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The Benefits of a Floating Laminate Floor

Laminate is undoubtedly one of the most ‘low-maintenance’ flooring materials available, primarily because of its unique composition. Laminate flooring is generally made up of various layers fused together to form a flooring board. There are four main layers: the wear layer, the pattern layer (also known as the image layer), the processed wood core (made of fiberboard), and a balancing layer on top of that.

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Strength under pressure

A moisture barrier and scratch resistance layer is usually incorporated within these layers. These various layers are bonded together using high pressure to ensure that the laminate floor produced is highly durable. The pressure also makes sure that the layers stick together and have an enhanced look for many years.

A floating finish

Before the invention of floating floor boards, laminated floors had to be glued to the subfloor. However, with the introduction of the tongue-and-groove method, individual planks can be interlocked to form the flooring bed to give a complete finish. That’s why the method is called floating, meaning ‘placing over the previous floor’.

Floating laminate floors have many advantages over glue down options, some of which include:

  1. A floating laminate floor does not have to be installed by the tedious and demanding processes of a nail-down or glue-down installation. It requires less effort and time for the installation.
  2. It can be easily installed over many different types of existing floors, whatever material the subfloor is made of. Whether it is plywood, concrete slab, or OSB, a floating laminate floor can be installed by simply floating the flooring boards over the original flooring or subfloor. Please note, floating laminate cannot be installed over carpet.
  3. The wear layer is thick and solid, giving it the feel of a hardwood.
  4. Any small or large part of a floating laminate floor can be replaced anytime for multiple reasons, including wear and tear.

A floating laminate floor has the ease of maintenance of a usual laminate floor, yet it is durable and tough as a hardwood floor. Because of this, it’s not surprising that floating laminate floors are consistently popular with homeowners.

(8) Comments

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Donna,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Unfortunately laminate is only made with HDF. You can take a look at engineered hardwood as that is similar to laminate in how it is put together. The difference is that there is either an HDF or plywood core and then a layer of real wood on top. I’ve included the link to our engineered hardwood options below. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      https://www.builddirect.com/Engineered-Hardwood-Floors-Results

  1. Is laminate flooring recommended for use in kitchens and/or 1/2 bathrooms? Want to replace flooring on entire first floor and am looking for suggestions..

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Jeff,

      Laminate flooring can be used in a kitchen but not recommended and you should use it in a full bathroom. As for a half bathroom you may be able to get away with it but you are still risking moisture damage if there are any issues with your plumbing or careless use of the facilities. For one single product to use in all rooms with a wood look I would suggest a wood looking porcelain tile plank.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Justin,

      Thank you for getting in touch! For the majority of our products we have stair nose molding pieces. In this case the actual laminate planks would be used adhered onto the stairs and the stair nose would be used as a finishing piece. We have a couple products with actual stair treads but not too many. If you had a couple options you liked I would suggest giving us a call at 1-877-631-2845 and a customer service representative would be happy to check on those products for you.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Barb,

      Thank you for your inquiry!

      Unfortunately any laminate that is a floating floor cannot be installed under islands or cabinets. They are too heavy and will restrict the floor from expanding and contracting which will cause the floor to come apart. We suggest butting the flooring up against the island, this will be hidden by the kicker on the island.

      Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

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