Engineered Floating Wood Flooring

Engineered floating wood flooring gets better every day. There are more choices in color, style, texture and finishes now than ever before. They are easy to install and to maintain, sometimes even easier than wood flooring. And the price is often less than what you’ll see for wood flooring.

Have you been procrastinating about putting a new floor down in one of the rooms in your home? Maybe the flooring in there is glued down and you are just unsure of how to remove the flooring. You do have options that can give you the beautiful flooring that you want without much of the headache that is associated with removing existing flooring. You can install engineered floating wood flooring in this room to help make it into the showplace that you want.

As long as the existing flooring is smooth, you can install a floating floor on top of it. A floating floor is flooring that is installed without the aid of glue or nails. In most cases, it uses a click and lock system to join the flooring pieces to help it stay stable. This flooring can be one of many different kinds including tile, engineered wood, or laminate flooring. How do you install engineered floating wood flooring?
Installing engineered floating wood flooring is very simple. You first need to clean and sweep the area where you are placing the flooring. It is very important that the area be smooth and level so that your floating floor will lie flat. After you have swept the area thoroughly, then you need to install a moisture barrier on the floor. In most cases, this is simply a thick layer of foam-like material that helps keep the moisture away from your flooring and it also helps to add cushioning. This is a simple process of rolling the foam out and cutting it to fit the area with scissors or a razor blade.
Now that you have the underlayment ready, you are ready to install your engineered floating wood flooring. Before you begin installing, determine how to lock the flooring boards together. Then you are ready to start placing the flooring planks. By alternating where the seams are, you can make the flooring stronger and it will look more authentic. You will need to cut some of the flooring planks to fit, but this can be completed easily with a circular saw in most cases. You don’t have to cut them so that they fit snugly against the wall. In fact, you want to leave a little gap for flooring expansion. Tapping the flooring with a rubber mallet may be needed to help get the planks seams butted up against each other. Installing this flooring may take some time, but it is not really difficult and the rewards when you have completed the floor will make your time and effort well worth it.
You are now ready to do the finishing touches, such as reinstalling your floor moldings, etc. You can walk on your beautiful flooring as soon as you have finished installing it. It many need a quick cleaning to help remove dust and dirt from you crawling around on it. Clean it as directed by the manufacturer and you are sure to have beautiful engineered floating wood flooring that will last you for many years to come. Or use Bona, an environmentally friendly and low VOC (volatile organic compounds) cleaner to maintain clean and beautiful floors.
Engineered floating wood floors are good for remodelled and new construction homes and offices. It’s fine over in-floor radiant heat too. It comes in pre-finished and unfinished planks. I’ve had good and bad luck with the pre-finished engineered floors, telling me the manufacturer you select will make a difference in your satisfaction with pre-finished engineered wood floor. The finished product is beautiful and durable. You can’t beat that!

66 thoughts on “Engineered Floating Wood Flooring

  1. Remember to use overlap transition pieces for your job. Your floating wood floor will eventually become one whole piece that will expand and contract under the overlap moldings.

  2. Hi Ron,
    And the answer is….. none of the above! You start out almost against the wall. Head on over to Home Depot’s website at, click on Know How at the top of the page, select your project and see it step by step or video. Hopefully that’ll answer most of your questions and save me a whole lot of typing! ;~)
    If you do have more questions after that, feel free to come back in and we’ll give it a whirl!

  3. we had a little water damage from an upstairs toilet, since that happened we want to change from carpet to wood-not sure what kind of wood we want (laminate, engineered, hardwood), we have stairs, living/dining room, master bedroom and “catwalk”. we are confused by the different things we are told at each place-“you have to use (insert whatever they want to sell us)”. our installer wants to use laminate-we are assuming because of ease. can you use laminate on the stairs with good long term results? does the product we use have to be glued on the stairs or can it be “floated”? we also have animals two dogs and a cat, plus a pool-things to consider. have been reading and seem to only be getting more confused! please help!

  4. Hi Wendy,
    Yes, laminate can be used on stairs with good results – there are many accessories for laminate as well to assure you that you’ll get good results. I don’t know if it needs to be glued to the stairs or not, it will depend on what the manufacturer recommends. You’ll want use the bullnose strips that go on the step edges, and the strips that go on the inside corners of the steps so that it looks attractive.
    I don’t know what the people are trying to sell you, but there are other things that are needed besides the flooring itself in order to get excellent results.
    Whether you choose laminate or wood, try to clean up water messes as quicky as possible and be sure to keep your dog’s toenails trimmed so that the pooch doesn’t scratch the flooring surface. Cat’s aren’t usually a problem as they control what they scratch on, and it usually isn’t floors. ;o)

  5. I’m living in a condo that requires carpet flooring. Would it be possible or sensible to install a floating floor over carpeting? That way I would be meeting the criteria, but still have a nice clean reflective floor.
    Go ahead – call me foolish!

