Float to a perfect floor
Q: What are floating floors? I’ve never heard of them before.
A: Floating floors can be installed onto a concrete pad or any other flat, firm or level surface without using nails, battens or glue.
They are called “floating” because they are not attached to the sub-floor in any way.
They are usually thinner than solid hardwood and can be fitted over most flat surfaces such as tiles, concrete, cork or timber.
As a result, floating floors can be installed quickly and with less expansion and contraction of the panels, which might separate and cup with no risk of gaps appearing.
Floating floors are usually supplied fully finished, sanded with numerous coats of sheen urethane coating on them.
An underlay moisture barrier can also be installed to protect against sub-floor moisture or act as a noise buffer. They often have a shorter lifespan than traditional timber and may not have the “real timber” look, feel and sound.
If you are thinking about a floating floor, make sure your floor is level enough.
Any pre-existing soft floor covering should be removed.
There is also interest in lightweight suspended steel sub-floor systems for residential properties.
This is ideal to minimise the cut and fill associated with sloping and difficult sites and takes advantage of coastal and mountain views without destroying the landscape.
It may be part of the trend towards more environmentally conscious building approaches in recent times.