The flooring industry is flooded with new products advertising floating glueless flooring installation
systems. Many of
them work quite well, in fact. But keep in mind that just because the manufacturer says you can do it yourself,
necessarily mean you should.
With laminate flooring, most of the click systems work very well, and for some, if you use any glue at all you’ll
warranty. I know of one laminate manufacturer, however, that now requires the floor to be glued together for installations in
certain parts of the country. Many vinyl flooring manufacturers are now marketing their original felt–backed vinyl
flooring lines as glue/ glueless products as well, and several encourage floating fiberglass backed vinyl as the
I’m not arguing with any of these floor manufacturers, but I am advocating that as professional installers, we should use some
common sense and not allow manufacturers of glueless flooring to give us a false sense of security.
A few things to remember when installing any type of floating flooring:
- A floating floor (any floor installed without adhesive or fasteners) will move. Allow appropriate space around the
entire perimeter of the floor, including at exterior doorways and around all cabinets and fixtures. Be sure to undercut door
jambs to allow for flooring movement, as well.
- Extreme changes in temperature and humidity can cause severe expansion/ contraction in floating floors, so a glueless
installation may not be the best option for part–time/ seasonal–use homes and cabins that are not kept at a
consistent temperature when not in use.
- When installing a new type of floating flooring, always read the directions first. Manufacturers will often list
potential problems that can be avoided with a few simple steps. Remember – Glueless doesn’t mean mindless!
- If you’re unfamiliar with the performance of a certain floating product installed without glue, ask around. Product
performance may vary according to climate and there are usually other installers with experience installing those products in
your area. A quick phone call can often provide valuable information that could prevent a costly failure.
Glueless installation systems are often the easiest and least–expensive methods for installing a variety of flooring
types. Sometimes floating a floor really is the best option. Just use common sense and do some research on floating
flooring installations before attempting to install them yourself.