Floating vs Glue Down Installation Method

Floating vs Glue Down Installation Method

February 16, 2017

Glue-Down Method

The glue down (aka Direct Stuck) method involves fixing your floor directly to the substrate using an adhesive. This is our preferred method of installation for most circumstances as it provides a floor that is firmer and quieter to walk on and eliminates the risk of squeaking joints. However in some applications a floating floor may be more suitable. For more information on why glue down is our preferred installation method, see our article Why We Recommend to Glue Down Your Timber Floor.

Concrete, particle board, ply or existing timber flooring


  • Quieter to walk on than a floating floor - less risk of hollow noises or squeaking
  • Feels nice and firm to walk on like a solid timber floor
  • No trims necessary - enables a seamless look between rooms and/or transitions into different areas such as carpet or tiles
  • Can be used with most under floor heating systems
  • Suitable for parquet flooring


  • Best suited to either concrete or plywood sub-floors
  • Usually more expensive to install as you will need glue and moisture barrier
  • Takes a little longer to install
  • May not be suitable for installing over existing floor coverings such as tiles

Floating Method

Floating floors are not directly fixed to the subfloor but are instead laid over an underlay without any glue, relying on the weight of the floor and the floors joint system to keep it in place. The floating method is not our preferred method of installation however it may be the best option if time or cost are of concern, and it is also a wise option to take if you are installing in an earthquake-prone area.
Please note: We recommend all floating floors to have a locking joint system - Flooring with T&G joints should not be floated. Please ensure your flooring is specified compatible with floating by the manufacturer before commencing installation.

Plywood, cork, ceramic tile, vinyl, lino, concrete and most other substrates


  • Generally a cheaper option
  • Quick to install
  • Great for installing over radiant heat systems
  • Can work over just about any subfloor, providing it meets the recommended tolerances
  • Can be used for temporary floors


  • Noisier to walk on than glue-down flooring and joints may squeak
  • Doesn't feel as firm to walk on
  • Edge trims are mandatory as the floor needs to be able to move
  • Expansion gaps must be allowed or you risk the floor squeaking
  • Sub-floor must be very smooth otherwise you risk having hollow-sounding areas
  • Not suitable for most parquet flooring

For all flooring installations we recommend getting professional and reputable floor-layer to perform the installation.
Professional floor layers have the tools and expertise and will be able to lay more efficiently than yourself or any builder and prevent any wastage from mistakes. Using a professional installer will save you time and provide an end result that is of utmost quality.

We wish you the best of luck with your timber flooring installation!

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