We’re hearing a lot of people are being told from other flooring companies that bamboo and pre-finished timber floors must be floated. This just isn’t true. We’ve been glueing pre-finished floors directly to the concrete slab for over a decade now, while still maintaining a lifetime warranty.
Why does this matter? Well, it is the difference between a floor that will last you 10-15 years and one that will last a lifetime. Floors that are glued to the sub-floor will always last longer. It is also the difference between a loud floor that sounds hollow to walk on and a quiet one that sounds solid.
The thing is, you cannot sand & repolish a floor that is floated. It must be glued down for this to happen. Yes, you only do this every 10-15 years to renew the look, but it saves you from replacing the floor entirely instead.
What is a floating floor? This refers to an installation method more closely associated with laminate flooring, in which the boards are either “clicked together” or glued together, while simply resting over a foam underlay. This means there is nothing fixing the floor down and thus it is literally a hollow gap underneath the boards, which is what makes it noisy to walk on. A floating floor is ideal for a temporary situation, such as a commercial location, where the floor may need to be removed at the end of a lease, or if installing a floor over an uneven surface. It is also easier for someone without experience to install.
What is a direct-stick floor? This installation method is the most common, and most stable, for a hardwood floor. Glue is applied to the entire surface of the concrete sub-floor, adhering the entirety of each board down permanently. This makes it harder to remove of course, which is why it lasts longer and gives far more lasting value from your investment.
Why are other companies telling people differently? Some flooring companies look to float floors as a way of compensating for movement in boards made with technology not suited to the climate. The idea being that if the boards start to expand, then because they are not stuck down, they have room to do so. But what actually happens is that the boards can lift off the floor entirely. We’ve seen some raise so far you can jump on them like a trampoline.
Firstly, if a company is telling you that their boards will move – then run! What they are saying is that their boards are unstable and aren’t suited to be installed in this country, but they may be willing to risk it for your home.
Contrary to popular belief, both installation methods are similarly priced and floating does not solve the stability problem. It only shortens the life of the floor. Choose direct stick for strength and longevity instead.