Pros and Cons of Floating Wood Floors

Anytime you’re looking into doing a major remodel to your house, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the numerous options that are out there. Choosing between various types of flooring, colors, styles and finishes can take a tremendous amount of time and effort. And on top of these other choices, you’ll also need to decide what method to use when installing your new floor. 

“Floating floors” are a popular hardwood floor installation style that means the floor doesn’t need to be secured to a subfloor, and can be installed over an existing surface. Floating hardwood floors can help you save money on your installation, on top of being a much quicker way to install a new floor. Because of this, it’s floating floors are one of the easier ways to add a new type of floor to an existing structure, and many types of wood flooring can be purchased in a floating setup. 

But of course, as with any method of installation, there are going to be downsides as well as upsides when using floating floors. This guide can help give you a quick tour of the basic pros and cons of floating floors so you can decide which method of installation is right for you and your family. 



Disadvantages of Floating Wood Floors

Let’s start by taking a closer look at the cons to floating wood floors:

The Sound:

When floors are glued or nailed down, the connection between the subfloor and the floor reduces the sound of footfalls. But because floating wood floors are installed above the subfloor, they can feel hollow, and the gap in between the floor and subfloor can amplify sounds. So in rooms where quiet can be paramount (think a baby nursery or home office space), you may need to look into installing a high-quality foam underlayment. Using an appropriate underlayment can almost entirely silence sounds that come from the gap in floating wood floors. 

Real Estate Value:

Historically, floating wood floors have been regarded as somewhat inferior to glue-down or nail-down floors. This viewpoint is beginning to shift, as the quality of products used for floating wood floors has greatly improved over the past few decades. Even with this shift, there is a general perception that floating wood floors may lower your real estate value when compared to more premium flooring materials. Using high quality wood as your material for floating wood floors will help mitigate these concerns. However, floating wood floors are a way to preserve historic wood flooring if you’re thinking along those lines!

Replacing Floating Wood Floors:

Because of the small gap in between the subfloor and the floating floor, your daily activities will have a higher impact on the floor itself, meaning it may need to be replaced slightly more frequently than nail or glue-down types of flooring.


Advantages of Floating Wood Floors

Ok, enough about the cons. Now let’s take a look at some of the advantages to installing a floating wood floor:


Cost for a Floating Wood Floor:

Like any installation, the cost will vary based on the types of materials used. In general, a quality professional installation for a floating floor will be considerably less expensive than most nail-down or glue-down flooring, with the exception of carpet. This is because they can be laid down faster, and don’t require materials like nails or adhesive. Additionally, they can be installed over existing surfaces, meaning you don’t have to remove anything prior to installing one. 

Easy to Repair:

Though you may need to replace floating wood floors more often, replacement of damaged planks is typically simple and much easier than it is to replace a glue or nail-down floor. This is because it’s possible to disassemble the floating planks and then quickly replace a damaged board, because they’re not fasted to the subfloor in any way. Just pop out and replace!



The disadvantages of floating floors can typically be addressed by choosing the right type of materials up front, and using the appropriate underlayment. So do your house a favor and invest in quality wood flooring. Also by doing a little research into the most sustainable hardwood floors, you can install a floating hardwood floor that is not only long lasting, but also beautiful.

When you contact the PA floating hardwood floor experts at Artisan Wood Floors, you can trust that you are reaching out to a wood floor professional who can help you decide if floating wood floors are the right choice for your next remodel. Call Artisan Wood Floors today at (215) 515-7355 and ask for Steve!



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