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Is It Better To Glue Or Float An Engineered Wood Floor?

Figuring out the best way to install your engineered wood floor can be tricky. Thus causing the glue or float question a frequently asked one when installing an engineered wood floor. Having insight on what it means to have your wood floor glued or left floating and knowing the ups and downs of each installation method should help you with your decision.

To Glue Or To Float

Gluing your engineered wood floor implies that an adhesive will be first placed on your subfloor before placing your wood flooring over it. This method is mostly used when the subfloor is made of concrete. It allows the wood floor to rest firmly on the concrete.

 In turn, floating your engineered wood floor means the floor is not directly attached to your subfloor with a bond. But, the floor’s weight keeps it fixed to the subfloor. This method gives your engineered wood floor room to expand and contract in response to weather changes. Floating floors are also fast and easy to install.

Advantages Of A Glued Wood Floorings

1. It gives your engineered wood floor a solid hardwood feel. Gluing down means no squeaky noise when you walk on it, no squashy feel, and just pure solid hardwood feel. Also, you won’t be getting the tiny floor bounce associated with the floating floor.

2. There is less chance of a floor shift. Because the floor is glued down, it is more firmly attached to the subfloor. Thus giving your wood flooring more stability especially when the subfloor has an uneven surface.

3. There is no need for a vapor barrier between your wood flooring and the subfloor when the glue is used for the wood floor’s installation. This is because the adhesive used plays the role of a barrier.

Disadvantages of glued wood floorings

1. Installing your wood floorings with glue takes a while to complete. It isn’t as fast as a floating floor installation. It is also somewhat technical thus you might need an expert to do the fixing for you. Things could also get all messy when you do it yourself.

2. Glued wood flooring may require more capital-wise to install. When you consider the cost of glue and other installation tools and the cost of hiring a professional, gluing down your wood floor could cost way more than floating your floor.

3. Removal of glued wood floorings is often difficult and energy draining. Say you are tired of your engineered wood flooring type and you want a floor change. You would need a lot of patience and skill to get the wood out of your subfloor. Unlike the floating floor which is easy to uninstall, glued-down floors are harder to remove.

Advantages of floating wood floorings

1. The fixing of floating wood floorings is less demanding compared to the glued-down floors. It is simpler and quicker to do. It can also be an interesting job for DIYers and work is done faster with this installation method.

2. It is cheaper than glue. Plus you may not require an expert to install if you are a skilled person. This saves you some cash. Floating floors are also suitable for subfloors that you do not want to use adhesive on.

3. It is easy to pull up. Just as the installation is easy, uninstalling floating wood floors are easy too. You won’t be faced with the headache of scrapping out tough adhesives from your subfloor. 

Disadvantages of floating wood floorings

1. They are not as stable as glued wood flooring. There is a high tendency for a floor shift. This is because it’s not bonded to the subfloor. It is the wood flooring weight that stations the floor to its spot.

2. An underlay of good quality is required for the installation of a floating floor. Without this, the engineered wood floor may not be able to support weight and movement on the floor. The cost of getting good quality underlayment adds to the cost of installation.

3. An even surface is required for installing floating floors. This implies special attention must be paid to your subfloor, ensuring it is leveled before fixing with floating floors. If ignored you will be in for a major floor bounce.

Choosing between floating or glue down your engineered floor

Here are some factors to consider before you make your choice

a. Installation

The floating floors are easier to install and less expensive to install. If you will be fixing your engineered wood floor yourself, then floating flooring is the better selection. Though glued-down flooring may not be difficult for you to install if you are handy, it is more time-consuming and can get messy if you aren’t skilled.

b. Subfloor

Floating flooring is a better choice for your engineered wood floor if you cannot apply glue on the surface of your subfloor. Floating flooring is compatible with many surfaces and most likely will also be with your present subfloor.

Another thing to consider with your subfloor is the evenness of its surface. For an uneven surface, glued-down flooring is a better option. Floating flooring is not suitable for an uneven surface as it may result in flooring problems. Unless of course, you choose to level up before floating.

c. Solid wood feel

Glued-down floorings are better at giving your engineered wood the solid hardwood sound and feel. You get a more earthbound hardwood satisfaction by bonding your engineered wood floor to your subfloor concrete or wood.

In conclusion, glued down or floating floors are good. However, it is good you consider the advantages and disadvantages of both before making your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it good to nail an engineered wood floor?

Nailing is another method of fixing the engineered wood floor. It can be used if your subfloor is wooden but not ideal on the concrete subfloor or chipboard. For nailing to be used as a method of installation, your wood has to be at least 18mm thick