  6. Well…………no. Chances are it wouldn’t be stable enough to support the floating floor. Hmmm…..could you get away with some kind of thin indoor/outdoor carpeting? LOL! You never know, that might still meet the criteria for the condo rules.
    The only other option I can think of is to print up articles that support how carpeting can be a health hazard (trapping allergens and such) and see if you can talk the owner(s) into letting you install a floating floor. My thinking is that carpeting is their rule because tile, linoleum, hardwood, etc. all require nailing, adhesives or mortar (for tiles) and is more permanent as well as more of a pain to try to remove. Such is not the case with a floating floor of course, so they may go for it. Good luck!

  7. Hi, I just ordered engineered wood flooring and my friend and I are going to install it.(Floating floor) I am confused where to start. A builder I know says that the floor always runs lenghtwise in a hallway. But articles I am reading say the floor looks best running the length of the longest wall of the room. The longest wall in the room runs north to south and a large window is on north wall. Off of this room is a hallway that will also be done. That would mean my floor would run north to south but the hallway would run East to west. I know there are transition strips but the builder said that if I do that, anyone that knows floors will think I started to lay the floor and made a mistake and started in the other direction. I am just starting to research and could use any information you have. Thank you,

  8. Hi Carol,
    The hallway and rooms do not have to run in the same direction, it’s quite common for them to be run perpendicular. Sometimes, flooring is even run diagonally! This was a common practice back in the “old days” and seems to be making a comeback – quite striking looking too! In short, do what you want — you’re the one footing the bill.

  9. My brother told me to buy a ‘floating’ floor, so I bought a hardwood because the price was so great. The box says it can be nailed down, glued down, or floated. I just learned about the click type floors, which I guess are only laminate. Am I better off with the hardwood even though it requires glue between the pieces (right?), or should I switch to the laminate with an easier install? (I can take the hardwood back without any problem). Ironically, the laminate is more expensive, plus I need a padding. But is that the better option? I would love bamboo, but it’s too much money. Help!

  10. Hi Barb,
    My suggestion is to do lots of reading on these flooring options so that you can then decide which flooring type YOU think is best for you. They’re both wonderful.

  11. My co-op requires carpet and padding for soundproofing. I have a thin burber style carpeting. Could an engineered wood floating floor be installed on top of the carpet if I first put down something else directly on top of the carpet?

  12. I am considering installing an engineered wood floor in my living room and hallways. Then I remembered, I have stairways to do also! Can engineered wood flooring be installed on the stairs and how do I measure stairways for the quantity I need?

  13. Hi Jane,
    Yes, engineered wood floorng can be put on stairways – you just need some bull-nosed edging for the stair corners.
    I’m not sure how to figure for what you need for stairways, most people use as much left-over pieces as possible. You haven’t mentioned any of your stairway dimensions either. Always be sure to buy extra – any unopened extras can always be returned – just save your receipt.

  14. I have a question that my husband and I disagree. We have a wooden floor and it butts up against carpet with no transition piece. The floor is finished and the edge of the wooden floor is clearly a finished look. My husband believes that we should not walk on the edge of the wooden floor because he says that it will ruin the edge of the wood. We do not wear shoes on the carpet or wooden floor. We have girls ages 5 & 9 and they run around the house. Periodically they walk and run on the edge of the wooden floor as they run into the room with the carpet. Is this going to ruin our beautiful wooden floors edge? Please answer our question and much thanks to you.

  15. Hi, I have a question for you. I have engineered wood laminate flooring. It scratches really easily over anything, dropping a quarter/keys anything at all will dent or scratch it, I mean has holes in some areas. I was wondering if you knew of any varnish or seal that we can coat the floor with. Or if this is even a good idea. Being that the wood is so sensitive, I want to preserve it, seal/protect to prevent further damage. Thanks

  16. Hi Kris,
    I can’t recommend sealing it as I don’t know what it’s coated with, but I’m guessing you won’t be able to because most of the coatings do not react well with polyurethane. You’ll probably void your warranty by applying anything except for what the manufacturer recommends. You should really call the manufacturer, let them know how unhappy you are with their product and ask them what can be done.

  17. I have a couple questions.
    Can you install a floating floor over BurBur carpet? The burbercarpet is glued to the sub-wood floor in my basement & is level with no bumps. The Burber carpet is 1/4 inch thick.
    Next question
    Do I need to put the padding down? Since I have the Burber carpet wouldn’t this be the same?

  18. Hi Mike,
    The berber is not going to give the support that your floating floor will need, so you’ll need to take out the carpet. Of course, if you wish to try, just make sure your floating floor can be taken back apart easily enough without damaging it if you go this route and find out you shouldn’t have.

