The Pros and Cons of Floating Floors

Floating floors, as the name implies, are placed over a subfloor or another flooring material, without glue or nails to hold those floors in place. These floorboards float over the material underneath them, while your furniture, skirting or moulding, and other such pieces keep these floors stable. If your home needs new flooring, note a few pros and cons of floating floors, so you can determine if they're the right choice for your space.


A homeowner can often install a floating floor on their own with a few simple tools and a bit of knowhow. Many floating floor systems even come in kits, with slats that snap together or which can be tapped into place with a rubber mallet. Also, because the floors are not glued onto a subfloor, you don't need to wait for any adhesive to dry before you move your furniture back into the room and walk on the floor. Floating floors may then be one of the cheapest and fastest ways to enjoy new flooring in the home. However, some homeowners may still want to hire an installer, as you do need to know how to measure and cut flooring slats, where to add expansion joints, and how to reattach the home's skirting or baseboards properly.


While floating floors are installed without glue or nails, this doesn't mean the home's current flooring won't need some prep work before your new floors are installed. The surface on which your floating floors are installed should be level and even, or you'll feel your new floors shift and dip underfoot. In some cases, you may need to add a layer of plywood over a home's subfloor, so that the floating floors stay level and even. This can be a drawback, if you want to install the floating floors over a large surface, but for smaller homes, or for those homes with a subfloor in good condition, this may not be an issue.


A floating floor is not typically recommended for bathrooms, as the amount of humidity that gets trapped under the floorboards can be damaging. This can be a drawback for those looking for one standard flooring option for their entire home, but for other homeowners, you might install floating floors in the living areas of the home and then use standard tiles in the home's bathrooms. A flooring installer or salesperson can assist in finding tiles that are safe for bathrooms and that coordinate with your new floating floors as well.