Glue Down Vs. Floating Wood Flooring Wood and Beyond Blog

Glue Down Vs. Floating Wood Flooring

If you’re in the process of investing in a new wooden floor, you’re likely to have fitting methods high on your agenda.  Two common methods of fitting wood flooring are glue down and floating and no matter whether you’re planning a DIY installation or you’re getting the professionals in, it’s handy to know a bit about each of these methods so you can decide which might work best for you.

In this article, we’ll describe how each of these two fitting methods work and will give you an idea of the situations in which one might be more effective than the other.

Glue down as a way of fitting your wood floor

Glue down as an installation method for wood floors involves using a bonding agent, adhesive or glue that you put directly on to your subfloor before laying your floor.  As an installation method, glue down wood flooring is particularly suited to either concrete or wood subfloors.  That said, if you’re using this method over a concrete subfloor, you do need to make sure that there’s no dampness in the subfloor whatsoever.  If there’s any doubt about dampness, we recommend that you install a two-part epoxy damp proof membrane to make sure that none of the residual dampness rises into your new floor, causing future damage.

When it comes to glue, we like Bona R850T. which comes in a handy 7kg pot, which means it’s a really cost effective way of gluing down your floor. The reason we’re fans of this particular glue is because it withstands thrust during expansion, but doesn’t shrink.  What this means is that tension to the subfloor is reduced.  Add to this, the fact that it doesn’t generally need a primer and you start to see why we like it so much.

One of the great things about gluing your wood floor to the subfloor is that the end result is really stable.  The downsides are: if you’re not a pro, it can be a messy business and also, you need to allow in your planning, time for the glue to dry before walking on the floor.

Floating as a way of fitting your wood floor

Floating sounds like an odd term to use for fitting a floor, but what it essentially means is that your floor isn’t fixed to the subfloor, instead relying on the weight of the floor itself to keep it in place.  This way of fitting is well suited to engineered wood flooring and is ideal for any room that would benefit from a bit of ‘spring’.  Floating floors are often found in gyms and dance halls.  In the home though, floating as a way of installing your floor is highly popular because it’s so quick.

When you choose a floating installation method. you can easily and conveniently introduce a moisture barrier to your subfloor if you suspect you might at some point have dampness issues.  One of the other advantages of floating flooring is that when it expands and contracts, it’s less likely to become damaged, because it’s not straining against nails or glue, it’s simply working within its own limits.  Add to this the speed that we’ve already mentioned and the fact that floating as a fitting method can be used over pretty much any subfloor and your really begin to see the attraction of this option.

How do you decide?

If you’re contemplating the pros and cons of glue down versus floating floor for a DIY installation of engineered wood flooring. then it’s highly likely that floating will be the better of the two options.  Not only does it mean you don’t have to struggle with copious amounts of glue, but it also means you can work swiftly and are able to walk on your floor immediately once you’ve finished.

If on the other hand you’re contemplating a solid wood flooring installation over a concrete or wooden subfloor, there are strong arguments for tackling the glue down method, so you get a good stable result.

Finally, if you’re bringing in the pros, while it’s good to have a working knowledge of the different options available to you, you should be able to sit back and let them describe your options to you and help you to make the very best decision.

Whichever option you plump for, at Wood and Beyond, we have fitters on hand that can advise you and fit your flooring for you.  In other words, we can take your flooring project all the way from A to Z.

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