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Comparing Direct Stuck and Floated Timber with Engineered Floors: Which is More Effective?

Direct stick and floating are both great timber flooring installation methods

In addition to selecting an engineered timber floor for your house, is there a more crucial decision than determining whether to float or directly adhere the floor? We believe not, and we anticipate that this information will not go unnoticed.

The act of direct sticking and floating floors has both positive and negative implications, with a usual bias towards the writer’s preference. In order to provide a balanced perspective, we have decided to write a thorough blog on this trending topic. Additionally, we will also discuss a third alternative for insulating solid timber flooring.

You may be wondering, what exactly is there to take into consideration?

Overall, we believe that there are two main points to consider:

  • There are two methods available, one that is permanent and the other that allows for flexibility and is suitable for DIY projects.

  • The preference of numerous suppliers and installers to promote a particular option that may benefit them instead of considering other options.

As a reader, we urge you to consider the information provided below while keeping the  following points in mind:
 

  • Are you looking for a flooring option that will last in the long run? 

  • What type of subfloor do you have? 

  • Are you planning to do it yourself? 

  • Is the product properly acclimated? 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Installing an Engineered Floor on a Floating Structure

Floating floors are referred to as floating floors because they are not attached to the subfloor. The subfloor, which can be made of concrete, chipboard, or timber, serves as the foundational floor of a home. The flooring product is placed on top of the subfloor. Unlike traditional flooring, a floating floor is not permanently bonded to the subfloor. Instead, it is held in place by the product’s weight and friction.

The construction of a floating floorboard consists of several layers of hardwood that are tightly intertwined, resulting in a strong structure. On average, an Engineered Timber floating floor can weigh anywhere from 10 to 15 kilograms per square meter. When installing 80  square meters of flooring, the weight of the floor itself creates ample friction to keep it securely in place. If the product is properly acclimatized (as discussed below), floating floors are designed to withstand changes in humidity levels in various settings. While they can be easily replaced, floating floors are built with durability in mind.

engineered timber

When compared to other flooring options like laminate, engineered hardwoods are known for their durability and long lifespan, especially if you choose a thicker variety. Additionally,  they can also be refinished.

Advantages of a Floating Floor

  • A flooring option that is suitable for DIY projects can be found at Clique Floors.
  • Installation time is significantly reduced with this option.
  • Adhesives are not needed, which eliminates the need for drying time. The floor can be walked on immediately.
  • The cost of installation is lower.
  • If you ever decide to change the flooring, it is easy to remove and replace.
  • Replacing a single floorboard or section of the flooring is easier.
  • In the future, you can sell your old flooring on eBay or Gumtree.
  • If you are facing difficulties installing a direct stick floor over a surface, it may be more convenient to float the floor instead of changing the sub-floor composition.

Insights from Expert Clem Sturgess

With over two decades of experience, I have extensive knowledge in hard flooring.

Majority of the time, individuals are typically knowledgeable about adhering their flooring down. However, there are instances where consumers may opt to float their floor and only discover later that they have the choice to directly adhere it, especially if their floating floor does not meet their expectations.

When interacting with customers, the primary inquiry should be whether they are seeking a permanent or temporary flooring solution.

A historical tidbit: The idea of a floating floor originated in Europe, as people often brought their kitchens, lighting, and flooring with them when relocating homes.

Disadvantages of a Floating Floor

The acoustics of floating floors are often not as favourable compared to fixed floors, resulting in a hollow sound that is disliked by many. This type of flooring is commonly known as  ‘click-clack’ flooring. Due to its floating nature, one may feel movement underneath their feet, as it is not securely attached. This can make it feel less stable compared to fixed floors.  In addition, floating floors are prone to expanding and contracting more than directly adhered floors. When it comes to maintenance, floated floors are more challenging to sand and recoat.  The use of a poly-vac machine can cause the floor to bounce and result in circular marks throughout. Additionally, floating floors require a specific underlay, which contributes to its overall cost. Moreover, they are more vulnerable to moisture.

