Most people don’t give a second thought to the floor beneath their feet. However, flooring goes through its fair share of trends, as the raging debate over carpet’s place in the home can attest. One classic flooring option that never seems to go out of style is the wooden floor.
But what if you live in a rental, or somewhere that you’re not allowed to tear up the old floor to put down something new? In that case, a floating wood floor may provide the solution you need. Here’s what you need to know about this quick fix among flooring options.
What Is A Floating Wood Floor?
If you see the words ‘floating wood floor’, and find yourself confused by them, you’re not alone. It’s an odd phrase that makes the product sound more sci-fi and future tech than it is. Simply put: a floating floor is a type of flooring installation where the new floor rests on top of your subfloor. It, in essence, ‘floats’ above the existing floor.
Why Should I Use Floating Floors Over Traditional Ones?
Floating floors can offer a number of benefits over their traditional glue, nail, or staple-down brothers. These benefits include, but are not limited to:
Since most floating floors are held together by friction and gravity rather than glue, nails, or staples, you don’t need to worry about them damaging your existing floor. In addition, you won’t wind up having to pull up your current flooring. This means you can give yourself the engineered hardwood flooring you want without sacrificing your safety deposit in the process. That’s a win-win in our book!
Easy to Install and Maintain
Floating floors often have a simple interlocking mechanism that makes them a literal snap to install. All you need to do is ensure that your space is clear and the pieces are slotted together the right way.
In addition, you won’t need to worry about some sort of special maintenance for your floating floor. Just do the same type of cleaning and maintenance you’d do on any other floor made from the same material.
Wide Variety of Materials to Choose From
Pretty much any material can be used to make a floating floor. Hardwood, laminate, tile, carpet, vinyl, whatever strikes your fancy. If you want intricate tile or wood patterns, you can find them in floating floor format. If you’d rather get something plain and eco-friendly like bamboo flooring, that’s an option too.
Saves You Money
Installing floating flooring is far cheaper than doing it the old-fashioned way. This is in part due to the lower time and labor cost involved. You don’t even need to hire professionals to put it together for you, so long as you’re able to assemble the pieces. (And if you do hire pros to help out, you won’t have to hire them for as many hours!)
Easy to Swap Out
So, you went with a super dark-washed wood from homedepot.com or https://nydreeflooring.com/markets/residential. You thought you’d love it. But after living with it for a few months, you’re not feeling it anymore.
No worries! With floating flooring, you can easily switch your old, blah floors for something more you. If you want to swap from bamboo to teak or pine, that’s your prerogative.
Help the Environment
No, really. Floating floors can be more eco-friendly than their traditional counterparts. The reason for this? Flooring adhesives contain volatile organic compounds which can harm you, your pets, and the environment at large. By forgoing these adhesives, you’re slashing the environmental impact of your flooring.
What Drawbacks Do Floating Floors Have?
Floating wood floors can be beneficial to homeowners, but they’re not without their drawbacks. Some of these disadvantages can include:
Since floating floors aren’t held together with external adhesives or nails, they can feel unsteady compared to traditional floors. Remember, only gravity and friction keep these floors from coming apart at the seams. There’s only so long they can bear your weight.
You Need A Solid Foundation
Floating floors can be made from thinner materials than traditional ones. That’s why you need to ensure you have strong, solid subflooring beneath you if you intend to install floating floors. If your subflooring is warped or bent, your floating floor will be as well.
Oh, the Noise
Floating floors, as mentioned above, are made from thinner materials, which means they won’t absorb as much noise. You likely won’t notice the difference unless your subflooring has some deficiencies. However, it’s worth keeping in mind if you like being able to sneak to the kitchen unnoticed at 3 am.
And the Actual Resale Price Is…
Some home buyers have strong preconceived notions about floating floors. This could end up damaging your home’s resale value in the eyes of buyers who wanted traditional wooden floors. Still, the final sale value attached to your floors should come down more to the material used in them than the installation method.
You Won’t Get Solid Wood
As in traditional flooring installation, real, solid wood options can be hard to come by in floating floors. It’s by no means impossible to find solid hardwood floors in floating form, but you had best be prepared both to search and to part with a generous amount of cash for them. Engineered hardwood flooring offers a cheaper option that’s just as high-quality and holds its value just as well.
Get Floored By More Home Improvement Inspiration
A floating wood floor can be an exceptional flooring option for the renter or homeowner on a budget. It’s easy to install and switch out, cheaper, and better for the environment. If you’re willing to risk some increased noise, a bit of shakiness, and not being able to find solid wood, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to improve their flooring ASAP.
If you found this article on floating floors informative and would like to read more like it, check out the Home section of our blog each day for more home improvement content like this!