!