When you're installing a wood floor directly on top of a concrete slab, two common methods of installation are gluing the planks directly to the concrete or installing a free-floating floor. A floating floor uses planks that are manufactured with a tongue-and-groove system that lets them lock together, and the weight of the wood planks keeps the floor in place. If you're purchasing a new wood floor for your home and are wondering which wood floor installation method is the best fit for you, read on to learn about the differences between the two.
How They Feel Underfoot
The biggest difference between glued wood floors and floating wood floors is the way that they feel when you walk on them. Floating wood floors need to be installed over a soft underlayment. The underlayment provides some cushion that allows the wood planks to flex as they expand and contract because of changes in temperature and humidity. However, it also changes the way that the floor feels when you walk on it.
A floating wood floor feels soft and spongy when you walk on it because of the presence of the underlayment. For some people, this is a benefit. It's not as hard on your feet if you walk on it barefoot. For others, however, it's a drawback because it doesn't feel as solid as a wood floor that's glued to the ground. A glued wood floor doesn't have a soft underlayment, so it feels much more rigid when you walk on it.
Ease of Removal
Another big difference between a glued wood floor and a floating wood floor is how easy they are to remove. In order to remove a floating wood floor, you need to carefully lift and unlock all of the planks, starting at the entrance to the room. You can do this without damaging the planks. You can easily remove the floor to make repairs and then replace it afterward.
Removing a wood floor that's glued to the concrete is much more difficult, and you won't be able to reuse the planks afterward. The glue used for wood flooring is very strong, so it's extremely hard work to pry up the planks, and they'll often split apart when you're prying them up from the concrete.
The Durability of the Planks
Glued wood floors transfer the weight of furniture on top of them directly to the concrete underneath them, which makes them very durable. The planks in a floating floor bear most of the weight of furniture since the spongy underlayment underneath them can't provide much support. If you have a heavy piece of furniture like a bed on top of a floating hardwood floor, the legs of the bed can slowly press indentations into the plank. If you ever rearrange your furniture, you'll expose the noticeable indentations in your floor.
Both methods will give you a long-lasting wood floor. Regardless of which method you feel is the best fit for your new floor, make sure you have it installed by a professional wood floor installation service. They'll make sure that your new floor is installed correctly and will have a long life span. Contact a local flooring service, such as Temple Johnson Flooring Co, to learn more.