Note: Even for small spaces like a 3 x 3.5m bedroom, floating floors can support sufficient  weight. This is applicable to bedroom flooring as well.

Note: The creaking of floated flooring is often caused by fluctuations in temperature and humidity. The small alterations in the size and shape of the boards result in stored energy that is released as the floor is stepped on, causing noise. To prevent this, the joins of a floated floor can be glued together.

Expert in Interior Decoration:

When faced with the decision between floating or direct sticking, I pay close attention to the  customer’s preferences. Factors like the composition of the subfloor greatly influence my  final recommendation. For instance, if the subfloor is made of chipboard, floating the floor is  the most suitable option. Hybrid planks are known to produce the least amount of noise when  floated, as the underlay is attached to the product. In contrast, timber is a tougher material  and when paired with a loose underlay, it allows for more noise to be heard when walked on.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gluing Down Your Engineered Flooring

Sticking an Engineered Timber floor directly to the subfloor is essentially the inverse of a floating floor in almost all aspects. Instead of being laid on top, the floor is bonded directly to the subfloor. 

As an illustration: When using a floated floor, the boards are connected either through locking or gluing, rather than being glued to the subfloor. On the other hand, a direct stuck floor involves each board being individually glued to the floor with adhesive, without being attached to each other. 

Subfloor Considerations: When aiming for a smooth subfloor, adhesive can effectively level out a slightly uneven floor. However, for a floated floor, it is important to strictly follow the supplier’s guidelines, which are more stringent than the Australian standards. 

Advantages of a Solid Direct Floor

  • To the untrained eye, a direct stuck engineered floor is virtually indistinguishable from a solid timber floor once it is installed.
  • Refinishing is easier with a direct stuck floor as there is no movement or bounce during the sanding process due to its direct placement.
  • Compared to a floated floor, a direct stuck floor will experience less growth and shrinkage as it is fixed in place.
  • The engineered, cross-laminated construction of a direct stuck engineered floor results is less expansion and contraction than a solid timber floor.
  • A direct stuck floor reduces the need for expansion breaks in the flooring.
  • If the flooring is slightly uneven, a direct stuck system may be a better choice to avoid excessive leveling.
  • Less susceptible to moisture.

Disadvantages of a Solid Floor Installation

Repairing damage to timber floors can be a challenge and requires alternative methods such as repair kits, wax, and fillers. However, this is the standard process for repairing timber floors. It is not recommended to install additional flooring, such as floating floors, over a direct stick floor as it needs to have room to breathe. If the direct stick floor is unable to breathe, it may expand and cause the additional flooring to break. The direct stick floor is considered a permanent fixture and removing it can be expensive and time-consuming. The cost of installation and materials is typically higher for this type of flooring, and it is not as suitable for DIY projects. Most adhesives also require a moisture barrier to be added to the subfloor, which can increase costs. It is not possible to directly adhere to yellow tongue or chipboard floors; therefore, ply sheeting needs to be screwed in place first, which incurs additional costs and raises the height of the floor.

Adhesives: Solvent-Based vs. Solvent-Free

When utilizing the direct stick technique, the brand of adhesive used is not a major concern,  as long as it is solvent-free. Solvent-based adhesives have a similar hardening process to  Plasti-bond. However, if the floor experiences any movement, the adhesive may crack due to its lack of flexibility. In cases where a rubber underlay is also being used for soundproofing,  solvent-based adhesives can deteriorate the rubber over time. On the other hand, solvent-free  (rubberized) adhesives offer flexibility, allowing for slight slab movement without compromising the bond to the flooring.

Comparison of DIY and Professional Installation

If you haven’t already figured it out, installing a floating floor is easier compared to using direct stick method. The use and understanding of adhesives is a skill that experienced tradespeople develop over many years. Therefore, unless you are highly skilled, it is recommended to have a licensed professional install a direct stick timber floor.

