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Should I Get Floating or Glue Down Flooring?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I’m trying to find the right flooring for my living room. It’ll get quite a bit of foot traffic and I want it to feel sturdy under our feet. Should I get floating or glue down flooring?
–Erica G.

Dear Erica,

For years, glue down or nail down flooring was the only way to install floors. For some types of flooring, such as carpet, this is still true. Without glue or nails, it’s normal to wonder how the floor will remain secured to the subfloor and free of movement under your feet.

Glue Down Floors

Traditionally, glue down floors are more challenging to install. After installation, you cannot walk on them for at least 24 hours. This means you’ll either need to avoid a room all together for a day or complete your flooring project in small amounts at a time.

Once finished, glue down floors are secure but they cannot be easily replaced. If a plank gets damaged you will have to tear up a small section of the flooring. This is costly and burdensome.

Floating Floors

As flooring contractors, we recommend floating floors. Floating floors are the new normal in laminate and vinyl flooring.

The term floating floor means that the laminate or type of flooring you’re using does not need to be glued or nailed to the floor. This can sometimes give the impression that it’s unstable or unsteady.

That is not the case.

Floating floors are stabilized by a locking system. Similar to a puzzle, each piece clicks and locks together. Once the floor is installed, it sits securely on the floor. Most homeowners with this type of flooring do not realize they have a floating floor because of how sturdy it is.

The benefit to floating planks or tiles is that it is easy to pick up and move or replace certain pieces. If a piece gets damaged or scratched, you can quickly put in a fresh new piece to keep your floor looking great without having to replace every plank.

Need more help deciding which type of flooring is right for you? Reach out to us and our team of flooring experts anytime for one-on-one help! Just use the chat box below to get started.

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  1. I have a laminate floor that is solid as a rock in the winter…in the summer months such as now really hot weather..
    the laminate gives when you walk on it I mean really bad you can watch someone walk on it and the whole floor seems to be moving…I am scared it is going to go thru at times! is this normal?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Landa, it seems this could be an issue with humidity. Since laminate is a wood product, it can be absorbing the water in the air. We would recommend running the A/C to keep the room temperature stable, and possibly even a de-humidifier if necessary! This should help relieve the board swelling and instability.

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