Floating floors are not glued or nailed to existing plywood or concrete subflooring. Each piece of flooring is glued to the next. Floating floors are commonly made of manmade materials such as laminate or wood veneer over laminate.
Laminate floors have their pros and cons. Laminate floors are less expensive than hardwoods, especially exotic hardwoods. Laminate flooring can look exactly like expensive cherry wood floors or ebony. They are also very easy to clean and care for. The drawbacks to laminate flooring are, repairs are difficult if not impossible. If laminate becomes scratched, it cannot be easily repaired. In the long run as laminate or veneers wear off the surface, it cannot be sanded and refinished, the floor needs to be replaced.
Laminate floors are a good choice for a wood floor look without a hardwood price.
Remove carpeting, ceramic tiles, linoleum or whatever is currently covering the floor to expose the plywood sub flooring or concrete base.
Repair and replace any damaged plywood. Tighten any loose nails or screws.
If the sub floor is concrete, even out any depressions or humps.
Remove base moldings form around the perimeter of the room. Remove the doors and door trims.
Roll out the underlayment which is a foam and plastic barrier that goes between either the plywood sub floor or concrete slab. Underlayment is also known as floating floor insulation. Underlayment blocks water vapor from reaching the underside of the laminate flooring.
Make cuts to the underlayment with a utility knife to fit the room.
Lay down your first-row of laminate flooring, leave a small gap between the first-row and the wall. Use small wood shims to create an even gap along the entire wall. The edge of the flooring needs to face out into the room, away from the way.
Apply adhesive to the tongue of the first-row of flooring. This step is optional and not required if the flooring is tongue and groove, but many feel this strengthens the floor.
Lay the entire first-row from wall to wall. Make cuts to the ends as needed.
Fit the second-row groove into the first-row tongue. Make sure the seams do not match up. The seam should be fashioned at the halfway point of the second-row and half way point of the third row and so on.
Place a small block of wood just above the tongue of the second-row. Tap the wood block with a wooden mallet to tightly fit the second-row into the first-row.
If you are using glue, clean up the excess glue from between the seams as you go along. Do not let the glue dry.
Continue to cover the entire floor.
Replace, base moldings, doors and door trims.
Do not walk on the floor, if you use adhesive for 24 hours.