Installation

Securing Mechanisms​​​

The DIY installation process of flooring is influenced by the type of locking system used, as mentioned in the information about flooring locking systems. For those who prefer to directly glue the flooring to the subfloor, the tongue and groove system is the most convenient option.  The tongue and groove pieces fit into each other and the adhesive sets while holding the floor in place. This eliminates the need to struggle with connecting systems while the adhesive is still drying. The plank can simply be inserted into the adhesive and then shifted into its designated position.

 

When installing a floating floor, opting for a locking system is a more convenient choice as there is no need for adhesives in most cases. Additionally, there is no concern for gaps forming between boards due to floor movement while the adhesive is drying, as the locking system automatically tightens itself.

The utilization of a tongue and groove system is still possible for a floated application, while a locking system can also be used for a direct stick application. There is no problem with either method as both are effective. The deciding factor comes down to convenience.

Is it Possible to Refinish Engineered Flooring?​

The process of refinishing includes using a sander to remove the polyurethane wear layer from the floor, followed by applying a new coating. This results in a reduction of about 1mm in the thickness of the timber. As a result, the floor has a shorter lifespan before the veneer is completely removed.

Instead of simply letting the floor go, there is an alternative method known as a “light  cutback.” This can be done after approximately 3 years, where instead of completely removing the coating (and timber), it is lightly sanded. Afterwards, a single coat of  Polyurethane is applied, restoring the floor to its original state. Although it may seem more costly, this option preserves the veneer close to 100% and extends the engineered floor’s lifespan indefinitely.

If you choose to remove the coating from your floor, a plethora of alternative finishing options will become accessible to you, as you will essentially have a bare wood surface. One of these options is oiling, which may require more frequent upkeep, but eliminates the need for sanding. Additionally, oil can quickly conceal scratches. Oiled floors, when properly maintained, have an authentic appearance that is difficult to imitate.

One alternative to consider is the use of Hard Wax oil, available at https://www.whittlewaxes.com.au/. This option falls in between an oiled floor and a lacquered floor in terms of upkeep. It boasts a stunning and authentic appearance that is difficult to imitate. Additionally, it is possible to change the colour of the floor, apply reactive stains, or mix and match various options that are typically not readily available.

Adapting to Solid and Engineered Timber Flooring

Not all installation guides provided by suppliers are easy to use, as some may be copied and pasted from documents intended for different flooring markets. These guides do not take into account the unique climate of Australia and are mostly geared towards smaller environments.  Given Australia’s diverse range of climates, it is important to carefully consider the impact of natural flooring, such as Timber, on the environment.

Prior to installation, acclimatization is a crucial consideration for timber flooring to ensure a secure installation. Due to its natural properties, timber needs to reach a state of balance with the surrounding climate, causing it to absorb and release moisture, resulting in growth and shrinkage.

In most cases, a timber floor is treated with 7-9% Environmental Moisture Content (EMC) in a factory located overseas. However, once it is transported to the Eastern Seaboard of  Australia and opened and aired, it is expected to reach 14-15% EMC. This can result in an increase of up to 8% EMC compared to its original state when taken out of the box.

Engineered Timber

To provide context, the Australasian Timber Flooring Association (ATFA) conducted a thorough analysis on the growth rates of timber flooring. Based on their findings, it was determined that timber with a ply core has a growth rate of 0.6mm per meter for every 5%  increase in EMC.

At this point, there are two options available to you:

 

  • Instead of ignoring the acclimatization process, it is important to address any potential issues with product expansion or contraction before installing the flooring.
  • Allow the product to adjust and reach a state of equilibrium before placing it on the floor to prevent future problems.

Failing to acclimate your floor can be likened to releasing a tightly wound spring on your floor.

From our perspective, it is highly recommended to acclimatize the floor prior to laying the product. This will allow it to adjust to the environment before installation. Even after this, the floor may still experience some expansion and contraction due to seasonal changes, but the initial growth phase will have already taken place. It is possible that the product may have been stored in a warehouse with similar environmental conditions as your home, but without measuring the Moisture Content of the floor, there is no way to confirm this.

