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Glue Down Vs Floating Hardwood Floors

The many benefits of engineered flooring make it one of the most popular wood flooring options. Engineered floors can be installed by– glue down or floating. Which of the two options is a better choice? The choice depends on what you want.


If you want versatility in usage, you might want to choose floating floors. Floating floors can be installed below, above or on grade. For example, if you want to install over radiant heating system, floating hardwood floors are the most suitable. Floating hardwood floors can be installed over a wide range of subfloors, including plywood, ceramic tiles, linoleum floors and concrete floors. You can install floating hardwood floors over old and cracked floors as well. As long as the existing is secure, dry and flat.

Glued down floors, on the other hand, do not offer such versatility. You can’t just glue down a floor on any surface. You will have to remove, clean or repair the underlying floor for best results.

For example, particle boards, vinyl subfloors or any other subfloor that is prone to warping, moisture damage or wearing can reduce the life of the hardwood floor. You have to remove the subfloor before gluing or nailing the floor down. This in turn will increase the cost and effort involved in installation.


Both, glued down floors and floating floors, are stable. However, when compared to floating floors, the tension is lower in glued down floors.

Floating floors can have a bit of a spring to them but can last as long as glue down floors with proper care.


Whether you install a floating floor or a glued-down floor, the life of the flooring depends on the way it is installed. Glued floors last for decades if the subfloor is prepared perfectly. They are suitable for areas that experience heavy footfalls and do not face the risk of moisture damage. Floating floors are not dependent on the subfloor as they are not attached to the substrate. The boards are secured to each other. This reduces the probability of shrinkage and expansion, which in turn, increases the life of the floor.

Choose between floating and glue-down floors based on the usage and your requirements. Make a wise choice for a longer lasting engineered floor.

If floors are scratched or damaged, glue down floors are more easily repaired compared to floating.

Contact California Hardwood Floors for high quality hardwood flooring for your home. Call 562-433-6741 for a free estimate.

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