Despite concrete being quite fine as flooring in itself, people are always on the lookout for something a bit more unorthodox and classy. That’s where floorings such as vinyl, laminates, and engineered hardwoods come in.
When you install these onto your concrete floor, you are going to have to follow either the glue-down method or the floating floor method. Both of these flooring methods are very easy to implement and can be done by yourself.
Despite their differences, there are quite a few similarities between them as well. That’s when the debate of glue down vs floating floor in concrete arises.
Let’s take a look at what both the glued-down floor and floating floor offer and what their drawbacks are.
What is Glue down floor?
Glue-down floors are floorings that are glued down to a subfloor that has been prepared before. Although most floorings can be glued down to the concrete subfloor, the most common floorings for this method are solid hardwood floorings and ceramic/porcelain tiles.
The glue-down floors have some very attractive features that make them quite popular among users worldwide. They also have some drawbacks that make people think twice before installing them. The pros and cons of the glue-down floor are:
Glue-down floors have some other upsides besides being easy to install. Such as:
Since the solid hardwood and ceramic tiles are glued down to the subfloor, they don’t have any scope to move about. This trait makes them extremely durable and sturdy. This type of floor is suitable for the areas of your home which have the heaviest traffic and have quite a lot of furniture in them.
Since they don’t have the chance to move about because of being anchored to the floor, they can take the heavy weight of the furniture and the constant strain put on them by the inhabitants moving about.
No matter how durable the floorings may be, you will eventually need to replace them. So you might often go for the option that makes life easier for you. The glue-down floor is a better choice in this case. Sometimes you don’t even need to remove the older layer before installing a new one, you can just place the new one on top of the old one.
When you do need to replace a plank or tile, you can just remove the plank or tile that needs to be replaced and put in a new one without having to disturb the whole floor.
Although you need to prepare a subfloor for the glue-down floor, and while the subfloor needs to be as level as possible, you don’t exactly have to make the floor entirely level. There can be some kind of bumps on the floor. The reason for this is because the floorings are glued down, they don’t tend to move about, which makes them a little less susceptible to damage from these bumps.
It’s not all roses and sunshine when it comes to glue-down floors. The disadvantages of this floor are as follows:
Since one of the main components of the glue-down floor is adhesives, they always run the risk of bleeding out of the seams. If you use too much adhesive or the adhesives used haven’t dried off properly or the room is too moist, then the adhesives might bleed out which isn’t a very good look for your room and it also affects the stability and durability of the floor.
Compared to vinyl, laminate, and engineered hardwood floorings, solid hardwood and ceramic floorings cost quite a bit more. This makes the glue-down floors a bit costly. Though this increased cost is then offset by the lower installation cost, the buying price of the materials still is a bit much.
What is a Floating floor?
Floating floors are made up of interlocking flooring materials with tongue and groove systems. These floors don’t need any subfloors to be installed, so the hassle is minimal.
The floating floors have many pros in favor of them, while the cons can’t be ignored either. Let’s have a look at them.
The fact that floating floors are easy to install is well known. Some other things are going for it as well. These are:
Unlike glue-down floors, you don’t need to prepare any subfloors to install a floating floor. All you need is to place the floorings and just lock them with each other. This saves you a lot of time and the amount of hassle goes down considerably.
The principal flooring materials for floating floors are vinyl, laminate, and engineered hardwood planks. All of these are pretty cheap when compared to solid hardwood and ceramic tiles used for glue-down floors. Yes, the installation cost is a bit more than that of glue-down floors, but it isn’t much and the low cost of the flooring materials makes sure the cost doesn’t go up.
The floating floors have some distinct disadvantages too. These are :
Unlike glue-down floors, you can’t simply take the damaged plank out and install a new one. Due to the tongue and groove system, you need to remove a few tiles just to replace a single damaged tile.
Since the floating floor’s floorings aren’t anchored to anything, they can’t handle too much movement on them and too much weight. So this makes them unsuitable for places with high traffic and heavy furniture.
So, based on the above discussion, who wins the debate of glue down vs floating floor on concrete? The answer is…. No one. Both of these floors have different characteristics that make them suitable for different places and purposes. So installing glue-down floors on high and floating floors in low-traffic areas is the correct way to go.
This is Autem Decker. Main Author of ‘TheHomeDigs‘. You may not find her on the list of top 10 contemporary Canadian interior designers, but everyone who knows her says she was born to be an interior designer.
She makes her plan in her head and draws them in her years-old diary with a note in the corner. The way she plays with color and shape amazes us.
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