Floated Engineered Flooring

Floated Engineered FlooringNot secured to a subfloor, floating engineered flooring is installed directly above and rests on cushioned underlayment. Floating engineered floors can be installed over practically any material, including tile, gypcrete, or asbestos, and boards are glued, clicked, or locked together. Once all boards are installed, the function as a unit, expanding and contracting together. As a result, 99 percent of floating floors are made out of engineered hardwood.

Floating engineered wood flooring using a click method requires no glue. Instead, a mechanized system is milled into each board, allowing the floor to stay in place once the tongue and groove are connected. For a closer fit, however, the boards may need to be tapped together.

Lock and fold floating engineered flooring needs neither glue nor tapping. In installing the flooring, boards are placed on underlayment and spaced out and then connected one by one.

Installation methods for floating engineered flooring vary with manufacturer and, rather than following a standard procedure, do as the instructions specify. In general, most floating engineered floors begin with a three-in-one foam underlayment, in which the side placed on concrete is a moisture barrier and another is foam cushioning. The third is tape peeled off for attaching each row. Before adding any boards, roll out the underlayment and cut off any excess.

The first few boards added must be straight and free of gaps. Begin adding them with the longest parallel wall in the room. As you work from left to right, space the boards 18 to 24 inches apart and connect them. The boards, additionally, must not touch the wall, and to have a small space, add scrap pieces to the expansion area. Boards installed too close to the wall will "tent" or buckle when expanding from heat or humidity later.

A bead of glue should be added to the tongue on each board. If any squeezes out, clean it up after the boards are tapped together. The boards themselves, however, need to be aligned by hand, but a firmer fit is usually achieved by tapping them in place with a mallet and tapping block. Never drag boards together with the mallet, and as you attach them, check for gaps. The last piece may need to be cut and fit. If so, cut the board where the tongues face each other.