Floating floors don’t need to be glued or nailed to the subfloor. The floating floor is an installation style that is fixed above a subfloor. It means the flooring floats on the subfloor as it does not adhere to or attached in any way. Common floating floor materials are luxury vinyl and laminate, but there is cork, hardwood, tile systems also applied.
Despite its popularity, the basic floating flooring installation gets ignored. There are some dos and don’ts associated with the installation of floating floors. You can get more helpful information and tips from flooringdomain.com, an Australian flooring directory’s website.
Dos and don’ts
- When you open the carton, install the flooring without delay. Otherwise, leave it on the installation site to get it acclimatized to the surrounding for not more than 6 to 7 days.
- Expansion zone or gap is necessary not around outer walls but any vertical objects like walls, pipes, and cabinets. Seasonal changes create contraction or expansion in the wood or concrete subfloors, the expansion gap accommodates this movement. If ignored pinch point gets created and this buckles the flooring. Therefore, never install them tight to the cabinets, islands, walls, or permanent fixtures. Trims are used to conceal the expansion zones.
- All joints of the adjacent boards need to be a minimum 200 mm apart.
- Some contractors install the flooring first and then the permanent heavy fixtures to avoid using trims to hide the expansion zones. It is wrong because Kitchen Island or cabinets can create a huge pinpoint that causes the flooring to fail.
- Floating floors are not designed to conceal unleveled or bad subfloor. The flatness requirement of the subfloor is similar to glued-down flooring. If there are valleys and peaks in the subflooring the locking system will get compromised and the flooring gets disengaged leading to creaky noise and breaking of the locking mechanism.
- The subfloor also needs to be smooth otherwise it can cause uneven wear patterns on the floating floor.
- Never use floating boards in areas that are subjected to heavy loading floors.
- Transition pieces and melding need to be fastened or nailed into the substrate or walls and not the flooring. Even a doorstop must not be nailed as it can cause the vinyl board floor tile to buckle.
- Floating floors are unsuitable for underfloor heating.
- Even though you can install the floating floors in any direction, but the rule is to install it perpendicular to the window.
Floating floors are a budget-friendly option. You can have them professionally installed or if you are a DIY geek then it is easy to install, but make sure to follow the dos and don’ts mentioned above.