How to install a floating floor

August 10, 2014

A floating floor can dramatically enhance the look of a room so here a few tips to help you install one yourself.

How to install a floating floor

Advantages of floating floors

Whether made of cork, bamboo, engineered timber or laminate, floating floor coverings have many attractive benefits.

Easy installation: It’s not necessary to call a professional carpenter to install this type of flooring.

  • Floating floorboards do not require individual fastening to the subfloor. You only have to slide and lock the planks together.
  • Outfitting a room with floating floors will require only a few tools and takes much less time to install than hardwoods.

A wide variety of finishes to choose from: With the recent rise in popularity of floating floors, manufacturers have had to adapt to fulfill the high demand.

  • Floating floors are available in many different types of materials, different textures and patterns. With so much to choose from, you will certainly find something you like.

Affordable: A floating wood floor costs significantly less than buying natural stone, ceramic or hardwood flooring by the square foot.

  • In fact, floating floor coverings are up to five times less expensive than other flooring materials.

Installation of floating floors

Their installation is fairly straightforward.

First, you should clean the surface on which you will install the boards.

Next you can install the subfloor.

  • This consists of a membrane composed of among other things, of a vapour barrier, to ensure proper floor insulation.
  • Make sure there are no protrusions on the subfloor, for example, nail heads sticking out, as this will interfere with the slide and lock system of the floating planks.

Once this is complete, you can start to join the floorboards together.

  • For easiest assembly, it’s recommended to start end to end, snapping the planks together lengthwise to complete the first row.
  • Next, continue to slide the grooves and lock them together with the previously installed row.

To ensure that planks are tightly fitted together, use a rubber mallet to gently tap the sides of planks into place.

  • This is necessary to achieve a symmetrical and clean look.
  • Lightly hammering the side of each row will eliminate gaps between the planks and give your floor the look of a genuine hardwood finish.

Maintenance of floating floors

This type of flooring is very easy to maintain.

  • There is no need to use specific cleaning or polishing products, in fact water and an all-purpose cleaner is all you’ll need.
  • Plus, floating wood floors are very resistant and have a much longer lifespan than hardwood floors, which get damaged over time.
  • Synthetic resins used to coat floating floorboards protect the material from discolouration and blanching due to sunlight and other factors.
  • On the other hand, when a plank is damaged, few alternatives exist. You'll probably need to replace the plank, depending on the extent of damage.
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