When we talk about laminate flooring, we mean a type of installation and not so much a type of floor. A floating installation is one that is not fixed underground or using glues, adhesives, nails or any other system. This allows for the natural movement of the material: contractions and expansions.
And if they are not glued to the subsoil, how does it stay in place? Well, joining each table, clapboard or piece with the following using what is known as a click or anchor system or using tails. This keeps the pieces together covering the entire surface.
The baseboards or baseboards will cover the expansion joints that will need to be left in front of the walls. It may also be necessary to leave additional joints that will be covered with profiles prepared for this.
It is also essential in any floating floor installation to install an insulator. This can add additional benefits, such as greater thickness to solve small irregularities in the subfloor, sound insulation, allowing the use of radiant heating, etc.
Advantages of floating pallets or floating installation
- Undoubtedly, the main advantage is the ease of installation. We are not just talking about anyone with certain notions who can do this. But even hiring a professional will be cheaper than placing another type of floor or platform, as the installation will take less time.
- No major works are needed. The laminate floor is mounted on the existing floor. It just needs to be leveled.
- Replacements in case of breakage or deterioration are much easier and faster.
Floating floor types
The main types of floors or platforms installed in this way are:
Little can be added to what we have already said about laminate floors. In summary, we will say that it is a pressed fiber board to which several layers are added: printed paper with the design, a wear layer, etc.
It is a tough option, much more than you think. Available in a wide variety of designs, not just imitating woods. There is a great diversity of qualities and benefits, so be careful what you buy, as it is easy for them to sell us a lot. And they are virtually maintenance free.
Its main disadvantage is water. This deteriorates this type of laminate flooring, although in the premium ranges it is a problem that is relatively under control.
Click Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl floors are also in the shape of slats, similar to laminate floors, although instead of talking about wood fibers we usually talk about PVC.
Not all vinyl floors are installed in the same way, some stick together, so we would not be facing floating installations.
On the other hand, this type of floor is 100% resistant to moisture, which is a great advantage. Although, on the other hand, some without additional protection may become discolored against the action of the sun. Heat can also affect them negatively.
Solid wood or multilayer flooring
In essence, it is solid wood in a single piece or in different layers that may or may not combine several types of wood (multilayer parquet). They are also joined by means of a click system or also glued and require a level surface for installation.
As for the benefits they can have, they have a lot to do with the woods used. Some are more attractive than others, some are very expensive and others resist moisture better.
On the other hand, they allow you to make repairs. In the above cases, it would be necessary to resort to the replacement of parts. Some maintenance is necessary, as it will be necessary to periodically cut and varnish. Of course, if care is adequate, we will have soil for several generations.
Difference between laminate flooring and laminate flooring
On many occasions, we can find ourselves in conversations where the terms laminate flooring and laminate flooring are used interchangeably. This is not necessarily a mistake, although it can be misleading.
Laminate floors are a type of laminate flooring, as we already mentioned. But not all floating floors are laminated.
Let’s redefine the concepts to clarify the issue a little and understand the difference.
When we talk about laminate flooring, we refer to a form of installation. It is floating when it is not fixed to the ground, that is, it floats on it. The pieces fit together to cover an entire surface without using any method (glue, glue, nails, etc.) to fix the platform to the floor.
This type of installation only makes sense when the parts must be kept together, for example, using some anchoring system or click. A puzzle can serve as an idea, where the pieces are joined to each other and if we move one of them all move.
A laminate floor is a type of floor composed of several layers, normally an HDF (High Density Fibreboard) core, a melamine paper printed with our design and a last layer of plastic that protects the surface. This type of floor or platform is also installed floating. Therefore, it is a type of laminate flooring, but it is not the only one.