Also known as tongue in groove laminate, floating flooring runs true to its name because the flooring does just that; it ‘floats’ on top of the original flooring surface. This is great news for homeowners with concrete or stone flooring for whom installing a hardwood floor would be a seriously huge (not to mention expensive) job.
Why go laminate?
Laminate flooring is constructed by way of a combination of four thin wood layers which are fused together to give not only a great look but also offer a robustness which is equal to many years of wear and tear of family life whilst still looking great.
Laminate has the additional advantage of being very low maintenance. Simply brush regularly with a soft bristled brush or light vacuum cleaner before lightly mopping with water and a little laminate floor cleaner.
As with hardwood flooring, avoid using excess water on your floor as it will find its way through the laminate layers and into the floating layer where it will begin to rot the boards.
Prior to the wizardry that is the floating floor construction, homeowners had to make do with gluing the boards to the original floor. This did not always work well; especially if the original floor was stone clad and not exactly even. Now of course laminate is available in tongue and groove which clicks the boards into place one with the other. This offers a much improved finish.
Ease of maintenance
Floating floors look and feel like a hardwood floor with a durable and robust construction, making them ideal for busy homes with young families and pets. Floating floors can also be replaced by section- say for example the boards where the children like to play becomes scuffed over the years, then it is a simple process to remove the offending boards and replace with new.
No surprise then that floating laminate flooring is enjoying huge popularity with UK homeowners. Whatever type of home you live in, laminate fits in wonderfully well and there are many looks to choose from. You can have anything from warm burnished mahogany to majestic dark oak, light pine (ideal for children’s bedrooms) or anything else you fancy, including coloured boards.
Your flexible floating floor
Because your floating floor is not attached to the original flooring by way of nails, glue or anything else, it can easily be uplifted, repaired or replaced as we have already seen above. Flexible flooring floors can live on top of all kinds of flooring including cork, hardwood, stone, marble or concrete. Laminates will float indiscriminately over vinyl, floor tiles or stone. However never attempt to float your floor over carpeting as that will not work.
Remember too that by choosing a floating laminate floor you are not choosing a cheaper alternative to hardwood, what you are actually opting for is the most flexible and beautiful flooring option which, in its most modern state, is highly efficient, hard wearing and with proper treatment will last for very many years.
As with everything in life you get what you pay for so if you expect your floating floor to last in mint condition then don’t be swayed by cut-price solutions as they will not offer you the years of service you are looking for from your floor. Buy cheap and you will get cheap which will last you maybe a few years after which time you will have to redo the process all over again.
Alternatively if you invest in high quality flooring you are purchasing many years of flooring peace of mind. For the best results it is usually best to have your floating floor professionally laid which again will save money in the long run.