Most commonly applied to wooden or laminate flooring, the term floating floor describes the installation method, not the material. As the name implies, this type of flooring floats on top of an existing floor, rather than being fixed or integrated into it. The flooring pieces are held in place through friction, weight and the interlocking joins of the pieces or planks.
Traditional hard floor surfaces require fixing to the substrate. Hardwood floors are typically nailed into place, while ceramic or porcelain tiles are mortared in position. Such methods require patience and skill, and they create a good deal of mess and disruption. DIY enthusiasts may baulk at the size and scope of such a task. However, a floating floor can be installed with only basic tools, as a weekend project and with minimal mess and disruption.
Laminate flooring is the most obvious example of this style of floor. While some types of laminate floor can be glued directly to the subfloor, most good quality brands nowadays fix in place using a simple click-and-lock system. A similar joinery style is used for some varieties of vinyl timber flooring tiles, such as those by Karndean or Amtico, and also for a timber floating floor.
As no staples or nails are required to fix the flooring in place, floating floors are often the best option for installing over radiant heating systems, to avoid puncturing pipes or cables. Floating floors can also be installed over an existing stable, flat, hard floor. This can be a great boon if you have a home with an existing, unattractive floor that you don’t care to remove, or pipes or wires in the floor that can’t be accessed from below.
All floating floors are installed with an expansion gap around their perimeter. The advantage of this style of installation is that the flooring material has room to expand and contract, making it more responsive to warm and humid environments. Thanks to this expansion space, a good quality laminate timber floating floor can even be installed in a bathroom or kitchen, offering the look of solid wood without the risk of warping or rotting.
Once clicked together, a floating floor acts as a single unit rather than individual planks, so a timber floating floor does not suffer from the gapping that can plague traditional solid wood floor boards. The layered plywood construction used in modern laminate floors also creates a finished plank that is very stable. If an area of a floating floor is damaged at all, the floor can simply be un-clicked back to the damaged plank and the damaged plank removed and replaced. Then the flooring can be returned to its original position.
Floating floors are easy to install, practical, flexible and affordable. Call in to our Bayswater or Blackburn store today to look at the huge selection of affordable floating floors on offer.