Floating floors are a popular choice for homeowners who want to update their space with a fresh new look. They provide the beauty of real wood, stone or tile without the hassle of adhering it directly to your subfloor. While floating floors have many benefits, there are also some potential issues that you should be aware of before installing one in your home.
In this blog post, we will discuss what exactly a floating floor is and how it works as well as important considerations when preparing for installation and care instructions once installed. We’ll also explore both the pros and cons associated with this type of flooring so you can make an informed decision about whether or not a floating floor is right for you!

Table of Contents

What is a Floating Floor?

Floating floors are a type of flooring that is not attached to the subfloor. They are installed by laying individual planks or tiles on top of an underlay, which provides cushion and soundproofing. This allows for easy installation and replacement when needed.

Definition of a Floating Floor

A floating floor is any type of flooring material that is not directly attached to the subfloor beneath it. It can be made from wood, vinyl, laminate, bamboo, hybrid materials or other types of flooring materials. The individual pieces are connected together with tongue-and-groove joints or adhesive strips so they stay in place without being nailed down.

Types of Floating Floors

There are many different types of floating floors available today including sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), engineered timber & bamboo, laminate and hybrid flooring options such as WPC (wood plastic composite). Each type has its own unique benefits depending on your needs and preferences.

The installation of a floating floor has many benefits. It is much easier than traditional hardwood installation, as it does not require nailing each piece into place. Additionally, since there is no direct contact between the planks/tiles and the subfloor below them, they tend to be quieter and more comfortable underfoot due to the added cushion provided by the underlay layer underneath them. 

Furthermore, if one plank/tile becomes damaged over time, it can easily be replaced without having to replace all boards in order for everything else to look uniform again; this makes maintenance much simpler compared to other types of hard surface floors such as ceramic tile or stone which require complete removal before replacing just one broken piece.

Preparing for Installation

Subfloor Preparation

Before installing a floating floor, it is important to ensure that the subfloor is in good condition. This means checking for any unevenness or gaps between boards and making sure that all nails are properly secured. It is also important to make sure the surface of the subfloor is clean and free from debris such as dirt, dust, paint chips, etc. If necessary, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any loose particles before beginning installation.

Removal of baseboards or mouldings on the wall

Baseboards or mouldings should be removed prior to the installation of floating floors. These will be returned (or replaced) after the flooring installation to cover the gap between the floor and the walls.

Underlay Selection and Installation

Once the subfloor has been prepared, it’s time to select an appropriate underlay material for your floating floor installation. Underlay helps protect against moisture damage while providing additional cushioning and soundproofing benefits. There are many types of underlays available on the market today including foam pads, felt paper sheets, cork mats, rubber mats and more; be sure to choose one that meets your specific needs. After selecting an appropriate underlay material for your project you will need to install it according to manufacturer instructions prior to laying down your new floating flooring material.

Acclimatization of Materials

It is essential to allow enough time for the acclimatization of the materials prior to starting work on them in order for a successful floating floor installation job. This process can take two to three days or more for engineered hardwood. Preferably, the boards should be placed in the room where they will be installed. During this period, all boxes should be left open so air can circulate around them and reduce potential problems due to humidity levels being too high or low inside each box, which could lead to warping or buckling once installed if not taken into consideration beforehand. Additionally, when storing materials indoors they should be kept away from direct sunlight as this may cause fading over time if exposed for long periods during their acclimatization phase.

Laying Down the Floating Floor

Installing a floating floor is an easy and cost-effective way to upgrade your home. It can be done in just a few steps, with minimal tools required.

Before placing the planks on the floor, it is best that you plan the layout to prevent unnecessary narrow or small cuts on your planks. Calculate the number of full boards that will fit into the space and determine how much space is left over for partial planks. It is recommended that the partial planks that will go to the edges (if any) be at least half (lengthwise) of the plank. 

Work from one corner of the room. Place spacers on the wall. Lay the plank with its tongue side facing the wall. Continue placing the plank until the first row is finished. 