  19. Thanks for the quick response.
    I’m just confused on “support” for the floating floor. The sub floor is built on cement & is very solid with no sagging. It doesn’t move when ya jump on it. I even have a pool table on it. The carpet is totally glued down & if I tear it up it will take pieces of the wood floor with it making it un even. I was told that the Burber carpet would act as a padding for the floating floor.
    Just looking for some insight

  20. Actually 2-people at Home Depot. If the carpet was right on the cement they said to remove it. Since the thin burber carpet is on top of a wood sub-floor it would be okay.A thin layer of styrafoam padding over the carpet& then apply the Floor. The sub floor has the humidity barrier underneath it already etc. Keep in mind the carpet was glued to the wood & would be damaged if it was removed.
    Yes the burber would act as a padding & they recommnded the thin layer of styrafoamon top as a safe measure.(which is very cheap).
    Thanks for your help & insight with this

  21. I’m on the verge of installing an engineered floating wood floor in a half bath. Are there any issues or possible problems I should consider before I do this?

  22. Hi Nichole,
    Often they’re the same thing, sometimes they are not. Ask if the type(s) of flooring you’re considering have a wood layer on top and how thick that layer is. They can be used in a dry basement.

  23. Hello all, new to the forum. I’m going to install floating hardwood floors in my living room and would like to know how do I install it on steps. I live in a townhouse and when you come into the foyer there are 2 steps that take you up into the livingroom.

  24. Hello, a question for anyone.
    Is there a pro and con to gluing one plank to the next plank when installing 5 inch wide engineered planks floating on a concrete floor. I will put down the moisture foam underlayment.

  25. It interferes with the ability to expand and contract from humidity/temperature variances. ONLY use glue if it is a recommended installation option. If you’re still unsure, call the manufacturer.

  26. Can floatable wood flooring be placed directly on top of a no-pile commercial carpet and then taken with me when the commercial lease expires? If not, is there any flooring you can recommend to place atop a smooth no-pile carpet that is badly stained?

  27. Hi Debra,
    I’m not sure what kind of carpeting you are referring to – do you mean something really thin like indoor/outdoor carpeting? If so, yes, that should work. Taking the new floor back up when you leave may damage it though, but hey – it’s worth a shot. ;o)

  28. Is it safe to put the wood plank laminate on top of carpet padding? We have taken up the existing carpet and the padding looks fine.

  29. Hi Kay,
    You’re carpet padding is probably too thick – can’t say for sure as I can’t see it and you haven’t described anything about the padding. What room/s are you thinking about using this in? That’s also a consideration. Engineered floors usually only use a thin underlayment. Some people use cork as an underlayment to help muffle footsteps – especially when used on a second story floor.

  30. I’m going to install a flotting floor on top of my lowlow pile carpet….do i still want to put the cork or foam? Thanks a lot, Angie

  31. Thank you for your reply. We are putting the flooring in the den area. This is an area that we are in all the time. We live in a modular home so there is carpet padding and it is less than 1/4 inch thick. I was just asking because if I did not have to pull it up too it was going to make things easier.

  32. Hi Angie,
    I would suggest making sure that using your lowlow pile carpet will work for an underlayment first. The foam makes a very good moisture barrier, though I haven’t a clue if you need one since you haven’t mentioned what is under the carpeting. Most people use cork to help muffle the sounds of footsteps – usually on a second story floor.

  33. I want to install engineered flooring over old linoleum tile which is on top of my concrete basement floor. Can you tell me how flat the floor needs to before putting down vapor barrier and foam? Thanks, Adrian

  34. I am thinking about purchasing Bruce Turlington Lock-and-Fold in Oak (Woodstock). Is this a good purchase? We must have floating click-lock floors with no glue/nails required. This is due to the fact that we’re on a slab and we also prefer the easiest installation possible.
    What sort of underlayment do you recommend? We were quoted 35 center per square foot for EV 45 underlayment. Is this what we need? It’s a one-story home.

  35. Hi Leslie,
    Yes the underlayment should be fine. Some people go a step further and use cork tile in between the underlayment and flooring to further help muffle noise.
    I’m not familiar with this flooring personally (there are so many on the market these days!), how many years is it warrantied for?

  36. Hi Flooring Lady!
    Thanks for the response. I believe that the floor has a surface warranty of 25 years, which I understand should be pretty good.
    How crazy should I get with fixing the slab before laying the floors? When we pulled up the tack strips, it left little “craters” in some spots (perhaps .5″ deep, 2.5″ wide) near the wall. Should all of those be patched?
    Do you have any other tips to recommend? Someone suggested that we start from the center of the room and work towards the side, but I had never read that. What do you suggest?

