Floating floors aren’t nailed down like conventional floorboards.
Floating floors are laid over an existing timber floor, concrete, tiles, particle board, plywood, etc. An underlay is placed underneath the floor to provide good noise insulation. This makes them ideal for use in multi-storey apartment buildings and homes.
Floating floors can be either timber or laminate.
The timber floors consist of a layer of hardwood that has been glued to a high density fibreboard/s. They are manufactured pre-coated or can be coated upon installation. The advantage of using a real timber floating floor is that it can be sanded and refinished if necessary.
Laminate floating floors use laminate to create a timber finish effect. Laminate floors are lower maintenance than real timber floating floors. Please note that BCA (Building code of Australia) has changed its sound requirements for dwellings. As of 1.5.2004.
The most popular brands are:
Readyflor is pre-finished with 6 coats of hard wearing UV lacquer, fast and easy to install and maintain, as well as being sold with a Lifetime Structural Warranty and a 25 Year Residential Wear Warranty. It is available in a wide range of timber species as well as three different designer styles. Readyflor can be re-sanded and re-polished.
Uniclic is the patented profile that is machined along all four sides of Quick Step laminate flooring to allow installation without glue. The Uniclic system has a specially shaped tongue and groove that simply clicks together during installation providing gap-free joins without the mess and time delays associated with installing the old glue together laminate floors.
Typically, ‘real’ timber floating floors consist of a thin layer of softwood or hardwood bonded to a high-density ply or fibreboard substrate. They’re usually pre-coated but it’s possible to light sand and coat after installation. Unlike laminate flooring, real timber floating floors can be sanded back after several years.
The Bamboo option
Bamboo is a renewable resource that grows faster than timber. It’s also a very hardwearing and durable surface. For these reasons it’s becoming a popular flooring alternative to timber. Bamboo flooring is relatively new. It comes in a range of styles and colours and because it is pre-finished, installation is fast.