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What Is Floating Vinyl Flooring?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I’m trying to find the perfect flooring for my house, but I’m stuck! What is floating vinyl flooring and is it a good choice for homes?
– Hannah M.

Dear Hannah,

Congratulations on starting your new project! To give you the best definition of the term “floating vinyl flooring,” I’ll break it up into a few different sections.


When a manufacturer or contractor says that a floor “floats” it means that it does not sit directly on top of the subfloor. Your subfloor is wood or concrete. Putting the vinyl directly onto the subfloor can make your flooring louder, harder, and more prone to damage.

To “float” your vinyl flooring, you will need to install underlayment. This is a protective layer that offers some cushioning underneath the vinyl.


Vinyl is the material used in your flooring. This popular type of flooring is made out of synthetic resin or plastic.

Vinyl flooring has come a long ways since inception. Now, more homeowners are opting for “luxury” vinyl flooring that looks and feels better than the vinyl that was installed a few decades ago. Now, vinyl gives the appearance of wood or stone. Most of the time, people cannot tell the difference between vinyl and the natural product at first glance.

Browse through some of our vinyl with the stone or wood look to see how natural this flooring appears today.

Vinyl is a popular choice because it is practical, durable, and easy to maintain. It will keep up its appearance for the long-run so it is very popular in many homes. I strongly encourage you to order a free sample and see how good floating vinyl flooring could look in your home.

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  1. Hi Cat, thanks for the question. For large spaces, it is best to glue vinyl, however, you will need to install glue-specific planks. You could experience issues and void your warranty if you install it with glue instead of floating.

  2. Hello we are getting around 5000 sq ft of lockin floating vyinl planks in our church. Installer wants to also glue it . He says it will hold up better with hi traffic. And because it locks together it will be harder for planks to separate over time like traditional glue in planks. Is he right?

  3. Hi Mary, thanks for the question. The only thing that may happen is the board will sink or feel slightly hollow when stepped on if there is an unlevel spot. If you used underlayment, it may have helped even this out. It should cause a big issue, but the joints may move slightly if there is an unlevel space.

  4. We just had “floating vinyl installed over our hard wood floor. There is one area of the floor when a wall was removed. A long board going in the opposite direction of the tongue and groove was used to fill the gap where the was was located. I think this area is slightly unlevel with the remainder of the hardwood. Will this affect the wear on my new floor.

  5. Hi Ann, thanks for reaching out. Any floating floor must be installed on a smooth and seamless surface. You must uninstall the carpet tacking, and ensure that your subfloor is level prior to installing new vinyl. Hope this helps!

  6. We have taken up our old carpet covering our basement floor and are ready to put down floating vinyl that has its own backing. So we need to take up all the carpet tacking or will the vinyl lay over it?

  7. Hi Carolyn, thanks for reaching out. You can go ahead and install vinyl plank flooring directly over ceramic tile, and treat it like a cement subfloor. Hope this helps!

  8. What do you need to do in order to put vinyl floor planks over ceramic tile? Can you do this or does ceramic tile need to come up?

  9. Hi Olivia, thanks for reaching out. We recommend vinyl plank flooring for your project. Vinyl plank flooring is 100% waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about damage from puppies that are not yet potty trained. We recommend vinyl with a commercial grade wear layer, so it can withstand the everyday wear and tear, dirt and grime that every floor is exposed to. It is very sturdy, easy to clean and there are many styles to choose from! Check out our Bestlaminate collection here:

  10. I have a back porch that gets a lot of sunlight that doubles as a dog room for when I foster puppies and not so potty trained animals. I need durable flooring that wont be damaged when a bone or hard toy is dropped on it. What is my best bet for flooring?

  11. That’s a great question, Karen. I would highly recommend COREtec floors for an all-season room. COREtec does not expand and contract as drastically as laminate (which should never be installed in an all-seasons room) or vinyl does with rapid climate change. This floor is made with a 100% waterproof core and has a vinyl top, so it’s a very sturdy and durable floor. Feel free to send an email at or call us at 1-800-520-0961 if you have any questions or would like more information!

  12. I’m thinking of putting floating vinyl planks in my sunroom; however, I’m not sure that is the best floor I should do. The sunroom is not an all-season room, i.e. there is no climate control in the room. I debating about the vinyl planks or vinyl sheet flooring. I want the look of rustic with the look of a wood floor.

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