  37. Hi Leslie,
    Yes, some people recommend starting in the middle, when we did ours, we didn’t do that. I fail to see how it matters much so long as you’re not trying to get fancy by using at least a couple different colors to make a design – then you’d want it centered.
    Those sound like pretty good ‘craters’ – I would fill them in first.
    Good luck!

  38. I am getting ready to install engineered hardwood in my living room and hall. I am going to use the floating floor method. My subfloor is partical board. Do I need to install the foam on top of the subfloor. Thank you.

  39. Hi Jerry,
    The foam will add tot he noise reduction between floors, but in my honest opinion, cork is better. You need to lay the subfloor first, then the foam (or cork) and then the flooring.

    Also, you might want to consider putting a vapor barrier down first if the floor is on a slab or above an unfinished crawl space or basement.

    Please refer to Moisture Proofing:

    I hope this helps!

  40. On a purchase of a condo I want to install click n lock floating engineered wood floors. The condo is on the 2nd floor with a concrete slab. Do I need to put down a moisture barrier if I’m putting down cork first? Do I need to glue the cork down if just floating the floor? Thank youm

  41. Hi,
    We are looking at installing an engineered hickory click-lock flooring. Firstly, are these strong durable floors, and can they be laid over large square footage (about 1400 sq. feet) without problems? Does the click-lock system work well, or do alternate methods such as glue-down work better?
    We currently have a concrete slab that we were planning on laying the flooring over. I understand that the base needs to be level and smooth, but does it need to be perfectly smooth or as long as it is level and there are no major holes or craters is that fine?
    Finally, what type of underlayment do you recommend? Should there be a certain type or thickness of underlayment? Is it absolutely necessary? (Our provider has not mentioned it.)

  42. Hi…I want to install a floating floor in two rooms and down a hallway. I was told I would have to seam and threshold at the hallway and in the doorway into the other room….I want my floor to look like it is all one piece…is it true I’ll have to seam it that way??

  43. That’s a common “requirement” stated by most manufacturers. The reason for that is that floors move, especially if they haven’t been adequately acclimated. My cork floor was a floating floor and we had no problems with it as it went between rooms. Be sure to leave a gap around the edge, cover it with baseboard, and acclimate it for several weeks if possible. Your manufacturer may not warranty the flooring if there are problems.

  44. Hi there, How difficult is it to feather a floor between the kitchen and dining area, the floor goes down about 1/4 inch and when the carpet comes up needs to be made even. Thanks for your help. Bill

  45. Hi Bill.
    There are a couple different things you can do to feather the floor. You can either put a transition strip between the two — metal, wood, plastic, tile — or raise the carpeted area 1/4″ with plywood/OSB.

  46. I’m interested in installing an engineered wood floor over the existing floors in my 100+ year old house. In a house this old, nothing is truly level, so how level do the old floors have to be? And, if necessary, how do I level the old floors (hardwood planks, some with significan gaps — maybe 1/8″ — in between) to accept the new flooring?

  47. Hi Catherine,
    If the floors are flat, I don’t know that you would need to level the old floors. If there are dips throughout the floor it may make a difference, but a small drop from one end of the room to the other should not.
    If the floor is unlevel in a lot of places, a subfloor will need to be installed and then the new floor installed on top of that.
    Then, if there are large adjustments to be made, you may want to have a professional look at it and offer a suggestion.

  48. Does it make a big difference if the engineered wood click lock flooring is 3/8 inch or 5/8 inch thick as far as durability and the feel of being a real solid floor? We are going over a vinyl area in the kitchen as well as plywood in the living room and hall. All rooms flow into each other.

  49. Nancy,
    I do not think that the feel of the floor or the durability would be a noticeable difference between those two sizes.
    However, if they are used together, there is a difference in width, and that may be noticeable.

  50. I need to join a floating floor to a glue down floor with t molding. Should the t but against the glue down floor and be glued to it? Or should equal space be between the t on both floors? THANKS

  51. I want to install a floating hard wood floor… the two halls which also will be hard wood, are perpendicular to the main room… Do I turn the planks so that they run lengthwise down the hall? How do I transition at the meeting of the hall/main room (planks would be perpendicular to each other)

  52. Roy,
    When cutting the boards, cut them short enough to leave a little gap between the floor and the wall. Snugly fit boards may buckle during the natural course of expansion and contraction. So, if you have the t butted against the old floor, but have the small gaps at the wall, you should be fine. If the one floor is floating and the other is glued, I don’t know that I would glue them together at the t. You may want to ask a professional floor installer about that.

  53. Frances,
    That would really be a personal choice on how it appears. It would be easiest to run them lengthwise. You may be able to find a threshold that would make the transition a little more smooth looking.

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