Advantages and Disadvantages of Floating Floors

There is a lot of  material on the web talking about floating floors or laminate floors. Many are from department stores and others from the same factories. What I offer you is an absolutely disinterested vision of these floors, since:

• I do not manufacture them

• I do not sell them

• I am not sponsored by any company

That is why I am going to tell you CLEARLY what I like … and what I DON’T like about laminate floors.

My intention is to give you a PRACTICAL view of this issue and that, at the end of this article, you know exactly whether or not it is convenient for you to choose floating floors for your home.

WHAT ARE FLOATING FLOORS

The first thing that catches people’s attention is that word: “floating.” What does it mean? Basically that it is a coating that is placed on the floor, but:

• Without gluing

• Without nailing

• Nor screwing

It is for this reason that we could say that it “floats” on the existing floor, without fixing on it. Actually they are slats that are embedded and supported on the existing floor. The boards are machimbran with a click system, and are supported on a 2mm polyethylene foam blanket. The same is the one in charge of:

• Dampen traffic noise

• Hide imperfections in the floor

• Insulate from moisture

CHARACTERISTICS OF LAMINATED FLOOR

To help you understand the pros and cons of laminate flooring, I will briefly tell you what they are made of. The 4 layers that make it up are:

So that you understand the pros and cons of laminate flooring, I will tell you the 4 layers that make it up:

  1. OVERLAY: Superior protective layer formed by transparent resins, which are the secret of resistance to wear and abrasion of floating floors.
  2. LAMINATE OR MELAMINE: It can be a wood veneer (laminated wood) or a wood IMITATION (melamine) of very reduced thickness, which is the visible face of the floor. In other words: the reason that led you to choose them.
  3. SUBSTRATE : It is the SOUL or the body of the floor. It is not natural wood but MDF or HDF (acronym in English that means: “medium or high density fiberboard.” In simple words, it is nothing more than wood chips or scraps, which are usually from afforestation or simple lags. For this reason some say that it is an ecological floor.
  4. STABILIZING SHEET : Located at the bottom of the table, it is in charge of balancing the floor; to prevent it from deforming. It also acts as a protective layer against humidity.floating floors

Advantages of Floating Floors

LOW COST: In relation to wooden floors or natural parquet, its cost is much lower.

INSTALLATION SPEED: Along with the previous item, it is one of the main reasons why people choose them. An experienced installer can install a bedroom wood laminate floor in less than a day.

IMMEDIATE TRANSIT: They are finished placing and can be moved instantly.

LAYING CLEANING: Without removing the existing floor, without masonry works and completely dry assembly. Point in favor of the floating floors.

NO FINISHING TREATMENTS: They do not require subsequent polishing or laminating. They come ready to use, with a protective finish coat. It is also preferable that you ALWAYS choose those with high traffic, even if it is not for that use. This will extend its life.

GOOD INSULATORS: They are much less cold than porcelain or ceramic floors. As warm as natural wood floors, decking is pleasant to walk on (especially in winter). As they always maintain a good temperature, they have a much lower risk of condensation, as is the case with other types of floors.

VARIETIES AND MODELS: They are designed to imitate the wooden floor, and they really achieve it … and even exceed it! They come in countless types of laminate flooring that simulate different varieties of wood.

laminate floors

Disadvantages of Floating Floors

IT IS NOT NATURAL WOOD: Although it may seem obvious, but for those “purists” of the authentic, it is clearly not a natural wood flooring (although they imitate it almost perfectly)

WATER RESISTANCE: They must be protected especially from moisture (like any floating parquet), but above all from spills. Remember that they are made of organic material … and therefore “swell” with moisture. And by the way, an important tip:

Always always always!! leave PERIMETER JOINTS. It is an organic material that swells and expands with changes in humidity. If they don’t have a space at the edges of the room to move around, they will end up lifting.

WEAR: Although they come for high traffic, they suffer wear from continuous friction. It is the typical case of the legs of the chairs and tables that move and rub permanently. A TIP that will help you: To extend its useful life it is good to place felt plugs or carpet cuttings under the legs of tables and chairs to prevent premature wear. It is also good to place fiber rugs at the entrance to premises in contact with the outside.

DIRT: Regarding the previous point, the main concern should be NOT MAKING SO MUCH. The idea is to avoid the accumulation of dust and sand that act like “sandpaper” that favors the wear of the flooring.

CLEANING CARE: Floating floors should be maintained with JUST damp rags, taking care to get them wet, in the same way as with other wooden floors. If they are stained: wipe the affected area with a cloth with thinner but for a short time.

DURATION: They are designed for a useful life of 10 years. Of course, this will depend on the use made of them and the environments in which they are used. I have seen them with up to 15 years of being placed in very good condition, but… they require good treatment.

floating floors

LAST CONCLUSIONS

Floating floors have the “magic” that we all love about hardwood floors. Moreover, if we go back to its origins, the idea was to bring together many people who loved wood, without being able to access it. After having them OBJECTIVELY and without favoritism, let’s see a general summary of the pros and cons of floating floors:

  • Laminate flooring is an inexpensive option for wood lovers . You get the same appearance as with them, spending much less.
  • Its installation is no complicated science. You can install it on your own and save the cost of labor (I leave you a link to learn how to put laminate floors ). EXTRA advice: Before placing it, it is advisable to leave them in the room for a couple of days to acclimate to the temperature and humidity conditions of the same. In this way they are parked and take the final dimensions BEFORE placing them.
  • Laminates do not last much beyond 10-15 years . Although it hurts to admit it, they are designed so that you can change them after a while, (things of His Majesty “the MARKET”). Similarly, if you take care of them, it is very likely that their useful life will be much longer.
  • I do not advise them for places with a lot of use (dining rooms, passageways, shops ) especially in order to use them in houses where young children live. In that case, I advise you to reserve them for quieter environments (bedrooms), … or wait for the children to grow up 😊
  • Aware of these limitations, laminate floors are an EXCELLENT option to renovate the house, almost without doing work . It is a fact that undoubtedly amply justifies your choice.

You may also be interested in reading other articles on this blog. They are simple solutions that you can mostly put into practice BY YOUR OWN MEANS.

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