There are two basic kinds of hardwood flooring that you can install in your home. You can mount your hardwood floor to a subfloor; the subfloor is typically a layer of plywood. A floating hardwood floor is one that is not attached to the subfloor at all. The individual planks are attached to one another but not the subfloor and thus are said to float. A floating floor has to be designed for that purpose.
Which Floors Can Float?
In most cases, a solid hardwood floor must be attached to a subfloor. The floating floors are typically made from engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood planks are made of layers of plywood or fibreboard that are then covered with a veneer of hardwood. The surface is a thin layer of the hardwood that you would like for your floor; underneath it are backing layers. There can also be a vapor barrier on the bottom that prevents moisture from creeping up into the floor. Since they are engineered, they can be rigid and stable on their own. Thus, they do not need a subfloor.
Also, they’re typically tongue and groove style. One side of each board has a tongue that protrudes. The other side has a groove that fits a tongue. You connect one piece to the next like a puzzle piece. The floor then sits on top of the existing floor or a subfloor.
Why Are They Easier to Install?
Floating floors are typically easier to install because you have more diverse options for your subfloor. For example, if you are renovating your garage to be an apartment, you might want to create a more comfortable floor. Garage floors are typically made of concrete. Instead of installing a wooden subfloor on the concrete, a floating floor can go right over the existing floor. That will also help somewhat with insulation.
Furthermore, hardwood is trending in kitchens. Tile and linoleum have long been the preferred floors for kitchens. If you want to install solid hardwood in a kitchen, you’ll need to rip up the tile or linoleum. If you want to install a floating floor, you just need to clean the tile and install the floating floor.
Many homeowners or business owners find that they can install their own floating floor, whereas they might need a professional for a solid floor. It’s also easier to remove and replace damaged planks in a floating floor.