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Look down at the floor you’re standing on right now. It might look like a single sheet, but it’s actually made from three separate layers: flooring material you walk on; a layer of subflooring; and finally, a strong network of joists that provide support like a skeleton.

Other installation methods of flooring are firmly nailed or glued to the layers below, creating a permanent attachment that lasts until the floor is torn out and replaced. Floating floors are technologically advanced to lock together so they are placed atop the subfloor without fixation.

Laminate flooring contractors, luxury vinyl contractors, and engineered wood contractors  are available in floating floor applications. These floors have the technology to click together to create a seal that locks the planks together, creating an immovable bind. Before you choose a favorite, here’s what to know about each type: 

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood flooring is specially constructed using multiple layers of wood with a finished layer of solid wood. This construction creates a lightweight, durable, and easy to care for wood flooring. The bottom layers are sometimes comprised of recycled or pressed wood making it an excellent sustainable option. Engineered wood floors are available in a floating “click-lock” option as well as glue-down and nail down.


Laminate flooring is an extremely popular option for floating floors. Floating laminate planks are usually connected using tongue-and-groove “click-lock” systems, which use simple tongue-and-groove arrangements instead of nails or adhesives. Laminate is a durable option that comes in wood and tile looks.   

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl flooring is available in two categories: luxury vinyl plank (LVP), which is meant to imitate wood, and luxury vinyl tile (LVT), which is meant to imitate stone or ceramics. Like floating laminate planks and floating engineered wood planks, floating vinyl planks and tiles use tongue-and-groove or “click-lock” systems to snap together. An alternative to floating is glue down.

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