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What is a Floating Hardwood Floor?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Floating hardwood floors are a type of flooring that is not attached to any type of subfloor structure. Instead, there is a layer of padding that separates the floating hardwood floor from the subfloor. The presence of this padding provides a higher degree of give to the floor, which in turn provides a sense of floating when walking across the hardwood.

Originally, the floating hardwood floor was available only in what is known as a glue together design. That is, the sections of the flooring were laid on the padding and connected with the use of a strong wood glue. The glue provided a degree of strength and cohesiveness to the unsecured floor without diminishing the sense of a softer walking surface.

Today, there are other configurations for unsecured floors including hardwood floors. One popular type is known as the click together hardwood floor. With this option, the sections of the flooring are manufactured with a tongue and groove design that allows one section to easily join to one another. When properly aligned, the sections produce an audible clicking sound. The unique properties of the tongue and groove design help to give this version of the floating hardwood floor stability while still managing to provide the feeling of floating while walking through the room.

One recent innovation in a floating hardwood floor is known as the lock and fold approach. Unlike tongue and groove examples, this type of floating hardwood floor relies on the use of a design that allows the ends of the boards to be laid in an over and under pattern that joins together to form a smooth surface. The design is not unlike the closing mechanism on a zipper style plastic storage bag. The boards or sections of the flooring are placed on the padding, alternating sections with over and under connecting components. This essentially creates a situation where the fit is achieved by folding over the ends of the pieces until they slide snap into place. With the lock and fold approach, there is no need to tap the sections into place, as is often the case with tongue and groove designs.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including HomeQuestionsAnswered, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon22527 — On Dec 05, 2008

That would make a great wiseGEEK article. Please consider submitting your question via the "Suggest a Topic" selection in the wiseGEEK features drag-down menu.

By anon22325 — On Dec 01, 2008

What are the pros and cons of the lock and click versus the tongue and groove planks?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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