Float or glue engineered hardwood flooring?
Adhesives for glued installation (non floating)
Anyone who decides on parquet as a floor covering must first think about more than just the type of parquet, whether it should be solid parquet or multi-layer parquet.
The choice of the parquet type also determines the way in which the parquet is to be laid.
Solid parquet must be glued down, whereas the laying of the planks can also be done “floating” with finished parquet.
Of course, the floor price certainly plays a role in the choice of the product.
When buy parquet some technical aspects should also be considered. For example, not all types of parquet are suitable for underfloor heating.
Last but not least, the durability of the hardwood flooring also plays a role. Because if you live e.g. for rent, there should at least be the possibility to remove the parquet without leaving any residues when moving out. In this case, with laying parquet the “floating installation” is certainly preferable to gluing.
What does a “glued-on installation” mean?
With “glued installation”, the parquet is firmly and permanently bonded to the subfloor using parquet adhesive.
When purchasing, it is important to remember that solid wood parquet is best glued over the entire surface on a suitable and even base.
It is advisable to have this done by the expert.
There are good reasons for gluing parquet or hardwood flooring planks over the entire surface and firmly bonding them to the substrate.
In addition to certain types of parquet, which cannot be laid in any other way, gluing the parquet guarantees above all a high durability.
Glued parquet made of solid wood is easy to renovate and lasts for many decades even in rooms with heavy use of the floor covering.
The direct and firm connection of the parquet with the subfloor thus stands for a high load-bearing capacity.
What does “floating laying” mean?
In contrast to glued installation, with “floating installation” the individual parquet planks are not connected to the subfloor, but only to each other. The parquet lies unfixed on the subfloor, “floats” thus on this.
The connection between the individual pre-finished parquet elements varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but is usually made by simple click systems.
For the floating parquet installation, therefore, only little manual skill is required. It is also easy to handle even for laypersons. The parquet floor can then be walked on immediately.
Gluing parquet: What are the advantages and disadvantages?
With glued parquet there is no room for movement of the floor and therefore a much lower noise pollution due to impact sound than with floating parquet.
The firm connection with the subfloor ensures that the glued parquet cannot vibrate.
The treading noises are significantly quieter than with floating installation, where the flooring amplifies the sound when it is set in motion by steps or movements.
Glued parquet has a tendency to not to joint formation and material fatigue due to its firm connection with the subfloor.
This means that hardly any cracks can form even under permanent load, into which moisture can penetrate.
Glued parquet is in total very resilient, which significantly increases the service life of the floor covering.
In addition, the parquet can be well renovated during its lifetime and can also be sanded some times over time, if necessary.
Glued parquet requires more time during installation and is therefore more cost-intensive.
With glued parquet, it is very difficult or even impossible to correct laying errors after the glue has dried, because once glued, parquet elements can hardly be detached and realigned without damage.
The parquet is not immediately walkable after laying, because the adhesive must first harden. This takes at least 12 hours.
Large quantities of adhesive are required for bonding to the substrate.
Of course, care should be taken to use an adhesive without solvents.
After removing an already glued parquet floor, a reuse is no longer possible.
Also, the removal of the glued parquet can be quite time-consuming.
Accordingly, glued parquet is clearly designed for durability and not for flexibility.
Why glue parquet?
Basically, parquet can be laid or glued as a floating floor.
Bonding has several advantages. Glued parquet is mainly suitable when a very long-term use is planned. This is because the removal of glued parquet is considerably more complicated.
If you live in a rented apartment, you should definitely inform the landlord and ask for permission.
When must parquet be glued? In any case then, if a complicated parquet pattern or a demanding parquet type is planned.
The glued installation technique is ideal for a home with children or in rooms subject to heavy use.
In the laying pattern and in the transition to other rooms, no expansion joints are usually necessary when gluing.
Another factor if the question of when to glue parquet is answered positively: What is important is an adhesive with “healthy” properties, free of solvents and low in emissions.
Advantages and disadvantages of floating installation
The special advantage of floating installation is that it is very easy and quick to do, even by laymen with some skill.
It is only important that the subfloor is level when the parquet is laid.
To ensure this, there is, for example, self-levelling filler. Once the laying work is complete, the parquet can be walked on immediately and the room can be furnished.
Another advantage is the possibility of taking up the floating parquet again if necessary, replacing it if the taste changes, or laying it again elsewhere.
Especially if the parquet is to be laid in a rented apartment, the residue-free removal when moving out is an aspect that should be considered before buying. Floating parquet is the flexible solution here.
Floating parquet floors have a lower durability compared to glued parquet floors, as vibrations of the floor covering cannot be avoided.
In the long run, this leads to higher mechanical stress and thus to material fatigue at the element connections.
In the course of time cracks can develop here, through which moisture can penetrate the wood. Floating parquet floors are also more difficult to renovate if they vibrate, e.g. during grinding off.
It should be noted that parquet can only be used for floating installation if it has also been designed and designated for this purpose.
The main disadvantage is the impact sound, which is caused by the fact that the flooring gives way with every step. Like a soundboard, the sound is amplified by vibrations. A impact sound insulation must be applied before floating installation of the parquet on the subfloor to reduce this effect.
With some finished parquet products, the footfall sound insulation is already attached to the individual parquet elements.
Why lay parquet floating?
Floating installation requires little or no adhesive.
This means that there is no need for full-surface bonding to the substrate. Only the individual elements are connected with each other.
The work can be done by do-it-yourselfers and talented laymen. If you use parquet with tongue and groove, the joints can be glued additionally, but this is not not necessary.
If you live in a rented apartment or are planning to remove or replace the parquet floor after a few years, parquet is best installed as a floating floor.
The bottom can be removed relatively easily if necessary. Floating installation is not suitable for solid parquet, this type of parquet must be glued. If, on the other hand, you use multi-layer parquet or ready-to-lay parquet, the floor can be laid as a floating floor. Floating parquet is not as resilient as glued parquet.
Parquet best glued with underfloor heating
Anyone who has underfloor heating does not therefore have to do without a parquet floor. However, there are a few things to consider. Thus, certain types of wood are less and others more suitable for installation over underfloor heating.
Wood species with unfavourable swelling and shrinkage behaviour such as beech and maple should be avoided at all costs, whereas, for example, oak and walnut are suitable.
However, the decisive factor is that with underfloor heating, the parquet should definitely be glued, because only then is good heat transfer possible.
With floating parquet, on the other hand, there is a layer of air between the subfloor and the parquet, which acts like an insulating layer and impairs heat transfer.