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Disadvantages of Floating Floors and Solutions

Floating floors are a special type of ground covering that is neither nailed nor glued to the subfloor. It serves as an extra covering that can be used on different surfaces, example tiles, and vinyl and laminate floors. The most peculiar feature of this flooring type is its affordability; it is the cheapest floor type among others. This of course gives it a lot of attraction, but before you make that purchase, it is necessary you know the disadvantages of floating floors. There are as follows;

i. Easily affected by the weather

Floating floors are designed with allowance along the edges to allow for contraction and expansion. But due to the fact that they are designed with thinner materials, they are bound to warp in extreme cold. While high temperatures could result in the boards expanding too much to cause them to buckle. 

ii. Easily affected by water

Humidity is not a huge fan of any type of flooring, especially floating floors. They are not made of solid hardwood, the floors are more susceptible to the effects of humidity or moisture like discoloring. Also, it can cause the positive (buckle) and negative (warp) curvature of the wood. Ensure that water is limited to areas that use this flooring, allowing it to seep in between it and the subfloor could shorten its shelf-life as well.

iii. Susceptibility to fungal attack

Hardwood and other solid floor types are almost resistant to fungal infestation such as mildew, mold among others. The presence of this lowers not just the quality of the floor, but even the air quality is affected, thus the lowering of health standards. This infestation is mainly caused by dampness or humidity.

iv. Chips easily

Even though floating floors have the easiest installation process, mistakes and mishandling can still occur. This in turn can lead to chipping of the wood, along the edges. This can in turn lead to future problems including the reduction of its life span.

v. Wears down easily

The floor is durable and built to last long but it cannot compare to its other counterparts in this area. It is quite easy for this type of floor to get damaged over a course of time. It is thus advisable to install such floorings in areas of low traffic example basements, storage rooms, and so on.

Also, it is good to note that these floors come with a sealed finish, thus scratches that could have been fixed by sanding or any other refinishing method is impossible. Thus the affected area needs to be replaced. This makes it less cost-effective in the long run, so a lot of care has to be devoted to it.

vi. Noisy nature

Remember that this floor is not designed to be nailed down or glued, it is just wedged on the subfloor or existing floor. This explains why it is called floating. However, it is prone to make noise while walking across, this is reduced with the application of a good underlayment. Also, the subfloor needs to be properly done and free from debris, this will keep the floating floor properly wedged and noise-free.

These are other limitations that exist with this flooring;

  • The installation period for this floor is specific; it is best carried out on a day of stable temperature levels. 
  • Doors and pillars may need to be adjusted by trimming.
  • It is that valuable a piece, thus the total value of the building may be devalued with its usage.
  • Improper or rushed installation is detrimental to its functionality.

Tips To Fix Floating Floor Issues

Some of the disadvantages can be salvaged as long as the floor is not damaged beyond repair. Always keeping an eye out will help you respond to these problems with ease. Here are some management options;

Chipping

When the edges and corners lose some of their wood that’s chipping off. This may be caused by poor installation, especially in the misuse of force applied by the hammer. Employing the service of a professional to fit your floor is the only way to ensure that it does not occur. Using the wrong cleaning equipment is another cause for this, use only cleaning tools that will not harm or chip the floor away. 

Mold/Mildew

This fungal infestation is common as a result of moisture. They tend to leave a tarnished surface, which is unpleasant to the eye, and talk less of the sanitary condition. This reduction in quality of the floor cannot be fixed, sanding off the area is not an option. Rather an outright replacement is called for. Before this is done, first locate and deal with the reason why moisture was there in the first place.

Peaking

When you notice some raised points of the floor along the joints especially, that is called a peaking. This occurs when the floorboards push against each other, luckily this can be remedied with ease. The most common reason is not leaving space for its expansion, fitting it to the wall, defeats the purpose of having a floating floor. The clear solution is to create space between the ends of the floor. 

Advantages Of Floating Floors

As there exist disadvantages, there are advantages as well. These will make you worry less and give you the go-ahead to procure. These special floors are a must-have due to the following benefits that come with them;

Easy installation

Comparatively, floating floors have an easy installation process, compared to others that need nails, glue, air compressors and other special tools. Its set up does not require many tools, a hammer in most cases is enough. The entire process can be carried out by a customer (DIY), however, it is still advisable to employ the services of a professional.

Affordability

It is relatively cheap mostly due to the type of materials used. The materials are not inferior in any way but their quality and cost cannot be compared to those used in other floor types.

Functionality

This floor type can be used in any building or any room, as long as moisture and traffic are absent. Also, the floors can provide an extra aesthetic edge to the surrounding areas depending on their color and design. Extra art can be imprinted on its surface with ease as well. 

Comfort

With the existence of an air space that will exist underneath, the floor gives off a springy effect while walking. This flexibility in the floor makes it comfortable to walk on compared to other floor types. This effect reduces stress on the knees and backs of users, especially the elderly.

Time-friendly

Anything that involves fitting or installations in a building; office or residential, consumes time, depending on the type of fitting, its installation process, and so on. A floating floor is one of a few fittings that does not require a lot of time to fix up. This allows for one to move to the next task at hand or just call it a day.

Eco-friendly

These floors are mostly manufactured with the use of recyclable materials and less wood. The materials are eco-friendly, they do not pollute the environment in any way. And does not require a lot of wood which would have required the cutting down of trees.

Reusable

Flooring is what you would call a permanent job.  In a situation you are moving to a new place and need new floors, you would have to open your wallet. With floating floors, however, you can reuse them wherever you want. Since it is not attached in any way at all, it can be removed and used in another location.

Conclusion

Floating floors are cheap, easy to get, and reusable, as long as they are not damaged. Elements of the weather are its nemesis with humidity at the top of the list. Traffic is another limitation that should be minimized. All in all, it helps to reduce flooring costs for regular movers and gives DIYers something to work on.