It is indeed difficult to imagine your house without any wooden flooring. Without wooden flooring a house is incomplete, it lacks that warmth, coziness and elegance. So what have you decided? If you are willing to go for wooden flooring then the quickest way to get a new wood underfoot is to install a floating floor. Engineered floating floors product lines offers the beauty of hardwood, which can be installed in any level of your home within a matter of hours. Unlike the traditional floors, these floors aren’t nailed down; instead they are either glued or snapped together.
Floating floors are no different than normal engineered hardwood floors. They only vary in the mechanism of their installation. So it is a method of installing a floor rather than a specific type of floor. Be it concrete, plywood or ceramic tiles - these planks can virtually fit over any material. Here the individual planks are attached to each other by means of gluing or snapping together but do not attach to the substrate on which it is being installed. These floors are more durable and stable than the solid wood floors. It’s so simple that whenever you wish you can simply roll and fold your floor back, or install it at another level of your house. The best analogy to floating floors would be a jigsaw puzzle. In a jigsaw puzzle the pieces connect to each other but do not connect to the table beneath.
Design styles of floating floors:
Just like engineered hardwood floors, your floating floors also come in a variety of styles and design to suit the décor of your home. One of the most common styles is the ‘longstrip’ design, where the top hardwood layer of each plank or board is designed in such a manner that it gives the visual appearance of 2-3 different hardwood boards joined together. Amongst these the 3 strips, 2 strips and the single strip are the most popular designs for floating floors. The design of your floor absolutely depends on your taste, home décor and personal choice. Now-a-days you get the freedom of choosing any design that you want. You wish and the design will get reflected on your wooden floors.
How it works?
For ages you’ve known floors which had to be attached to their underlying substrate. Be it hardwood floors or ceramic or porcelain tiles; they had to be fixed to their bases. As time went by, the concept of do it yourself flooring or easy installation flooring came into the scenario and hence this concept of floating floors gained a lot of popularity. Floating floors removed the troubles of dealing with manual nailing or air compressed floor nailers.
Just like a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces of a floating floor stay in place because of the four factors:
- Friction: The frictional force between a floating floor and its underlayment prevents lateral movement.
- Weight: Though you are using lightweight planks, yet the entire weight of all the planks taken together is a considerable one. This weight keeps the floor intact.
- Confinement: Since in any flooring, it is confined by walls on three or four sides, hence the floor remains confined. Though you leave an expansion space between the floor and the wall, yet it is these walls that help to confine your floating floor.
- Attachment: With the modern locking mechanism between the planks, the wooden planks attach firmly with each other, thus ensuring strength and stability to the flooring.
How to install a floating floor?
The installation procedure is a simple 3 step process.
a) Leaving the proper expansion space.
b) Preparing the underlayment.
c) Installation of the hardwood.
Floating floors expand under temperature conditions or due to moisture and humidity. Hence you need to leave proper space between the flooring and the baseboard, the walls and any immovable object in the room to allow enough space for the floor to expand. Whether you want to remove your baseboard and then install the new flooring or you want to install it over the baseboard is absolutely your choice; but in either case leave enough space for the free movement of the floor. Make sure that you trim the bottom of the door casings so that the flooring will slide underneath.
Now you can calculate the volume of the room and divide it by the volume of each plank to get an idea about the number of planks that you would need. You need to trim and shape the end planks or the planks near any immovable object in the room. Hence first take proper measurements and prepare the planks accordingly.
Install the underlayment:
Once the planks have been prepared, you can now start preparing the underlayment. Clear the floor and then unroll the foam underlayment. The purpose of this underlayment layer is to provide a cushion between the hardwood floating floor and the subfloor. Additionally this underlayment also compensates for any subfloor irregularities as well.
Thus cover the entire floor with this underlayment. You need to trim and adjust the layer at the edges and the doorways. Finally seal the seams with duct tape.
Installing the hardwood:
Now you are ready to lay down the wooden planks. Place the first plank with its grooved end in the corner against a spacer block. Remember to keep the tongues facing out and the cut ends against the wall. You can use pre-measured wedges along the wall to compensate for your required expansion space.
Take enough care to install the first piece. After that you can now overlap the remaining pieces which can either be glued or locked against each other with the new click lock technique. Traditionally gluing has been the process of joining the planks. The glue is applied in the groove between the planks so that they firmly adhere to each other.
But as technology improved, we now have the click lock system which makes installing floating engineered wood flooring easy, quick and very secure. Place a plank onto the groove of another, angling it slightly upwards, pushing forward, and interlocking the side tongue. In this way continue and place the planks one after the other till the installation process is complete. Be careful with the finishing pieces. When you reach the last piece, measure to a spacer placed against the wall, to account for the expansion gap.
Advantages of a Floating Floor:
There are certain benefits that floating floors has to offer:
- Floating engineered boards are strong and very stable.
- Less prone to expansion and contraction. Thus a very viable option for summer homes.
- Since the floating floors behave as a single unit, there is no irregular expansion or contraction in these floors.
- Provide great stability in high moisture environment.
- Easy to install and can be installed in any level of your home.
- Removes the hassles of installing the traditional nail down hardwood flooring.
- Lastly floating floors provide an economic way to give a wonderful look to your house.
Hence if you want high quality click lock flooring and great value for your money; then opt for engineered hardwood floating floors today...