Follow these steps to acclimatize your floor:

  • Prior to installation (excluding the garage), bring the flooring boxes inside your home.  Arrange them in piles on the floor.
  • Unseal the edges of the boxes. If the timber is covered with a plastic layer,apart.
  • Allow it to rest in this state and aerate for a couple of weeks. 

Is it not straightforward? It’s almost time for a beer, but let’s delve into the principles behind it.

To ensure proper adaptation to the environment, it is recommended to give the timber some extra time if you are in a dry or moist environment. The longer you allow your floor to acclimate, the better it will perform. It is sufficient to only open the ends of the boxes, as this will allow for controlled acclimatization of the layers of flooring. This is important for maintaining the shape of the floorboards and preventing warping that can occur if they are allowed to acclimate without restraint. Additionally, this method can help minimize any noise typically associated with a floating floor.

 

In Australia, acclimatization is a crucial factor that is often overlooked by flooring stores.  Neglecting this aspect is comparable to choosing to play in the middle of a busy highway – while there is a possibility of not getting hit, the likelihood of it happening is high and the consequences could be dire.

Application of Secret Nail Direct Stick for Installing Engineered Flooring

It would be remiss of us to conclude this blog without acknowledging the obvious: the presence of Engineered timber flooring.

All the information mentioned above pertains to engineered flooring. To clarify, there are options for a floating engineered timber floor. 

We highly advise hiring a professional installer for Engineered timber flooring. There are no exceptions to this recommendation.

It is possible to adhere flooring directly to concrete, however, it is not possible to use adhesive on subfloors such as chipboard and yellow tongue in order to secure the flooring.

 In every instance, the following actions are required:

  • Begin by covering the top with plywood

  • Adhere the product directly onto the plywood
  • While laying each row of flooring, use concealed nails for installation. 
  • The concept is straightforward, but it can be quite a challenge.

 

The process of secretly nailing tongue and groove timber begins by nailing the first row of timber on the top side of the plank that is adjacent to the wall where you are laying. Then,  each piece of timber is secretly nailed to the floor with a nail gun through the bottom corner of the female join.

A successful installation of solid timber floors can be achieved by using both direct sticking and secret nails in combination. The adhesive works effectively with plywood, while the use of secret nails adds an extra layer of protection against the impact of recent weather fluctuations which can cause significant stress on timber flooring. This method not only helps to safeguard against potential damage but also provides additional security for the installation.

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Discover the Unmatched Elegance of Clique Floors’ Beautiful Vinyl Plank Flooring

Introduction to Clique Floors' Beautiful Vinyl Plank Flooring

As a homeowner or business owner, you understand the importance of finding the perfect flooring that not only enhances the aesthetics of your space but also provides durability and easy maintenance. Look no further than Clique Floors’ beautiful vinyl plank flooring. With its unmatched elegance and a wide range of styles and colours, Clique Floors offers the perfect solution for any space.

The Benefits of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring has gained immense popularity over the years, and for good reason. One of the key benefits of vinyl plank flooring is its incredible durability. Unlike traditional hardwood flooring, vinyl planks are resistant toscratches, stains, and moisture. This makes them an excellent choice for high-traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and commercial spaces.

 

In addition to its durability, vinyl plank flooring is also known for its easy maintenance. Unlike hardwood or carpet, vinyl planks can be easily cleaned with a damp mop or a mild cleaner, making it a low-maintenance option for busy households or businesses.

Direct stick or Stick down Vinyl Floors Are Easy to Maintain

Exploring the Elegance of Clique Floors' Vinyl Plank Flooring

Clique Floors takes vinyl plank flooring to a whole new level with its beautiful designs and exceptional quality. Whether you prefer the timeless look of hardwood or the modern appeal of stone, Clique Floors has a wide selection of styles and colours to suit any aesthetic preference. From rich, dark tones to light, airy shades, their vinyl planks can transform any space into a stunning masterpiece. Not only does Clique Floors’ vinyl plank flooring offer a variety of styles, but it also replicates the natural textures and grains found in hardwood or stone. This attention to detail ensures that your flooring not only looks elegant but also feels authentic underfoot.

