Should you Float or Glue Engineered Wood Floor (Which is Best?)

should you float or glue engineered wood floor

When it comes down to engineered wood flooring, deciding which is best between glued down or floating is dependent on a number of factors.

Should you float or Glue Engineered Wood Floor. While floating is cheaper and easier to install, gluing down is more expensive and can only be done by professionals but it gives stability. Given both options, we would suggest glued engineered wood floor.

This article will explain what floating and glue engineered wood floor is all about, their characteristics, how they are done, their various advantages and disadvantages, et cetera to give you a clearer picture.

Read: How to tell if floors are engineered hardwood

Glue Down Engineered Wood Floor

Glue down as an installation method for wood floors involves using an adhesive or glue that you put directly onto your subfloor before laying your floor. 

When it comes down to installing engineered wood floors, glue-down wood flooring is particularly suited to either concrete or wood subfloors. 

That said, if you’re using this method over a concrete subfloor, you must ensure that there’s no dampness in the subfloor whatsoever. If you aren’t entirely sure about its dampness, we recommend that you consider the floating wood option.

One of the advantages of gluing your wood floor to the subfloor is the stability that it provides. It is perfect for rooms where the chance of moving around heavy furniture is quite high.

One of the notable disadvantages is: if you’re not a professional, it can be a messy business, and also, you need to allow in your planning time for the glue to dry before any movement on the floor.

Advantages of Glued Down Engineered Wood Floor

  • Glued down engineered wood floor can be used on all types of subfloor surfaces whether even or uneven.
  • Glued down engineered wood floor provides stability. This means that there is little to no movements under your feet as you walk on it because it is firmly held in place by the glue.
  • Glued down engineered wood floor is extremely popular which is why we would recommend it.

Disadvantages of Glued Down Engineered Wood Floor

  • It is time consuming
  • It is more expensive
  • It needs the skillset of a professional
  • It is difficult to replace the glue-down floors if you’re aiming for a complete renovation of the room. Some people opt to install the new floors on top of the old glue-down floors.

Floating Engineered Wood Floor

Floating wood floors use a traditional system known as tongue and groove system or click system, which means that the planks of flooring can be installed without being secured directly to the floor.

Floating does not exactly mean the engineered wood floor is suspended in the air. What it means is that your floor isn’t fixed to the subfloor; instead, it relies on its inter-locked weight to keep it in place. 

This fitting is well suited to engineered wood flooring and is ideal for engineered wooden floors. 

In the home, though, floating as a method of installing your engineered wood floor is incredibly popular because it’s so fast and easy to assemble.

When you opt for a floating installation method, you are expected to introduce a moisture barrier to your subfloor if you suspect you might at some point have dampness issues. 

One of the other advantages of floating engineered wood flooring is that when it expands and contracts, it’s less likely to become damaged because it’s not straining against nails or glue. It’s simply working within its own limits. 

Add to this the speed it takes to assemble and the fact that floating as a fitting method can be used over pretty much any subfloor. You really begin to understand why this method of fitting engineered wood floors is extremely popular.

Advantages of Floating Engineered Wood Floor

  • It is faster to install
  • It is easier
  • It saves you money

Disadvantages of an Engineered Wood Floor

  • It isn’t stable
  • It is not suitable for rooms with lots of traffic or rooms that require dragging of furniture.
  • It makes a creaking sound when you walk on it.
  • Floating floors require a vapour barrier to prevent moisture problems and mould build up beneath its surface.

Related: Floating engineered wood floor problem

Should you float or Glue Engineered Wood Floor?

If you’re contemplating the pros and cons of glue down versus floating floor for a do-it-yourself method of installation, then the floating method will be the better of the two options. 

Not only does it mean you don’t have to struggle with different types of glue and the amount needed, but it also means you can work swiftly and can move across your floor once you’ve finished.

If on the other hand, you’re contemplating a solid wood flooring installation over a concrete or wooden subfloor, the glue-down method should be the obvious choice, so you get a good stable result.

Read more: Can engineered hardwood be refinished


Glued-down wood flooring is considered a permanent fix, so it is naturally more expensive and time-consuming if you find yourself in a situation that requires you to take up your flooring to deal with problems such as a leak or mold.

Additionally, due to the lesser stable nature of floating engineered wood floors, you can find that it feels spongy when walking across it, and there may be a creaking or an echo when weight is applied on the engineered wood floor.

This is not a guarantee and often only happens in certain areas of a room, but can be a nuisance, and though it can still occur with glued-down wood flooring, it is far less likely.

Using all of the detailed information discussed in this article, along with your personal preferences and needs, you should now have a clear idea as to which method of installation will work best for you.

At the end of the day, should you float or glue engineered wood floors? This is a question best answered by you.

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