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Everything You Need To Know About Floating Hardwood Flooring

By Paul Hambidge, Managing Director on 13th December 2016.

Floating hardwood flooring is a quick solution to installing hardwood floors in your home and is much simpler to install than some other alternatives. If you've ever wondered about what floating hardwood flooring is and how it differs from traditional hardwood flooring then we've got the answers right here.

What is floating hardwood flooring?

Floating hardwood floors are really not built any differently from engineered wood floors or Luxury vinyl click. They are made from multiple thin layers of plywood that have been glued together with an inner hardwood core which comprises the tongue and groove fitting mechanism of the board.

This is then topped with a hardwood veneer that is glued and pressed to the top surface of the flooring plank. If a floating hardwood floor does not feature a tongue and groove click system, then these options can be attached to the subfloor with staples or glue.

Image of man installing floating hardwood floor

How floating hardwood flooring differs

The essential difference between an engineered wood floor and a floating hardwood floor is that a floating hardwood floor is not attached to the subfloor, unlike other hardwood floor options. This means that floating hardwood floors can be installed over many different surfaces once a suitable underlay has been laid down over the subfloor.

Using a tongue and groove system, floating floors only need to be slotted or clicked into place, with a small bead of glue in the place where the two boards join.

Image of floor with tongue and groove system

Pro's and con's

A huge advantage of using a floating hardwood floor in your home is that it is incredibly quick to install. The need for other floors to be affixed to the subfloor by nails, screw or adhesives can be incredibly time consuming and as the installation job is significantly quicker with floating floors, this makes for an overall cheaper installation. There's also far less mess as a result of the fitting process to have to deal with, and floating hardwood floors are far more stable as far as climate and humidity fluctuations are concerned. It can also be easily removed if you need to access such things as pipes and wires that run underneath.

Image of plumber fixing pipes

Some disadvantages for you to consider before buying floating hardwood flooring for your home is that this flooring option can sometimes be particularly noisy, with the hollow-sounding noises or footstep echos as a result of the floor 'floating' over the subfloor. This problem can however be reduced by buying better quality underlays, which can help reduce the hollow sound. The floors themselves can also be slightly noisy, as they have a much wider range of movement than floors that are attached to the subfloor.

What you should consider

You can buy laminate versions of floating flooring but we really would recommend hardwood options if you can accommodate them in your budget. This is because floating hardwood floors have a veneer of solid wood, which means you can sand them down 1-2 times if they happen to acquire any dents or scratches over time. This means you can keep your floating hardwood flooring looking brand new for years to come.

Our Flooring Calculator

When you browse any type of flooring at Factory Direct Flooring, each product has a flooring calculator on the page. Simply enter the surface area in either metres or feet squared and our My Project flooring calculator will tell you how many packs you’ll need and how much it will cost you.

By simply measuring your room and entering your dimensions, we will provide you with an instant price which will show on every type of flooring you browse across our website. You can either input the total coverage or your width and length measurements, in meters or feet. You can even save your measurements room by room to make your shopping experience stress-free.

It also offers to add an extra 10% for wastage. While this may cost a little bit more, we highly recommend adding it just in case there are mishaps during the installation process. Enjoy the My Project flooring calculator below:

Add a room

Are you thinking about buying floating hardwood flooring? Let us know your queries in the comments section.

Paul Hambidge, Managing Director

Paul has 32 years of flooring industry knowledge & experience from both an installation and manufacturing perspective. He started out as installer of very large commercial flooring projects for multiple retailers. As director of Factory Direct Flooring, he has been involved in all aspects of flooring and has worked with some of the largest producers of wood flooring, vinyl flooring and laminate floors.