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Pros & Cons of Floating Vs. Glue-Down Wood Flooring

If you’ve decided on getting engineered oak flooring for your home, you may be wondering how the installation process works. With solid timber flooring, there is a lot of preparation work involved, as well as cutting, gluing down, sanding and finishing the floors. With engineered flooring, you don’t have to worry about all of these things. Instead, the most important part is to ensure that the ground that your new flooring will be installed on is level and ready for use, as well as figuring out what installation type your wooden flooring will require. Engineered oak flooring is installed in two ways: as a floating floor, or a glue-down floor. These two have benefits and drawbacks depending on your requirements, which will be listed below.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Floating Wood Flooring

Most engineered floors are made with tongue in groove or click lock systems, which make it so that the flooring locks together and removes the need for adhesives. Not only does this mean a quicker installation, but combined with the fact that floating floors work over pretty much any type of subfloor, there is significantly less to worry about for properly installed floors.

Keep in mind that because floating floors lock together, once it is installed, if the subfloor that it’s installed over is not flat and level, it will contribute to an uneven floor board. This will be apparent when you walk over the engineered oak flooring and hear hollow sounds with each step.

However, to reduce the risk of this, a foam layer can be installed before your flooring. Not only will this prevent moisture build up over time, which can consequently warp your existing flooring, it will also act as a buffer for sound, especially when walked on.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Glue Down Wood Flooring

With glue down wood flooring, the adhesives used ensure that there is a strong bond between the wood and your subfloor. This ensures that wood movement, whether it is expansion or contraction as depending on humidity factors and use, is reduced significantly, as compared to floating wood flooring.  If you’re wanting parquet flooring, glue down is the best and perhaps only method for installation of all the small pieces of wood floorboards that works exceedingly well.

Because engineered wood is built differently to solid timber flooring, there may be a difference in the acoustics of regular foot traffic. Using glue ensures that the wood is adhered well to the subfloor, and provides a sound and feel of solid hardwood installed, reducing the hollow sound underfoot.

However, the adhesive used to glue down flooring is also a con. This glue sometimes has a noxious odour, and must be cleaned up immediately if it gets on the surface of your engineered oak flooring, or even between the boards, as this is difficult to clean up once dried and can increase the chances of a less than perfect installation.