Should You Float or Glue Down Your Wood Flooring?
When choosing the right wood flooring for your home or commercial property, there are many factors that you need to consider and decisions that need to be made, such as the colour, type of wood and engineered vs. real wood.
Even once you have picked out your perfect wood flooring, there are more choices to make when it comes to the installation process; the biggest one being - should the wood floor be floated or glued down?
It’s important to note that if you are using solid wood flooring, we would highly recommend gluing the floor down rather than floating it. Solid wood floors are more susceptible to movement as they are less structurally stable and can be affected by humidity and changes in temperature (this is discussed in more depth in our previous blog post: ‘What are the main differences between engineered and solid wood flooring?’).
Hence, floating is only really an option if you are using engineered wood flooring which can withstand the pressure of natural movement.
If you are using engineered wood flooring and you are struggling to choose between having it floating or glued down, then continue reading to find out the benefits and drawbacks of each and which would work best for your property.
What is glued down wood flooring?
Gluing down your wood flooring is one method of installation and it means that the floor planks have been secured to the subfloor using a bonding agent or adhesive. We use modern MS polymer adhesive which is much more long standing than previous old fashioned adhesive materials such as Bitumen.
An even layer of glue/bonding agent is applied to the surface of the subfloor, and to the edges of each plank so they can be secured to one another, before being slotted into place.
What are the pros and cons of gluing down your wood flooring?
Glued down engineered wood flooring is the most popular method of installation, and we always recommend this options because it’s the more stable option out of the two.
This means that there is no shifting under your feet as you walk across it; making the floor feel firmer underfoot and doesn’t make any (or at least very little) creaking noise.
Glued down wood flooring can also be used on all types of subfloor surfaces, no matter how uneven - unlike floating wood flooring - so if you know that this is an issue in your property, then it’s best to play it safe with and glue the planks down.
The only real drawbacks of glued down wood flooring are in the installation process itself.
It’s inherently more time-consuming and expensive than floating wood flooring because there is skill and experience required which means the need to hire a professional. It can get a bit messy with non professionals so it is definitely not advised to do it yourself if you have no prior experience. So if you want a more straightforward DIY installation process, then this is not the one for you.
Glued down wood flooring is considered a permanent fix, so one thing to bear in mind that it can potentially be more costly and time-consuming if you find that you need to take up your flooring to deal with a problem such as a leak or mould.
What is floating wood flooring?
Floating wood floors use a tongue and groove system or click system which, effectively, means that the planks of flooring can be installed without being secured directly to the floor.
Instead, the planks themselves are connected to one another by gluing the tongue and groove or clicking the planks together, but nothing is fixing the floor to the subfloor; it is being held in position by the weight of the floor itself.
What are the pros and cons of floating your wood flooring?
If you choose to float your wood flooring then you will find the whole installation process goes a lot faster and there is no period of time required to wait for any substances to dry.
With a bit of free time and some DIY experience, this is also an installation method that you could save yourself some money on by doing it yourself instead of hiring a professional.
Furthermore, if there are ever any issues that require you to have to get your flooring lifted, such as a leak, floating wood floors are easier to lift up and potentially re-install and they are far less likely to get damaged in the process.
It is certainly a factor to consider when making your decision because you could be saving yourself a headache in the future.
On the other hand, there are a couple of major drawbacks associated with floating wood flooring; the first being that it isn’t as stable or secure as glued down wood flooring.
This means that there is may to be some movement when you are walking on it, for example, as you walk past a table you may see it shift slightly due to the vibrations caused by the movement of the flooring under your weight.
It’s not a massive concern as you probably won’t notice it happening, but it is something to be aware of before making a decision. Especially if you have a lot of traffic running through your property or young children always running around the house - you could find that over time lighter furniture keeps moving out of place.
Additionally, due to the lesser stable fixing that comes with floating wood floors, you can find that it feels spongy when walking across it and there may be a creaking or an echo when weight is applied to or taken from the flooring. This is not a guarantee, and often only happens in certain areas of a room, but can be a nuisance, and though it can still occur with glued down wood flooring, it is far less likely.
What method should you use to install your wood flooring?
Using all of the information provided above, along with your personal preferences and needs, you should now have a clear idea as to which method of installation will work best for you.
However, if you are still unsure and would like to speak to an expert then give us a call today on 0121 684 4772 or contact us here and we will help you as best as we can.