What is a Floating Floor?

by Bestlaminate
Published: Updated: 6 comments 3 minutes read

Flooring can be complicated when there are so many different components that apply. Sometimes this might raise the question, What is a floating floor?

A floating floor is a floor that does not need to be glued or nailed down to the subfloor.

So how is it installed?

Great question! Floating floors come with a locking system that’s part of the flooring. This tongue and groove type system allows the flooring planks to fit securely together. It’s much easier than nailing, stapling, or gluing flooring down. And the best part? You can walk on floating floors as soon as it’s installed!

Kronoswiss Noblesse Elegance Light Oak locking system

Kronoswiss Noblesse Elegance Light Oak locking system

Is there anything important I should know about floating floors?

Glad you asked! With floating floors, you must use underlayment. Underlayment is what allows the floor to float on top of the subfloor. It provides some cushioning to the floor and allows it to expand and contract smoothly with the changes in temperature and humidity. Because of the floor’s need to expand and contract, you must also leave a 1/4″ gap around the perimeter of the room. This is called an expansion gap and allows the floor to float comfortably on top of the underlayment and subfloor.Pre-Attached Underlayment on Floating laminate Flooring

Other Quick Facts about Floating Floors:

  • Floating floors can be engineered hardwood, laminate, or vinyl, however these can also be installed in other fashions, such as glue-down.
  • Floating floors are not glued, stapled, or nailed down, but free-standing.
  • Floating floors have their own built in locking system, allowing the individual planks to be joined with other planks, thus creating the floor.

Installing a Floating Floor

If you have any questions on whether a floating floor is right for your home, you can write them in the comments below or call one of our knowledgeable sales representatives at 1-800-520-0961.

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Priscilla October 4, 2023 - 11:01 am

Two and a half years later by flooring in the center of dining room / kitchen. Is Buckling. What should I do?

Rachel Vahcic October 4, 2023 - 11:12 am

Thanks for your question, Priscilla. Here is an article that you may find helpful in replacing damaged laminate flooring planks: https://www.bestlaminate.com/blog/replacing-damaged-laminate-flooring-planks/ If you have any additional questions, please reach out to our customer service team!

Suzy Mihm June 8, 2023 - 1:53 pm

Are vinyl floors supposed to make a crackle sound when walked on after installation??

Rachel Vahcic June 9, 2023 - 9:51 am

Thanks for your question, Suzy. This sometimes occurs for the first few months while your floorings settles. However, if there is any dust or debris under the floor, it can cause that sound as well.

Donald Mayers March 23, 2020 - 6:02 am

Thank you for proving information about floating floors. This will also give transparency as to what materials should be used.

Alana Kane March 24, 2020 - 8:19 am

Glad it was helpful Donald!


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