Floating Installation

Diving Into Floating Wood Floors

When installing wood flooring to your home, you’ll have your choice on several different methods to use. You can nail them down, glue them, or incorporate a floating installation system. Read on to find out more about floating flooring and why it’s so popular these days…

What is a Floating Floor?

Floating floors refers to the installation of the flooring, not the actual floor. It can be employed for use on wood, vinyl, engineered planks, and laminate too. The method allows the floor to freely float above the subfloor. It is not attached, adhered, or secured by nails.

Glue is occasionally used around the edges of the boards, however, just to play it safe.

The floating floor system utilizes boards with edges that are milled. They require the fewest amount of tools and expertise, making the floating method an optimal DIY option. 

They also interlock like a puzzle does which makes them perfect to install in homes that rely on radiant heat that come from the floor. It is also ideal for concrete or plywood subfloors.

Floating flooring can also be applied in order to lay a floor over a floor surface that already exists without having to rip the old flooring out. You should never lay one floating flooring system over another, but rather over a floor that is attached firmly to the subfloor like linoleum, tile, or hardwood.

Installation of Floating Wood Flooring

When installing a floating floor, it’s wise to think on down the road. If you think you may want to change the look and feel of the room in the future, it’s best to use a click-lock system without glue so it can be easily pulled back up and reused, saving tons of time and money. The floating click-lock method leaves subfloors or whatever flooring was previously on it in place.

While you can install a floating floor yourself, many depend on the assistance of a professional. The choice is entirely your own.

If you choose to install your own, here’s how:

  1. Trim: Trim the door casings by using a flush-cut dovetail saw. Trim the very bottom of the casing at every doorway in order to allow the flooring to slide under the door. Gauge the cut’s height by laying down some foam under it. Hold the saw flat and cut.
  2. Install foam: Start with a clean floor. Unroll the underlayment of foam. Cover a single layer over the room and trim to fit with a utility blade then but the seams together.
  3. First course installation: Lay the first plank down and place the grooved end in the corner up against a spacer block. Put spacers along the wall where you’re starting too. Keep the tongues facing outward. Fill the pieces in the first course by placing a spacer against eh wall. You will measure it from the last plank that was installed. On the new plank, mark the measurement and start at the groove end so that it mates with the last plank’s tongue and cut the plank. On the new plank, apply glue to the end groove and install. Use a pry bar between the ends of the spacer and plank and slip the joint and lever together. Push the joint together and give the piece a gentle push down in place. Remove any extra glue.
  4. Install the remaining flooring: With each course, start with the part of the floor that’s left over from the previous cut if it’s over 8 inches long. You want to keep the joints staggering. Place spacers along the side walls prior to putting a plank down. Glue the groove of a plank and slide up against the row you just did. Set a wood block onto the outside of the board and tap it so it causes the planks to fit tightly together. Then, measure the end of the row to the plank and complete the course as described in Step 3. Continue under finished.
  5. Measure: For the last course, measure the width of the last plank and measure to a wall spacer to figure the expansion gap. A plank running across a door will now be notched to fit securely in the doorway. Measure the closest edge of the molding to determine the width.
  6. Rip: Rip the plank to width and cut the notches above the center with a jigsaw. Cut so it will fit under the casing and will reach the doorway by using a fine-tooth wood blade.
  7. Pry: This part requires tedious patience and some skill. Remove the last wall’s spacers and use a pry bar to make the piece pull tight against the previous one. Slide the plank by coaxing with hammer and block if necessary. After glue is dry, trim out the room with molding.
  8. Trim: Once your floor is finished, add the icing on the cake…the finishing trim.

Summary: benefits of the floating installation method?

The floating installation method offers several benefits:

  1. Easy installation: The floating method is generally easier and faster to install than other methods, as it requires no adhesives or fasteners.
  2. Cost-effective: The lack of adhesive or fasteners makes the floating method more cost-effective than other methods.
  3. Soundproofing: The floating method creates a buffer between the floor and subfloor, which can reduce noise transmission and make the room quieter.
  4. Flexibility: Floating floors can be installed over a variety of subfloor types, including concrete, plywood, and existing flooring.
  5. Maintenance: Floating floors can be easy to maintain, as they typically do not require special cleaning products and can be easily replaced if damaged.

Know Before You Go!

The floating installation method is easy and can be done by those with limited experience. But that doesn’t mean the method is ideal for your home. Be sure to do your homework and know what you want before you do to purchase. And, when you do buy your flooring, be sure to do business with a reputable company who you can trust to supply you the best quality for the price range you choose. For your installation, floating or not, go with a pro who can make your floor the product you’ve been dreaming of.

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