How to Choose the Perfect Vinyl Plank Flooring for Your Space

Choosing the perfect vinyl plank flooring for your space can seem like a daunting task, but with a few key considerations, you can make an informed decision. First and foremost, consider the style and colour that will complement your existing decor. Take into account the overall theme and ambiance you want to create in your space.

Next, consider the durability and thickness of the vinyl planks. Thicker planks tend to be more resistant to wear and tear, making them a better choice for high-traffic areas. Additionally, look for vinyl planks with a protective coating to ensure longevity and resistance to scratches and stains.

Lastly, consider the installation method that suits your needs. Clique Floors offers both glue-down and click-lock installation options, allowing you to choose the method that works best for your space and skill level.

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Installation Process of Clique Floors' Vinyl Plank Flooring

Installing Clique Floors’ vinyl plank flooring is a straightforward process that can be done by both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. If you opt for the glue-down method, start by preparing the subfloor and ensuring it is clean, dry, and level. Apply the adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions and carefully lay the vinyl planks, ensuring a tight and seamless fit.

 

If you prefer the click-lock installation method, simply interlock the planks together, starting from one corner and working your way across the room. This method does not require any adhesive, making it a quicker and easier flooring installation process.

 

Installation

Maintenance and Care Tips for Vinyl Plank Flooring

To keep your Clique Floors’ vinyl plank flooring looking its best, it is important to follow a few maintenance and care tips. Regularly sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dirt and debris that can cause scratches. Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive materials that can damage the protective coating of the vinyl planks.

For spills or stains, promptly clean them with a damp cloth or mop using a mild cleaner specifically designed for vinyl flooring. Avoid excessive moisture, as prolonged exposure can damage the integrity of the planks. With proper care and maintenance, your vinyl plank flooring will retain its beauty and durability for years to come.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials of Clique Floors' Vinyl Plank Flooring

Don’t just take our word for it – hear what our satisfied customers have to say about Clique Floors’ vinyl plank flooring:

“I am absolutely in love with the vinyl plank flooring from Clique Floors. The quality and attention to detail are unmatched. It has completely transformed the look of my home.” – Sarah M.

“I recently installed Clique Floors’ vinyl plank flooring in my restaurant, and I couldn’t be happier. Not only does it look stunning, but it also withstands the heavy foot traffic and spills without any signs of wear.” – James R.

Vinyl Flooring

Comparing Clique Floors' Vinyl Plank Flooring to Other Options in the Market

When it comes to choosing the right flooring for your space, it’s important to compare different options in the market. While hardwood flooring offers a timeless appeal, it can be expensive and requires regular maintenance.
Carpet, on the other hand, is prone to stains and wear in high-traffic areas.

Clique Floors’ vinyl plank flooring provides the perfect balance between elegance, durability, and easy maintenance. It offers the look and feel of hardwood or stone without the drawbacks. With its wide range of styles and colours, Clique Floors’ vinyl plank flooring is a cost-effective and versatile choice for any space.

Where to Buy Clique Floors' Vinyl Plank Flooring

Ready to elevate the beauty of your space with Clique Floors’ beautiful vinyl plank flooring? Visit our website at to explore our extensive collection and find a retailer near you. We offer competitive prices and exceptional customer service to ensure a seamless shopping experience.

Elevate the Beauty of Your Space with Clique Floors' Beautiful Vinyl Plank Flooring

Clique Floors’ beautiful vinyl plank flooring is the perfect choice for those seeking elegance, durability, and easy maintenance. With a wide range of styles and colours to choose from, you can find the perfect flooring to complement your space and transform it into a stunning masterpiece.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, Clique Floors has the perfect solution for you. Visit our website or contact us today to discover the unmatched elegance of Clique Floors’ beautiful vinyl plank flooring.