Floating hardwood floors (Floating wood flooring | Floating wood floors)
Floating floors were originally developed in Europe years ago to better cope in climates where the relative humidity levels vary more than in other regions. Due to that instant success they quickly became popular in the United States. Floating engineered wood floors have become an extremely popular floor to use by DIYer’s who want to install the flooring themselves. There are no nails or staples to contend with, no swinging of any big hammer, no messy glues that have to be troweled out. Most of the floating hardwood floors today are simply clicked locked together OR a bead of glue is squeezed in the groove of the boards as they are being installed, both types are installed over the recommended foam underlayment pad which acts as a vapor retarder and/or a cushion and sound control. For the ultimate in sound control 1/4 inch thick Cork underlayment can also be used instead of the foam pad to greatly reduce any sound transmission when the floor is walked on.
Some of the most popular Click loc floating floors we sell are Bruce Turlington Loc and Fold – Kahrs Click Loc – and Manningon Caspian Loc n Go. For Bamboo flooring Teragren’s Tera-Loc is the most desired.
Why does a floating wood floor have better stability?
Floating Wood Floors are manufacturered with a decorative real wood species veneer top layer adhered to a plywood type base. The amount of ply-layers that the base may have will vary depending on the wood flooring manufacturer. Each thin wood ply layer when cross layered in the opposite direction to other ply-layers and glued at the factory greatly reduces the ability of the engineered hardwood floor to expand and contract and it becomes a very stable and strong floor.
With any other wood flooring that’s nailed down or glued down over a subfloor the natural movement within the wood floor during seasonal change is restricted because it’s secured solidly to the subfloor. Seasonal expansion and contraction can cause the edges of each of the boards to cup upwards or cause the boards to dry out and contract showing unsightly gaps between the boards (usually during the dry heating season). A floating hardwood floor virtually eliminates this cupping and/or contraction during seasonal relative humidity changes because each floor board is locked together to each other and not held down tight, the whole floor moves as a one unit.
During a flooring installation care must be given to leave the proper expansion gap around all fixed objects such as walls. This expansion gap can be covered using the original baseboard molding or additional shoe molding / 3/4 round molding. All wood flooring needs to be able to expand and contract during relative humidity changes (usually seasonal) any expansion or contraction will take place at the walls under the baseboards or 3/4 round molding.
You may get some resistance to the term expansion gap as a lot of people feel there is no need to use one. In all my years of being in business inspecting flooring I have seen hundreds of jobs where the flooring was installed tight to the walls and had swelled and buckled off the floor during higher humidity levels that can occur during the year.
The Benefits of using engineered flooring are
Floating Hardwood Flooring can be installed in basement areas that are prone to having higher relative humidity levels of between 30-60%. *Any wood flooring should not be used in areas prone to flooding.
Floating Wood Flooring can be used in most any room in your home. *Any wood flooring is not recommended for use in areas like full bathrooms where a lot of water will be splashed on the floors.
Floating Wood Floors can be installed in 3 season cabins or summer homes that are not as climate controlled in off seasons.
Floating Hardwood Floors are one of the most environmentally friendly Green types of wood flooring to use as it takes 3-6 times less face veneer wood to produce an engineered wood plank floor.
Floating Hardwood Flooring is the best choice for floor covering over radiant heat systems. We personally recommend the surface temperature of the heat source not to exceed 80 degrees. *Some engineered wood manufacturers “May Not” provide any warranty if their wood species like Maple or Brazilian Cherry are used over radiant heat as these species are the most unstable woods to use over radiant heat..
Engineered hardwood Flooring has a life span average of between 40-80 years.
Floating Wood Floor Myths:
Floating Hardwood Floors sound hollow when walked on!
Two simple things that anyone can do to keep any floating hardwood floor quieter. 1. Make sure your subfloor is flat and well secured, the flatter your subfloor is the more contact the floating floor will have with the subfloor. If you have a wood or concrete subfloor a leveling compound can be simply mixed up and spread into any depressions. 2. When ordering your New Floating Floor try and choose one that is the thickest. Using the thicker wood flooring for the floating floor is the more sound it will absorb.
Floating wood flooring moves up and down when walked on!
Two simple things that anyone can do to keep any hard surfaced flooring quieter.
1. Make sure your subfloor is flat, the flatter your subfloor is the more contact the floating floor will have with the subfloor. If you have a wood or concrete subfloor a leveling compound can be simply mixed up and spread into any depressions. For more information see our article on All About Floating Wood Floors