For many types of floor materials, floating floors are starting to gain popularity today. This is because they offer a relatively easy way of installation and a less expensive approach as compared to traditional flooring methods. The floating floor does not refer to any type of floor covering, but it is a method of installing different floor types. Engineered wood, luxury vinyl, and laminate are some examples of floating floors. In this method, you’re getting a snap-together or click-lock flooring where the tiles or planks are typically interlocked edge-to-edge to create a single surface that is laid over an underlayment. Hence, it appears like floating over the subfloor or underlayment. This makes it different from the usual nail-down or glue-down methods that homeowners are aware of. While it may be a good way to save your time and money on installation, a floating floor has its own drawbacks. So, before you even talk to your Howard county Maryland flooring contractor for your next project, let’s enumerate the pros and the cons of a floating floor to your home.
Floating Floor Examples
There are three common examples of floating floor material. These include luxury vinyl, laminate, and engineered wood. Each flooring material has its own way of installation.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring. Also called vinyl plank flooring, each vinyl board has grooves or tiny tongues that can snap or interlock together board-to-board. Some luxury vinyl floors are rigid while others are semi-flexible planks. Also, not all luxury vinyl uses a floating floor as an installation method, other vinyl types use adhesive to attach the boards to the subfloor or underlayment.
Laminate Flooring. The most popular style of a floating floor is laminate flooring. The reason why laminate flooring uses this installation method is to allow the flooring to expand and contract in response to the changes in the room’s relative humidity. In this method, the laminate flooring planks are almost never glued down over the subfloor. Instead, the planks are attached together along the boards’ edges and end with its tongue-and-groove system. Your Howard county Maryland flooring contractor and other installers call it a fold-and-lock or click-lock system.
Engineered Wood Flooring. While some engineered wood floors are bonded to a subfloor by stapling or nailing down, other brands are designed as floating floors. These types of engineered wood have planks with grooves that interlock to each other to create a decorative surface layer.
Advantages of Floating Floor
If you are on a tight budget, a floating floor is an ideal choice for you. Installation of a floating floor is typically less expensive than its glue-down or nail-down counterparts. This is because it requires fewer skills and expertise to install flooring materials. You just need to install the floating floor material over an existing underlayment or subfloor. Not to mention that floating floors don’t need nails or adhesive during installation. Most nail-down or glue-down flooring materials might have floating floor variety as well. You may want to talk to your Howard county Maryland flooring contractor or flooring store near you for samples and design options.
Easier to Replace
What’s good about a floating floor is that you can easily replace or repair it when it gets damaged. Floating floors don’t use adhesive or nails during installation. Hence, it is so convenient for someone to remove the damaged planks and replace it. In the event that you decide to entirely replace your flooring, it is much easier to take out the floating floor materials than pull up every single glued-down or nailed-down planks.
Unlike nail-down and glue-down methods, a floating floor is a good choice for DIYers. It does not require a lot of skills and expertise to employ this method in your flooring project. However, this is perfect for seasoned DIYers who can handle immensely stressful tasks. So, if a DIY project is not something that you are good at, we still recommend hiring a Howard county Maryland flooring contractor to ensure that the flooring project is done professionally. This way, it prevents potentially damaging your flooring material.
Disadvantages of Floating Floor
The space between the subfloor and floating floor can amplify sounds that might annoy you at times. Since there is a slim space or air in between, your footsteps on that air cushion make unnecessary sounds. This is less likely to happen in a nail-down or glue-down flooring material. However, if you still want a floating floor in your house, one of the best remedies is to place a high-quality underlayment. An underlayment can absorb noise or sounds in your room, making it much quieter. This is helpful if you want to install the floating floor in a room that requires less noise such as a nursery room or baby’s room. To mitigate this issue, you can always discuss this option with your Howard county Maryland flooring contractor.
Floating floors allow your floor to expand and contract due to exposure to varying humidity levels. This may be advantageous to other flooring materials such as cork or hardwood. However, it won’t be beneficial if you live in an area where you experience a high level of humidity all the time. If a lot of moisture seeps into the space between the subfloor and floating floor, it will cause mold growth and warping. If left untreated, it may lead to excessive damage. So, to prevent this from happening, make sure to invest in a good quality underlayment.
Needs Replacement More Frequently
In installing a floating floor, the thin layer of space or air in between the subfloor and the floating material may be disadvantageous. Considering your home’s regular activities, it may impact the floor and cause damages. Hefty furniture or sharp objects can easily ruin your floor. The flooring material may show signs of wear much quicker on a floating floor than in a glue-down or nail-down flooring. Though repair and replacement are relatively easy, it can be done more frequently. You may even resort to hiring a Howard county Maryland flooring contractor if the damage is so extensive. In this case, you may end up wanting to get a more durable flooring option. You may need something that can withstand high foot traffic or wear and tear over time.
Is Floating Floor Right For You?
When evaluating the pros and cons of a floating floor, don’t forget to choose the style you prefer and how it will fit your family’s lifestyle. However, all things being equal, the advantages of a floating floor offer a good impact on your budget, and the ease of installation and replacement. Whereas the disadvantages can be minor and doable. But if you think that you still need help in your decision-making, don’t forget to contact us today. Carpet Ready is here to provide you recommendations and great options, so you can make the right decision.