There are different types of floors when deciding what to choose. The most popular are engineered, laminate, solid and vinyl plank.
Engineered wood floors are made up of a top layer of solid hardwood, typically between a 2mm-6mm wear layer, bonded with modern adhesives to a plywood base. Like any structure, the foundation, which in this case is the plywood, is the part that gives the floor board its stability. Engineered floors can usually be sanded and refinished a couple of times.
Contrary to popular belief, laminate flooring is not simply made out of plastic. Instead, laminate is typically composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. Laminate flooring simulates wood with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. Laminate floors cannot be sanded for obvious reasons, but if there are spare boards, they can sometimes be replaced.
Vinyl plank flooring is made of multiple layers, with an outer layer composed of PVC plastic and a core made from foam or similar material. Though not as soft and comfortable as carpet, vinyl planks are softer underfoot and are more comfortable to walk on compared to tile and hardwood flooring. Again if the vinyl plank gets scratched, sometimes it is possible to just replace that board.
Solid wood floors are what they say, solid wood through out. They usually require gluing down directly to the sub floor. On some occasions they can be floating with the tongue and groove glued together. Even though the flooring is typically glued down, an expansion gap is still required. Solid floors are generally stronger due to there construction.
What is a Floating Floor?
A floating floor is a flooring installation that does not require the use of nails. Instead of nailing down wood planks, you attach them by clicking them together, hence called a click system. The floor is more or less “floating” over the subfloor with an underlayment rather than being firmly attached to it.
The floating floorboards make installation fast, simple, and efficient budget-wise. This method works for various floor materials, laminate, engineered and vinyl plank.
What is more, floating timber floors are non-invasive; they do not damage the subfloors. Thanks to their click-lock technique, they can be re-used. They are also perfect for under floor heating systems, making them more efficient and easier to install.
Like all floors they can expand and contract through the changing climate, which is why it is important to have an expansion gap around the floor, which is usually hidden by either beading or skirting board. On some occassions a sealant can be used.