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Floating vs. Glue-Down Hardwood Floor Installation


Floating vs. Glue-Down Hardwood Floor Installation

When selecting a new hardwood floor for your home, there can be some uncertainty and anxiety when confronted with all of the choices.  With new technology available, there are beautiful engineered hardwood flooring systems that satisfy even the most discerning buyers.  There are three different types of installations regarding an engineered hardwood.  Each has its advantages and disadvantages, yet all three have a wide spectrum of species and stains.  In the following, I will discuss the three types, and moreover, how each system is different than the next.

The first type of installation is called “floating”. This simply means the floor is interlocked with itself and at no point attached to a sub floor.  Many laminate flooring systems such as Pergo pioneered this type of installation.  Thus over the years, floating systems were developed that are today widely used by developers in residential new-construction settings.  Floating floors are great for folks who are concerned about raising the overall floor height, or simply want to avoid the necessity of plywood.  These types of installations require a moisture barrier and at times, a form of sound abatement.  They are usually the most economical choice as glue and the additional labor associated with nail/glue installations are not factors. One disadvantage of this type of installation is the fact the floor does move when walked on.  This is not a defect and is inherent in these installations. Also when making a repair to these floors, it is not uncommon to remove a large selection of flooring to exchange a single board.  Home Carpet One stocks a wide spectrum of floating floors, giving our customers countless options for their next flooring project.

The second type of installation is a glue down flooring system.  Here, the hardwood is engineered to be glued to a substrate.  These types of floors are great for customers who want the look and feel of a solid hardwood installation and not the simulated appearance often found in floating installations.   They are typically thinner than nail down and floating hardwoods and have varying wear layers giving the purchaser the option to refinish depending on the product selected.   Glue down installations can be slightly more expensive than floating systems.  Again, one must purchase a moisture barrier and a potential form of sound abatement if required.  Here, the under-layments must be glued and not simply rolled out as a floating system would require. The process for repairing these floors is quite simple due to the fact a single plank can be removed and exchanged without disturbing the surrounding planks.

The final type of installation is a nail-down floor.  These floors tend to be the most costly due to the sub floor requirements and the nature of the product itself.  Some of these types of engineered hardwoods are solid wood and some are products with plywood construction and a heavy wear layer.  In either case, most nail down installations can be refinished multiple times thus giving the customer added confidence in the event a repair was necessary. Typically, there needs to be ¾ of an inch of solid plywood to nail into.  Also, it is not uncommon to have nail-down installations be limited to on or above grade depending on product selection.

In summation, all of these types of installations require the proper acclimation of the product and all guidelines be adhered to.  Engineered products have become a great alternative to the standard unfinished wood that needs to be site finished.  There are countless options and types available to fit each and every budget!

-Tony Reyes, Hard Surface Manager

install   glue down floor   nail down


Great article. Thanks for posting!
Posted @ Wednesday, June 05, 2013 5:34 AM by Chris
Hardwood floors are a very important and beautiful addition to any home. However, once you get one, you have to make sure that you take proper care of it and maintain it properly. It's of utmost importance to clean regularly, using the correct techniques, or you may find youself having to pay more money to the proffessionals to fix your mistakes. I think that everyone should take the time and learn how to clean hardwood floors before making such a purchase.
Posted @ Thursday, June 13, 2013 8:24 PM by Steven
carpet is one of the expensive thing to be designed at home but it brings life and color to your home. Even if it is expensive but atleast the materials are in high quality.
Posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 5:09 PM by AmandaK213
Nice post on Tile Flooring which is reffer to which type of tiles should be used for the flooring and give the better rediculous satisfaction for future prevention and sometimes denoted the safe and permanant process of fixing the tiles.. 
Posted @ Thursday, August 08, 2013 5:05 AM by Tile Flooring
I found Awesome company who serve Flooring they offer best service and provide all types of flooring http://efloorsusa.com
Posted @ Thursday, October 24, 2013 1:11 AM by Hardwood Orang
I was very pleased to find this web-site. 
Posted @ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:31 PM by Brazilian Cherry Flooring
Great post, the floating installation is a great kind of hardwood flooring installation option for laminate styles, like you said in the post. I'm just agreeing with you. Again, great post.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 05, 2013 9:24 AM by Palatine Hardwood Flooring Company
I found Awesome company who serve Flooring they offer best service and provide all types of flooring http://efloorsusa.com
Posted @ Monday, November 11, 2013 5:26 AM by Hardwood Orang
nice article and i'm also found best company builders in vellore, for flooring and new home construction.
Posted @ Thursday, November 14, 2013 12:12 AM by miss eva
I found Awesome company who serve Flooring they offer best service and provide all types of flooring http://efloorsusa.com
Posted @ Saturday, November 23, 2013 6:45 AM by Hardwood Orang
I found Awesome company who serve Flooring they offer best service and provide all types of flooring http://efloorsusa.com
Posted @ Monday, November 25, 2013 4:52 AM by Hardwood Orang
Nice read! I like the suggestions.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 03, 2013 1:55 AM by Daniel
I was under the impression that one would have to remove a big piece of wood to fix under the GLUed options and only a plank under the FLOATING option....? The article says differently. Can anyone help please??
Posted @ Thursday, January 09, 2014 10:34 AM by Wanda Nowak
This is a good guide with the pros and cons of floating and fixed hardwood floor installation. Hope you write more guides.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 26, 2014 12:18 AM by Hardwood @ HomeFlooring
Thanks for the article. I am thinking of installing laminate flooring because it is the most economical option available to me. Also it is always easy to put a new laminate if you got bored of the earlier one after sometime. 
Posted @ Friday, April 04, 2014 2:46 AM by Judy Holmes
Very nice comparison... We're working on our own version of hardwood floors comparison in our site and we're glad to see such professional articles which helps us put a better comparison solution for people to use. Thumbs up
Posted @ Tuesday, June 03, 2014 2:22 AM by Pittsburgh Flooring
Nice post!! Thanks for these tips.
Posted @ Saturday, June 07, 2014 12:12 AM by Hardwood floor installations
Very good comparison between these two subjects. I was here to find about RV Roof Repair. Do you have any info regarding this?
Posted @ Monday, July 28, 2014 3:04 AM by Fox
Hardwood floor is a matter of artistic decoration. It is healthy and eco-friendly too. There are many types of hardwood floors. But flooring is not enough, regular maintenance is needed otherwise it becomes discolored and rejected. Anybody willing to use affordable wood flooring just to keep in mind that without regular maintenance is needed.
Posted @ Sunday, September 14, 2014 2:09 PM by http://www.gohardwood.com/
How can you say that a glued engineered wood is easier to replace a piece then floated? The glued plank is tongue and groove glued to other planks and taking it out will damage the adjacent planks. Also, expensive to have someone fix.
Posted @ Friday, September 19, 2014 3:56 PM by John
From the installers perspective, do you charge more to install a floor via float in method or nail down ?
Posted @ Wednesday, September 24, 2014 5:41 PM by John
Hardwood is an environmentally friendly flooring option for your home. These floors are one of the amenities that home buyers often look for when buying a house. From
Posted @ Wednesday, October 15, 2014 5:30 AM by Harwood installation
Upon removal of carpet, found out that i have particle board on top of plywood, which i don't want to replace it(cost more to replace), can I still use glue down engineer floor??
Posted @ Sunday, November 30, 2014 7:26 AM by ekta patel
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