For the second and succeeding rows, lay the plank on an angle with the tongue side facing the groove side of the first row and push down to lock them in place. Use a rubber mallet or a tapping block to secure the planks in their place. Continue until you reach the opposite side of the room. 

After all the planks have been laid. remove all the spacers along the walls and then put back the baseboards or mouldings (or replace the old ones). The baseboards or mouldings will cover the gap between the planks and the walls.

Finally, vacuum up any dust particles left behind after installation is complete – this will help keep your new floors looking their best for years to come.

Common Mistakes To Avoid During Installation

One common mistake when installing a floating floor is not allowing enough space between walls and furniture for expansion during temperature changes. This can cause peaking of the planks over time if not properly accounted for during installation. To prevent this from happening, spacers must be placed along the perimeter walls during the installation and removed after the installation. The space between the wall and flooring must be according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Additionally, improper acclimatization of materials prior to installation can lead to premature failure due to excessive shrinking or swelling caused by sudden changes in humidity levels after the installation has begun.

Another costly mistake when installing floating floors is not properly preparing the subfloor prior to installation. Floating floors installed on uneven surfaces will get damaged prematurely. As pressure is applied to the floors, they may crack or bend because they are not adequately supported underneath. Not ensuring proper moisture levels of the subfloor prior to installation can lead to moisture buildup which can result in the growth of mould and mildew and damage the floor (and the subfloor).
Not using the appropriate underlay is another mistake amateur installers can make. Always use the recommended underlay based on the type of your subfloor and floor. 

Lastly, all pieces should be accurately cut using appropriate tools; this will help reduce chipping along edges which could lead to gaps between planks later on as they expand and contract due to temperature fluctuations throughout their lifetime use.

Maintenance and Care for Floating Floors

It’s important to remember that proper maintenance and care are essential in order to keep your floor looking its best. Here are some tips on how to maintain and care for floating floors:

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Regular cleaning with a vacuum or broom will help keep dirt, dust, and debris from accumulating on the surface of the floor. It’s also important to mop regularly using a damp mop. Only use an approved cleaner specifically designed for floating floors when necessary. Avoid using any abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals as these can damage the finish of your flooring over time.

Dealing with Scratches, Dents, and Stains

Minor scratches can be removed by lightly sanding the area with fine-grit sandpaper before applying touch-up paint or stain if necessary. For deeper scratches, you may need to replace the damaged boards altogether depending on their severity. To prevent dents from occurring it’s best not to place heavy furniture directly onto your floating floor without protective pads underneath them first; this will help protect against indentations caused by pressure points over time. As far as stains go, it’s always best practice to clean up spills immediately before they have a chance to set into the material. Otherwise, you may need professional assistance in removing them completely if they become too stubbornly ingrained into the surface of your flooring material itself.

Repairing Damaged Areas

If there is significant damage such as warping or buckling due to moisture exposure then you may need professional assistance in repairing these areas properly; however minor repairs such as replacing individual planks should be relatively straightforward providing you have access to replacement pieces that match exactly what was originally installed. It’s always wise to buy a few extras when installing new floating floors initially.

Maintaining your floating floors is easy with regular cleaning and maintenance. Prompt attention to any damages that occur along the way will help extend their lifespan significantly while still enjoying their beautiful aesthetic appeal. To keep your flooring in good condition, follow these steps: vacuum or sweep regularly; mop occasionally; use a damp cloth for spot cleaning; avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals; and repair any damage as soon as possible. With proper care, you can enjoy your floating floors for years to come!

Pros and Cons of Floating Floors

A floating floor is simply one that is not attached to the subfloor, but instead “floats” on top of it. This type of flooring can be made from many different materials including laminate, vinyl plank, engineered timber & bamboo, hybrid flooring and sustainable options like cork or bamboo.

Advantages of Installing a Floating Floor

One major advantage to installing a floating floor is that it does not require any nails or glue for installation which makes it much easier than other types of floors such as hardwood or tile. It also requires less time for installation since no drying time is needed between each step in the process. Additionally, floating floors are generally more affordable than traditional hardwood floors and they come in a variety of styles so you can find something that fits your home décor perfectly.

