Understand Floating Floors
Floating floors are more and more the option of choice between many Chicago homeowners...
Floating Hardwood Floors
How can you determine if this is the option to go for?
And, if you decide to choose this type of floor for your house, which option is the best?
Here is my take on the issue…
First and Foremost, Who Needs Floating Wood Floors?
There are few distinct situations when floating flooring is the only way to go and there aren’t many options around it. If you find yourself in one of the categories below, you are very likely part of the group…
So, who needs floating hardwood floors?
- Most people living in a condominium due to the strict sound requirements found in the rules and regulations of these properties.
- People looking for a floor that installs fast and clean
- Homeowners that have radiant heat going through their concrete subfloor
- People that can’t afford to install a subfloor due to either money or height restrictions
Still, while floating is definitely the way to go in these situations, if this is not your option of choice, most of the times in the situations described above, installing a glue down wood flooring would be the other alternative.
But, because in many cases the glue down flooring is more expensive than a floating floor, you might decide that floating is the better option.
It is all up to you, which is why I always say, discuss yourr options thoroughly with your flooring contractor and make sure you understand them all before making a choice.
The mechanical properties of wood are very important. Moisture content plays a large part in how wood will behave after the installation. Hardness is also an important factor to take into account when installing a hardwood floor. The hardness of a particular species can be determined by consulting the Janka scale. There you can determine the resistance of a certain type of wood to impact, how easy it dents or dings.
Why Floating Wood Floors?
The most important reasons why you would want to get a floating floor are:
- Soundproofing. There is no other floor out there that would soundproof your floor as good as the floating floor does. Glue down is a good soundproofing option as well, when properly installed, but in my opinion, floating floors are the way to go if you really want to soundproof your floor.
- Affordability. By eliminating the expenses associated with buying the adhesive as well as the expenses associated with gluing down the underlayment for a glue down floor, the floating option is the more affordable option between the two, most of the time.
- Repairs. There are situations where a certain area of the floor needs to be removed in order to repair a floor. In the case of the glue down flooring, as well as the nail down floor, these boards need to be cut out, turning an otherwise simple repair into a pretty messy and time consuming project. With floating floors this is not really the case. You can simply unclick the floor to the damaged area, replace these boards and reinstall the old ones back afterwards.
Ok, But What Are My Floating Floor Options?
- Laminate Floors – The most affordable option of all, laminate flooring is the option to go for if you have a budget for materials of under 1$ a square feet.
Sumptuous Wood Floors
While looking for laminate flooring, you will soon find out that some of them come pretty cheap.
Still, if I could give you some advice in this department that would be: don’t be too cheap.
Spend few extra cents for a good brand, instead of saving few cents on a floor that will, very likely, need to be replaced within few short years.
- Engineered Floor – Floating engineered floor can be installed either tongue and groove or clicked in.
The tongue and groove installation works by placing adhesive between the tongue and groove of the two boards, while the click in, does just that: snaps the boards together clicking their tongue and groove in.
My advice here is simple: stay away from the tongue and groove engineered floating floors.
I’ve seen way too many of them fail throughout the years, which is why I don’t recommend them and, to be honest, I do not install them myself (I do replace them, though).
Seriously speaking now, tongue and groove floating floors are a nightmare, one of the worst inventions in the flooring business, in my opinion.
If you want a floating floor that lasts, choose the click in option instead.
- Floating Hardwood Floors – The option your contractor doesn’t even know about.
By far the best floating floor option, this type of floor it’s often overlooked due to sheer incompetence on the side of the flooring contractor.
Way too many of them don’t understand how to install the floating subfloor required for this type of floor, which is why they never bring it up in their conversations with the customer.
The way this works, shortly, is by building a floating plywood subfloor, made out of two different sheets of plywood, on top of which the flooring contractor will nail down the hardwood floor.
This type of flooring will offer you the option of sanding your floor, staining it, if this is what you like, and will guarantee your floor to last a lifetime.
While many engineered manufacturers are claiming that their products could last a lifetime, the truth of the matter is that none of them have been around long enough to prove their claims. Hardwood has been and it proved its strength many times before.