Floating vs. nailed down

Old 07-21-16, 12:17 PM
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Floating vs. nailed down

What are the tradeoffs of floating floor vs. nailed down? I'm looking to install stranded bamboo flooring in a large room (20' x 21') on the second floor of my home in southern California. I have DIY installed a bunch of cheap laminate flooring (floating) in a previous home and hate how cheap it feels walking across it. Will i get that same feeling (hollow / cheap sounding) if I float the stranded bamboo flooring vs. nailing it down?

I would go the nail down route, but I am thinking about building a laundry room in part of that big room in 1-3 years time and would love the option of easily picking up part of the flooring rather than ripping it up/damaging it and the sub-floor.
Old 07-21-16, 01:01 PM
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Not sure about all of it but as a repair tech walking across many floors I always could tell if it was floating. Hated the sound.
Old 07-21-16, 01:05 PM
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All floating floors will have a hollow feel to them, although the higher end ones will not sound as cheap as a low end laminate. In my experience, the hollow sound only permiates if something is dropped on it, which should be a rarity. If however, you are the clumsy type, then I feel for you. The difference between the sound and feel of MDF vs true hardwood/Bamboo should be night and day.
Old 08-15-16, 10:40 AM
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Floating floors can help you cut costs since installation is pretty easy. It offers enough space for expansion. But if you go down this road, you’ll be expecting lower resale value compared to those that were nailed down.
Old 08-17-16, 09:01 AM
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I would also add, if you go for floating, make sure you don't cheap out on the underlayer material. You can get premium laminate and cheap out on the underlayer and you will regret it. I went that route and ended up removing everything and redoing the entire floor with better material underneath. Lowes sells a premium one. Cheap stuff at Home Depot. How level you existing floor currently is is also a big factor when installing laminate. In general, when you compare a real hardwood floor to even the best laminate the laminate looks like what it is -- a fake floor.
Old 08-19-16, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by czizzi
All floating floors will have a hollow feel to them, although the higher end ones will not sound as cheap as a low end laminate.
This is soo true. We had floating bamboo floors put in last year. Although they look great, they have a hollow sound effect. We spent good money on them and the underlayment.

If I have a choice again, I would do wood tiles through the entire house, except the second floor. Wood tiles are durable and solid. Cost more to put in but so worth it. We just put it in for a rental property.

Stranded Bamboo has high janka rating. However, it still dents.

I agree with PowerNovice about going high-end on the underlayment. I got the underlayment at Lowe's but even that still sounds hollow.

Shop Pergo GOLD 100-sq ft Premium 3mm Flooring Underlayment at Lowes.com

I heard that cork underlayment may be an option to eliminate the hollow sound. At least that is what they told me.
Old 08-21-16, 09:47 AM
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I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say all floating floors feel/sound hollow. We installed a floating, laminate floor in our tiny house and we love it. Doesn't sound hollow at all. Granted, we've had it installed for no more than 3 months so perhaps it takes a while for the hollow-ness to come out...?

Like others have mentioned, the first purchase of a laminate, floating floor will be cheaper but you'll "pay" for it when you go to re-sell your house since it'll re-sell at a lower value compared to real wood floors. Tough decision I guess!

We love our floors though...
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