Float Flooring vs. Glued Flooring vs. Nail-Down Flooring: A Brief Overview

Float Flooring vs. Glued Flooring vs. Nail-Down Flooring: A Brief Overview

If you are looking to get hardwood flooring in your house, you would probably be looking at the best alternatives to get the perfect appearance in terms of their installation.

You generally have three options:

  • Nail Down Flooring
  • Glue-down flooring
  • Floating Floors

And among these, what would you choose to get the best appearance? Here are some factors which may assist you in choosing the perfect installation method:


Floating hardwood floor installation method would need transition molding (t-molding) for the floors. And this could render it a kind of bumpy appearance when the flooring materials expand during the summers.

In such a case, it is essential to fix the planks directly to the subfloor, which could be easily achieved with the help of glued or nailed hardwood flooring.


Of course you would look to save money when getting any kind of flooring. And the least expensive method is the floating floor method which costs around $2 per square foot.

Apart from this, the nailed floors fall in middle in terms of costs, and glued floors often spell to be a bit high including the additional labor and material costs etc.

The Kind Of Subfloor:

The type of subfloor would also be a determiner for the kind of installation method.

For instance, if you have concrete subfloors, nailing the hardwood floors is generally not possible unless you install about an inch thick plywood. No wonder, this increases your costs significantly.

In any such case, glued floors or floating floors could probably be the best choice. Consult a flooring company to know the kind of options you have.

Manufacturer Recommendations:

Many times, the manufacturers offer certain instructions on whether to glue the floors down, nail them or leave them floating.

If you do not follow their instructions, this could be a breach of the guidelines, turning you ineligible for the warranty claims.

The Feel And Sound:

The nailed and glued hardwood installations tend to be a bit more solid than the floating type as these are fixed to the ground. They generally allow no or very little movement when you walk on the floor.

Against this, floating installation sound a bit more hollow and the floors permit a greater movement due to their installation over a pad. And if you tend to stay on your feet for long on the floor, floating floors could be a good alternative since they tend to be softer to the foot.

These are some of the factors that affect the kind of hardwood floor installation that you get for your house floors.

And as evident, the role of a good flooring contractor is mighty essential to know the conditions of your house and get the perfect hardwood floor installation at the cheapest prices.

Advantages of Flooring Methods:

Having seen all the factors that affect the kind of installation, here are some major advantages of the flooring installation methods:

Advantages of Floating Hardwood Floor Installation:

  • This is a versatile kind of installation which can be installed below, above or on grade. They are suitable over any kind of floor including ceramic and concrete etc.
  • The installation of the floors is absolutely easy with least of labor and material requirements
  • When used with a layer of foam, the installation acts as a sound-dampener and moisture barrier.


  • You would need a flat substrate to install floating hardwood, without which, there could be ‘hollow’ outcomes.
  • When alone, moisture content would generally be a trouble.

Advantages of Glued Hardwood Flooring Installation:

  • Glued hardwood floors will almost completely eliminate the movement of the wood.
  • This type of installation appears more of a solid wood kind and offers the same feel.
  • Gluing down the hardwood floors is highly effective to resist the moisture etc.
  • Glue-down floors are really effective for any kind of parquet floors, including herringbone, fingerboards or any other similar one.


  • For glued floorings, the floors need to be cleaned effectively before the actual process takes place
  • Glue may offer a kind of offensive smell during and after some time of the installation.

Advantages of Nailed Harwood Flooring Installation:

  • Nailed hardwood floorings offer a great overall appearance to the house.
  • They almost fully restrict the floor movement.
  • Nailed floors too offer a solid and engineered appearance that does not get affected due to temperature changes.
  • It requires comparatively lesser labor, less materials and is accomplished a lot easier than the other types.


  • Nailed floorings are not suitable for some kind of floors including concrete and ceramic etc.
  • Nailing the floor may not be recommended by most of the hardwood manufacturers and failing to accept their recommendations may lead to a breach in the warranty conditions etc.

These are some of the major advantages and disadvantages of the major flooring installation methods that you employ. No wonder, all of these are not free of some disadvantages which you need to learn before choosing them.

And again, the role of a professional and experienced flooring contractor is highly essential if you intend to get the best outcomes. For instance, if you are a resident of Dallas, TX, you can consult ‘Mike’s 100% Custom Remodeling’ for the best results on your floors.

Consult the expert professionals and improve the ambiance of your house with high-quality flooring installation.