Float or glue engineered wood floor?

anna-claireJanuary 9, 2008

How do you decide whether to float or glue down your engineered wood floor? We are putting the floor over a slab, and we have been told we can do it either way. Isn't floating it easier?! If so, why would we glue it? I'm sure there is a reason!

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I have Junckers Hardwood Natural Beech on a concrete slab. It is install over a barrier plastic sheeting and the tongue-n-groove are glued and clamped together. I went with Junckers because most of the other companies and contractors told me I needed a sub floor installed because of moisture. I live a mile from the ocean. A friend of mine had another wood product glued down in his house; however he lives further inland with less humidity. In the past my flooring swelled during the rain. But I think that was an install problem (not enough gap between floor and wall). The difference I found is the noise. Where his is quiet; my wood flooring still creaks when walked on, and it has been down for a few years.
Also, I would consider whether you want the under heating that is becoming so popular now. The wood floors are warmer than tile but still get cold.
I do love the color of my hardwood and get many compliments on it.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 4:22PM
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Are you doing this work yourself?

One of that main reasons that people don't like floating floors (and would tell you to glue it) is that is that it often has a springy feel and a slightly hollow feel when you walk on it, versus the more solid feel when the wood is permanently affixed to the slab beneath it. Some people have a real problem with that sound/feeling, others do not. My floor is a floating install over a concrete slab -- I personally don't notice a hollow sound, but that's because we don't allow shoes on the floor, and if there's a very slight give to the floor...well, all to the good. It's better for your knees :) The main reason you would notice more of a hollow sound or springiness has to do with your sound barrier underneath, and/or how level your subfloor is -- if you get a really good sound barrier underneath, and your slab is nice and level, you should have minimal problems -- but your floor WILL still feel/sound different than if it had been glued. There's no getting around that.

The reason I asked if you're installing this yourself is, if you are, then you should probably go with the floating install. It's much easier to do than glueing the flooring, or so I've heard. We installed our floor ourselves (about 1000 square feet), and although it was time consuming, it wasn't particularly difficult, once we figured out what we were doing.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 7:16PM
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My husband installed a beautiful engineered merbau wood over concrete slab in my daughter's room using Bostik adhesive. He was very careful to weigh and strap down the wood while installing and I never hear creeks and it never feels springy or hollow when I walk on it. I suppose that's the benefit of using glue. I'm sure it took him a longer time to install being as careful as he was, but we've had no issues for over 5 years now.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 1:51AM
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We have junkers beech floating on a concrete subfloor. We chose the floating option to avoid the toxic fumes of the glues. They emit formaldehyde and other chemicals for years after installation. With the floating all you get is floor. We are really happy with our decision. They are a bit soft to the feel but I don't notice. I am also very in tune to sounds and the creak doesn't bother me, in fact it seems more "real" than glue down. Glue down feels like tile underfoot because it is so hard. If you walk on a wood floor in an older house with wood sub floor they will creak a bit too. Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 12:00PM
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The floating floors are easier to install...but you have to accept the funny feel when walking on them. Of course...then there is that hollow sound when the product is installed over the standard underlayment. Sound deadening underlayment will decrease the weird sound somewhat and some high rise apartment buildings require the premium sound deadening underlayment.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 7:41PM
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I'd rather put laminate than putting floating floors. I personally think it looks cheap. Go with glue down, you will not regret it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 3:30PM
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We have engineered floors that my husband wants to nail to plywood, instead of gluing. Do you think we should also use something for sound reduction? Or are nailing and floating different in that regard?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 11:16AM
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Bumping up this thread because now I am wondering if I am making a mistake by floating my floors since I thought it would feel softer with a premium pad than gluing my engineered wood floors? I can ask my order to be held until I make the decision. My concrete slab has tested very dry.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 2:34AM
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i have engineered flooring and i told because its so thin i would have to glue it down. However, I would like to know can you glue this engineered flooring to pre-existing natural hardwood flooring?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 3:38PM
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My husband and I installed a floating engineered wood floor. It's brand new and creaks like it's a 100 yrs old. I'd glue the floor if possible.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 7:49AM
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I bought nearly 2000sf of floating click-n-lock floor. It came in 3 sizes, 4ft, ~3ft, 18" and 1ft lengths. We purchased very good underlayment at $38 per 100 sf. After the first 1000sf I stopped installing and called the manufacturer. Every step squeaked. I could even hear my 15lb shiz-tzu squeak the floor. Previously I had Kahrs floating floor and it did not squeak; but it was installed in 2001 with 8" wide 8 foot length pieces that were glued together(not to the concrete slab). I liked it but a broken fridge line ruined it so we had to replace the floor.

Since it didn't squeak I didn't expect this new floor to.

The manufacturer said it was defective wood, refunded me all the money for the wood, took back the unopened boxes and told me to throw out the 1000ft I had laid. I don't believe it is defective. I think this is what you get with this stuff.

So after consultation, we decided to glue our floor down. We pulled up the floated floor, bought some more wood and had a professional re-install(with very good adhesive/glue). It doesn't squeak but we don't have that soft feel of floating floor that I liked. Also, I believe they used a urethane adhesive and it did not smell at all. Absolutely no glue smell.

If you don't like the creaking, be careful with floating floor.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:47AM
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