Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Did you float your floors?


Image from tinekhome

The flooring I selected can be glued down, floated, or nailed down. Nature Neutral recommended that the Chocolate Hickory be floated on my concrete sub floor. The laminate that was in here was floated, though the underlayer was a cheap sheet of foam that looked like packing material. I personally didn't notice problems with the floor in my day-to-day life, but I've heard that many people feel passionately that floating floors make a lot of noise and they move.

I got a little nervous last night and looked at the EcoTimber product that's going under my floors. Here's a little bit from the description:
  • Pre-attached vapor barrier helps prevent water damage
  • Reduces ambient noise and floor-to-ceiling sound transmission - outperforms cork and rubber in most Sound Transmission tests, at a lower cost
  • Insulates cold floors
  • Cushions floor, smoothes out subfloor imperfections
  • Synthetic fibers disperse moisture away from wettest areas
  • EPA-registered anti-microbial agent and high-temperature manufacture inhibit bacterial, fungal & dust mite growth
Okay, that looks promising, but paper doesn't refuse ink, right? Has anyone else floated their floors? Have you noticed problems with noise or with movement? Is this just a function of using a cheap product?


Image from Decorpad
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5 comments:

  1. Ours are floating while nailed around the perimeter with the quarter rounds. That still counts as floating, right? Of course, because even though it's floating, it still has to be secured via glue or nails around the perimeter and in doorways.

    Anyhoo! 7 months later and everything is fine...no squeaks, movement, etc. Although that's only 7 months, not years!

    Don't forget, I mentioned in your other post that our nails in the quarter rounds *do* stand out because of the darker wood. But glue wasn't recommended and I don't know of anyone else who's used it.

    Do you think that glue would leave a strong [chemical] scent??

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  2. based on my understanding - a floating floor should actually not be nailed down around the perimeter - the quarter round should be attached to the wall to still allow for movement of the floor underneath. the floor moves as a unit (usually the boards snap together). typically noises in floors come from wood rubbing against wood - so the floor rubbing against the subfloor, the subfloor on the joist, etc. if you are installing flooring over a concrete subfloor, i do not think this would be much of an issue. having installed floors both ways, floating floor installation would be easiest. you can usually upgrade to a thicker/nicer underlayment cushion if you are concerned about noise and movement, that should help. anyway, this is all just my opinion :-) you can always call the manufacturer and explain your concerns and see what they recommend.

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  3. Sorry I am no help with your floor questions. I was in Cville today and went by 2nd Street. C & A Camp wasn't open, but I did get to see Pillow Mint and Quince. Wonderful shops. I'll have to go back when I have more time to spend looking. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  4. My new floors will be floating, tongue and groove. So, they'll float and a small amount of adhesive will be applied to the edges as the plants are laid. We'll have the quarter rounds where the floor meets the baseboard, which I'll paint to match the trim (white).

    The glue is EcoTimber's and I know it's as eco-friendly as possible, so I'm hoping it's not going to have a strong smell. Baxter will go to the office while the floors go down. He'll love it!

    EcoTimber's underlayer is pretty substantial, so I think I'll be spared the common problems with floating floors. That's my hope, at least! The layer looks almost like the blankets that moving companies use (with a vapor barrier on one side).

    Slip, so glad you got to see Quince and Pillow Mint! I need to show off a few more stores downtown soon...there are more places!

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  5. I come from a background in the floor covering business. I personally do not like floating floors for the noise level. Everything is amplified. When they are not permanently attached to the subfloor- there is always room for vibration. Secondly, what people mean by moving- the floors do not shift from side to side, but up and down. If there is any "play" in your subfloor (the slighted dip that is very hard to see with the eye) the floors will flex when pressure is put on them. I do not recommend floating floors unless it is the only way for your particular application. If you have the opportunity to glue them down- do it! You won't regret it!

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