If you want to give your home an immediate and affordable facelift within a reasonable amount of time, then a floating laminate floor may be just what you need. Laminate floors have been growing in popularity over the recent years because of their durability and the wide variety of colors and patterns in which they are available.
Floating laminate floors are not attached to the subfloor or substrate underneath them. They install quickly and easily and can even be a DIY job with the right tools on hand. Made of sturdy interlocking planks that snap into place, they fasten and float over your subfloor or current flooring, giving your home a new look with a short installation time.
What is laminate flooring made of?
According to DIY Network, laminate flooring is made of “ wood fibers and pulp bonded to a plastic surface.” These are then formed into planks that mimic the look of hardwoods, stone, or tile for a fraction of the cost.
These planks are made to connect with each other through interlocking grooves that are on all sides. This efficient process eliminates the need for nails, glue, or staples, allowing the finished floor to rest comfortably and discreetly over your current floor.
Floating laminate planks consist of four layers. The wear layer is the top layer that protects the bottom three layers from footfalls and other wear and tear. The second layer, or photographic layer, contains the image of the desired wood, tile, or stone the homeowner wants.
The third layer is called the “substrate” layer, which is a water-resistant fiberboard that lays on top of the fourth layer, the backing layer, which protects the floor itself from any warping or water damage.
What are the advantages of installing floating laminate floors?
- Variety. Because the photographic layer can replicate classic favorites like different stains of hardwoods, stone types, and tiles, laminate flooring is a favorable choice for the homeowner who wants many options at a good price.
- Affordability. Laminate planks are already more affordable than hardwoods, bamboo, tile, and stone. Because floating laminate planks can be installed right on top of your old floors, you can also save on the labor that would have been used to remove it.
- Durability. Laminate floors are very resistant to trauma like burns, chipping, and scratches. At the same time, they can handle high-traffic areas in the home.
What are the disadvantages of installing floating laminate floors?
- You need to start with an even surface. If you are attaching laminate planks over an existing floor or subfloor, you will need to make sure that your current floor is even or else the planks will not lock together. Also, if your floor isn’t even, you will hear squeaking as you walk over your new laminate floor. If you don’t have an even floor, you probably should consider another flooring alternative.
- They are louder. Because floating laminate floors are not attached by nails to the subfloor, they can be louder than attached floors. However, by placing a thin cushion to insulate the area between your subfloor and laminate floor, you can reduce potential noises.
How do you install floating laminate floors?
Installing floating laminate floors is easy enough to be a DIY job with the right tools. Here are the basic steps:
- Remove all moldings, wall bases, and shoe trims if applicable.
- Install the underlayment and tape it down.
- Cut the laminate flooring to meet the required dimensions.
- Install the laminate planks in rows and modify/cut when necessary.
- Reattach all moldings and trims to the walls after installation, not on the laminate floors.
To find out more about this procedure, the North American Laminate Floor Association has a useful guide that walks you through the process with more detailed descriptions.
Should I have professionals install floating laminate floors in my home?
Though floating laminate floors are relatively easy to install on your own, sometimes you may not have the professional equipment or the time to invest in this kind of renovation. That’s when hiring professionals is the right thing to do.
Also, since these floors don’t take long to install, you won’t need to vacate your house for an extended period of time. The installation doesn’t involve any nails, glue, or staples and doesn’t require ripping out old flooring either, making the time to complete the job quicker than other flooring installations.
Overall, getting professionals to do it right the first time can save you a lot of hassle and stress. Got questions?
If you have any questions about floating laminate floors, please leave a comment below. We will respond as soon as possible. We have years of experience helping people beautify their homes with the perfect flooring upgrade at the right price.
About Shawn Farina — Flooring Expert at Diverse Flooring
Shawn Farina operates Diverse Flooring, a family-run business in Maple Ridge, with his younger brother, Todd. He has been in the flooring industry for 18 years. Shawn is passionate about design and feels flooring has been a great avenue to help others make the best decisions for their homes.
“Flooring is something we all will at one time or another have to purchase. It’s really satisfying feeling to see when a client is truly happy with their choice in both the new flooring and our company.” – Shawn Farina
Photos by www.armstrong.com