Disadvantages of Installing Floating Floors

Floating floors whether vinyl, hybrid, or engineered timber are fairly durable but compared to solid hardwood floors or tiles, they don’t last as long. 

In addition, some types may be prone to warping over time if exposed to too much moisture or humidity which could lead to costly repairs down the line. If not properly installed, the planks could peak due to expansion and contraction.

But all of these can be avoided if the installation is done properly and the floor is properly cared for after installation. 

Warping and bucking could be prevented by installing a proper moisture barrier between the subfloor and flooring material. Wiping spills immediately also prevents the accumulation of excess moisture. Peaking can be prevented by ensuring that there is enough expansion space between the flooring and the surrounding walls or mouldings.

FAQs About Floating Floors

What are the problems with floating floors?

Floating floors can be susceptible to moisture and humidity, which can cause warping or buckling. They also tend to be more prone to gaps between planks due to their lack of attachment. Additionally, floating floors may not provide the same level of sound insulation as other flooring types, leading to increased noise levels in the home. Finally, floating floors are generally less durable than other flooring options and require regular maintenance for optimal performance.

Are floating floors any good?

Floating floors are a great option for many homeowners. They offer an easy installation process and can be installed over most existing flooring, saving time and money. Floating floors also provide superior sound insulation, making them ideal for areas with high foot traffic or where noise is an issue. Additionally, floating floors come in a variety of materials such as laminate, vinyl plank, engineered timber & bamboo, hybrid flooring and sustainable flooring so you can find the perfect look to match your decor. With proper care and maintenance, they will last for years to come!

What is meant by a floating floor?

A floating floor is a type of flooring installation method where the planks or tiles are not attached to the subfloor. Instead, they are laid on top and held in place by an interlocking system that allows them to “float” above the subfloor. This type of installation provides stability and flexibility for areas prone to moisture or temperature changes, such as bathrooms or kitchens. Floating floors also provide sound insulation benefits due to their lack of direct contact with the underlying surface.

What do you put under a floating floor?

Underlay is an essential part of any floating floor installation. It helps to reduce noise, absorb moisture and provide insulation. The type of underlay you choose will depend on the type of flooring being installed as well as the subfloor it is going onto. Generally, a foam or rubber underlay should be used for laminate and engineered wood floors while cork or felt can be used for vinyl plank and tile floors. In addition, make sure that your chosen underlay has a vapour barrier if necessary to prevent moisture from seeping into your new flooring. Finally, always follow manufacturer instructions when installing your new floating floor with the appropriate underlay for the best results!


Floating floors can be a great option for those looking to update their home with new flooring. They are relatively easy to install and maintain, but there are some drawbacks that should be considered before making the decision to go with this type of flooring. While they may not be as durable or long-lasting as solid timber floors, if you take proper care of your floating floor it can last for many years. With careful preparation and installation, a floating floor can provide an attractive and affordable solution for updating any room in your home.

When comparing different types of floors such as carpet, laminate, and vinyl plank, it really comes down to personal preference and your budget.

Carpet provides warmth underfoot while laminate offers durability at an affordable price point; however, both have drawbacks depending on where they are being installed (i.e., high-traffic areas). Vinyl plank flooring has become increasingly popular lately because it is easy to install and maintain, plus it’s water-resistant making it great for bathrooms or kitchens. Engineered timber and bamboo offer natural beauty but require professional installers who know how to handle delicate material correctly. 

Ultimately whatever type you choose, make sure to research all the pros and cons before committing to purchase. 

Are you looking for an easy, durable and affordable flooring solution? Carpet One can help you make a decision about what kind works best for you and your home.

Our floating floors provide the perfect combination of style and comfort while being simple to install. With a wide selection of colours and styles available, we can help you find the perfect fit for your home or office space. Come visit us today at Carpet One to explore our vast range of options!

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