It is common to feel vertical movement, or a spongy feeling when walking across a floating wood floor. Many people specify and prefer living on a floating wood floor due to this “soft” feeling you get from walking across them.
Because the materials simply lay on the subfloor and are rather thin, floating floors typically feel somewhat hollow and are sometimes loud underfoot—especially laminates. This problem can be minimized by installation of a good-quality foam underlayment.
Even though floating floors are simple to install, it's essential to prepare your subfloor so it's clean, flat, and dry. We also recommend adding underlayment to help your floor feel solid, and to boost its sound insulation, thermal properties, and comfort underfoot.
What are the problems with floating floors? Floating floors can be susceptible to moisture and humidity, which can cause warping or buckling. They also tend to be more prone to gaps between planks due to their lack of attachment.
When you walk, the pad compresses and the floor will move. But too much movement-such as when the floorboards are spanning too big of a dip in the subfloor-can cause the floor to flex so much that the bond of the glue between boards will weaken. Over time, the bond can break, causing the floor to fail.
Yes, you can put heavy furniture on laminate flooring, but it's important to take certain precautions to prevent damage to the flooring.
But, it can also be one of the big disadvantages of floating floors if you live somewhere that experiences extremely high humidity. This is also due to the space between the floor and subfloor. If a lot of moisture accumulates in there, it may contribute to warping, pitting, or mold growth.
Floating floors are not designed to hold the extra weight of cabinets, and over time they can damage the floor and cause more issues in the long run. Therefore, we recommend that you install the cabinets before the floating floor.
A floating floor with great materials, structure, and properly cared for may last anywhere from 40 to 80 years or even more. If you're using thin and low-quality floorboard planks, expect a shorter floor lifespan.
Laminate flooring lasts between 15 to 25 years on average. The exact lifespan will vary depending on the product quality of your floor, how well you maintain and care for it and the overall wear-and-tear it receives. In some cases, laminate floors can last over 25 years. In many cases, it won't last ten.
Squishy or spongy flooring can sometimes be a sign of water damage, either to the boards themselves or the subfloor. This is often caused by using too much water on the laminate to clean it, such as using a sopping wet mop or steam mop, which damages the wooden core of the laminate boards.
Lifting can occur for a few different reasons; such as water damage, uneven subfloors, and the use of excess padding. The first step in fixing your lifting laminate flooring is to find out the cause. For water damaged laminate, you'll want to remove the affected planks entirely.
If you intend to place your refrigerator on your floating floor, lay the planks underneath from side to side while featuring the planks in the main part of the kitchen. This way, the weight of your refrigerator will not pop the planks in the middle of the kitchen where you walk.
The answer will vary depending on the material used for the floor and the way that the boards are constructed, but, as a general rule, both laminate and engineered timber floating floors do need some form of underlay to have optimal functionality and longevity.
Underlayment for laminate flooring is a must. Since laminate is a floating floor, it must be evenly distributed across your subfloor. Underlayment is what allows the floor to float, gives it stability, support, noise reduction, and supports the locking systems in between planks to assure the sturdiest flooring project.
Laminate flooring costs an average of $1–$4 per square foot, so purchasing 1,000 square feet would cost $1,000–$4,000. If you include professional installation, that's an overall cost of $5,000–$12,000.
The cost of flooring can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the type of flooring, the quality of the materials, and the cost of installation. In general, floating floors such as laminate or vinyl flooring tend to be less expensive than carpet, especially when you factor in the cost of installation.
Unlike traditional flooring, a floating wood floor doesn't use nails or any type of adhesives. Instead, the wooden floor planks are secured using a click-and-lock system where the grooves are designed to interlock together without the need for fasteners.
Buckling & Warping
Excessive moisture in the subfloor often causes the floor wood to buckle and warp. Even high humidity in the air can cause the same. For this reason, it is essential not to wet mop a floating floor. The primary key to this is prevention.
Click-together and loose lay floors are both “floating floors”—and if you're wondering “what's a floating floor”, it's just a floor that rests on top of your subfloor rather than being attached to it.
Laminate ranges from 6-mm to 12-mm and, as a rule, it shouldn't be less than 8-mm. If, however, budget is an issue and if your subfloor is level and debris-free, you might be able to get away with 7-mm; keep in mind that subfloor imperfections can telegraph to the surface floor, so make sure it's okay.
In order to prevent an excessive build-up of moist air in the underfloor space in a suspended timber floor, underfloor ventilation is necessary. An even distribution of vents will ensure the elimination of stagnant air pockets where moisture might accumulate.
Nailing laminate planks down will cause damage that will not only make the floor useless, but also void your warranty. The proper way to install laminate flooring is to use the tongue and groove locking system to click planks together, creating a smooth and seamless floating surface.
Unlike traditional solid-wood strips, a floating floor isn't nailed down. Instead, the planks are either glued or snapped together.