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Knowing the Difference Between Floating and Glue - Down Flooring

April 14, 2017 at midnight

Choosing a luxury vinyl flooring product to incorporate into your interior design is as much about practical concerns as it is about aesthetics. After all, if you select an installation method that is inappropriate for your environment, the flooring may suffer, and your money goes to waste.

While trends can help guide your selection for the best look in your home, it's important to conduct your own research to determine the ideal installation method. Here's a look at glued and floating styles for vinyl flooring, including how each method works.


If you're installing flooring where there's considerable foot traffic, you'll want to consider the glue-down option. It is the most durable and long-lasting method. Unlike what you would use with an interlocking floor, it does not require an underlayment. That said, it does require skill; unless you've been trained, it is wise to consider a professional installer for any glue-down flooring. As the name implies, glue-down flooring requires adhesive. It's important to choose the right adhesive and one that is water-resistant. There are two types to consider:

Pressure Sensitive

Long an industry standard, pressure sensitive adhesive is simple to maneuver and easy to replace, so for environments that change appearances often, pressure sensitive is the way to go.

Hard Set

Hard set adhesive works well with vinyl tile, plank, and sheet vinyl. It holds flooring firmly in place and handles heavy loads, such as wheelchairs and furniture movement. It isn't as easy to replace, however.


Also known as the click or interlocking system, floating installation is a fairly intuitive method and often chosen by those who like DIY. Each plank locks together, and the collective weight and fit ensure that the tiles don't move or shift once in place. No adhesive is needed.

For an additional sound barrier and cushion, consider installing floating planks with a silent guard underlayment. This option is regularly chosen whenever flooring is installed over a previous adhesive product or something with residual asbestos.


A glue-down option is advisable for commercial areas and spaces that experience heavy loads. It is also easier to replace, thereby making it suitable for people who want to change their flooring quite often. Acoustics play a significant role, with floating flooring sounding more hollow due to its separation from the subfloor. On the other hand, floating or click flooring is much easier to install.

For any other questions regarding flooring, please contact our flooring specialists.



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