What is a Floating Floor?

A floating floor is a fantastic flooring installation method that involves laying the floor without attaching it to the subfloor. The planks or tiles are fitted together using either a tongue and groove mechanism or an interlocking system, depending on the type of flooring being installed. This method not only offers a stylish and modern look, but it also doesn’t usually require professional installers or power tools, which makes it an excellent option for those who like to get hands-on with their DIY projects.

Not only is installing a floating floor a more affordable option than traditional flooring, but it’s also a great choice if you’re looking to refresh your home’s interior quickly. With this method, you can have new floors in no time, without the need for lengthy installation waiting times.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding on installing a floating floor. While it offers many benefits, such as ease of installation and cost-effectiveness, there are some potential drawbacks as well. For instance, if your subfloor is uneven, it may affect the installation process and compromise the finished result. Additionally, although floating floors offer some sound reduction, they aren’t known for providing the same level of noise-reduction compared to traditional glued down floors.

Floating Floor Pros and Cons

Pros

DIY-friendly: One of the best things about floating floors is that they are incredibly easy to install, and you don’t need to hire a professional to do it for you. With just a little bit of knowledge and some basic tools, you can have your beautiful new floors installed in no time at all, all by yourself.

Saves money: By taking the initiative to install floating floors on your own and saving the expense of a professional installation, you can make a significant impact on your budget. This is an effective way of keeping your finances in check and ensuring that you have more control over your expenses. In addition to the initial savings, you can enjoy the benefits of a durable, long-lasting flooring solution that adds value to your property and helps you save money over time.

Installs quickly: Cutting the floor to fit with power tools is usually the only step that requires any significant amount of time and effort. Once that’s done, all you have to do is fit your flooring together like puzzle pieces, resulting in a process that is incredibly fast and efficient.

Much easier and more convenient to replace: When it comes to floating floors, you have the advantage of not needing to fasten them down. This means that you can replace them with ease and without any hassle.

Cons

Sound amplification: Should you choose to install rigid, flat flooring over an uneven subfloor, you may experience disruptive tapping sounds and amplified footfalls. To avoid this inconvenience, we recommend installing underlayment beneath your floating floor.

Proper humidity control is essential for maintaining the integrity of your floating floors. Temperature and humidity fluctuations can cause your floors to contract and expand, leading to potential damage.

How to Install a Floating Floor

Floating floors can be installed with ease with the proper assistance. Please refer to these general instructions on how to proceed with the installation process. We advise you to consult with your flooring manufacturer for more specific instructions on installing your particular floating floor.

First, complete any necessary subfloor prep. Inspect the surface for any protruding nail and fix them. You can install most floating floors over most imperfect surfaces, like uneven subfloors, or existing floors such as low-pile carpet, cement, brick, and more.

Before installation, acclimate the flooring for a few days in the room where it will be installed to prevent expansion and contraction during the installation process. Lay the first plank or tile with the tongue side facing the wall, and press the end of the starter plank or tile into the next and then lock them together.Ensure the planks or tiles maintain a 1/4-inch gap from the wall to allow for expansion.

Remember to stagger the planks or tiles at least 6 inches between each row.
Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and leave the required spacing for expansion. Use a pull bar to install the last plank in each row, making sure they fit snugly even in tight spaces.

Then, install the second row by tilting it at a shallow angle and inserting the tongue into the groove of the first row. Use a jigsaw to cut planks to fit around corners or other obstructions. Continue installing the flooring, removing any gaps using a tapping block and a scrap of flooring to cover the tapping block.

After installation is complete, clean the flooring thoroughly and remove any visible debris.
Be careful not to damage the tongue and groove.
Consider using a rug or mat in high-traffic areas to prevent scratches and dents.
Protect all exposed edges by installing wall molding and/or transition strips.
Ensure the room has proper ventilation and maintain a consistent temperature to prevent cupping or gapping in the future.

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