If you have decided to install beautiful vinyl flooring in your home, you likely are eager to take advantage of its benefits and enjoy the stunning decorative transformation in your space. You may initially focus your attention on the look of the LVT or vinyl tiles. This durable, affordable material can mimic the look of hardwood, marble or other materials. However, the appearance is not the only factor to pay attention to. You will need to choose between two installation methods for your vinyl flooring, which are a glue down vinyl plank flooring method and a floating method. By understanding the differences between glue down vs floating installation methods, you can more easily select a material that meets all of your expectations.
The Cost of Floating Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Glue Down
There are two main types of glue that are used to glue down the tiles or planks. These are hard set or pressure sensitive glues. With glue down material, you may save money on the cost of the flooring material. Glue down vinyl plank flooring or tile flooring is often at least $1 less per square foot than floating vinyl plank or tile material. However, the glue down process for both types of glue can be challenging for an unskilled homeowner to complete. The adhesive used to glue down the material is difficult and messy to work with, so professional installation is often needed. In comparison, the installation of floating vinyl plank or tile flooring is easier to complete and may be suitable for a do-it-yourself project. When you decide between glue down vs floating flooring, focus on the material cost as well as the cost of installation for different types of vinyl.
The room where you need to install new flooring may impact your decision as well. Glue down vinyl plank flooring adheres directly to the sub-floor, so it is considered permanent. Both glue down vinyl plank flooring and tile variations are able to withstand abuse, such as from scratches and spills, without showing significant wear. The glue down method is practical for use in laundry rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. More than that, it is more practical to use the glue down installation method in larger rooms than floating vinyl plank or tile flooring is.
On the other hand, floating vinyl plank flooring or tile floor is not adhered to the subfloor with glue or tape. This floating material clicks together to create a smooth, connected surface. This makes floating vinyl plank or tile flooring easier to install on your own, if desired. Like glue down materials, floating vinyl plank or tile flooring works well in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. However, it is not advisable to use this installation method in the larger rooms in your home.
The Vinyl Flooring Installation Process
The installation process for glue down vinyl plank flooring or tile flooring varies slightly based on the exact material selected and the location of the floor. For example, you will not usually need to install a subfloor material before using the glue down method. However, a vapor barrier should be installed first if you plan to glue down flooring in a basement or in a room that is otherwise prone to exposure to moisture. The type of glue down adhesive used will be affected by the exact type of vinyl selected. For example, sheets of vinyl are normally installed with a hard set adhesive. This same glue down adhesive could be used with planks and tiles as well. However, pressure sensitive adhesive is more commonly used for the glue down of planks and tiles.
Depending on the type of floating vinyl plank flooring selected, the material may need to use a mild adhesive. When a glue down installation process is required, the adhesive normally only needs to be applied to the floating vinyl plank material on the perimeter of the room. More commonly, the floating vinyl plank material is simply laid in place and clicked together without any glue down required. Some floating vinyl plank flooring does need to be installed over a vapor barrier regardless of which room of the home it is installed in. Because the installation process varies considerably for floating floors, review installation instructions before making a purchase.
Vinyl Plank Flooring Durability
The durability of glue down versus floating flooring materials is based on the type of traffic in the room. Glue down vinyl plank flooring and tile materials are permanently adhered to the sub-floor. Therefore, there is no movement or give when pressure is applied to the floor. This includes direct pressure from foot traffic as well as rolling traffic. Because of this, glue down vinyl flooring is a wonderful option for high-traffic areas of your home.
Floating flooring material is not adhered to the floor, so there is minor give with foot traffic. While floating vinyl plank flooring is designed to be durable as well, it may be less durable than glue down vinyl. In addition, the floating installation method is not recommended in rooms where rolling traffic is a possibility.
Because vinyl flooring is a hard floor surface, you may be concerned about how acoustics will affect ambiance in the room. Compared to other hard floors, such as true hardwood and ceramic or natural stone tiles, vinyl buffers noises more significantly. This holds true regardless of whether you buy a product requiring the glue down method or the floating method. However, one important factor can affect sound control in your room. If the sub-floor is not perfectly level, vibrations in the room may sound louder. This holds true for both floating vinyl plank and glue down vinyl plank flooring. Because of this, you should analyze the condition and evenness of the sub-floor before using the glue down or floating installation methods.
Flooring Replacement Process
If you are trying to decide on a vinyl flooring product for your home, it is important to think ahead about how easy it is to replace the flooring many years from now. Because glue down vinyl plank flooring or tiles are permanently adhered to the sub-floor, you can actually install any new flooring material desired directly on the vinyl. If you need to remove the glue down vinyl plank flooring for any reason, however, pulling up the planks that are adhered to the sub-floor can be a major undertaking.
With floating vinyl plank flooring, the planks should be removed before new flooring is installed. This can produce a significant amount of flooring waste. However, because the floating vinyl plank flooring is simply clicked together, the pieces are generally easy to remove.
Regardless of whether you are leaning toward flooring with the glue down method of installation or if you prefer to install floating vinyl plank floor, keep in mind that you do not need to tackle the installation process on your own. When you entrust our experienced team with the installation of your new glue down or floating floor, you can expect gorgeous results in minimal time. We are available to answer your questions about the vinyl flooring products we offer and our installation services when you contact us today.