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Glue Down vs Floating LVP: Which Is Better?

April 17, 2023 3 min read

home renovations vinyl flooring


The latest trend in flooring is the minimalist look of Luxury Vinyl Planking (LVP). This hard-plank material is often created from several layers of textured vinyl. It's attractive because it can look like hardwood, but it doesn't require tedious care.

This type of flooring is available in two formats. Explore the difference between glue down vs floating vinyl plank flooring so that you can make an informed decision on your next remodeling project.

Glue Down Technique

Glue-down LVP comes in two different variations: hard-set and pressure-sensitive. Hard-set LVP requires an adhesive rolled onto the floor. You apply the planks to the adhesive for a quick installation. When you're remodeling a kitchen, such as adding in white cabinets and new flooring, using trimmed hard-set LVP on the floor can update the area beautifully.

Pressure-sensitive LVP has sticky backsides to each plank; simply peel back the paper and press it onto a prepared subfloor.

Browse Our Vinyl Plank Flooring

Floating Technique

A floating floor isn't glued to the subfloor. Instead, it will hover above the subfloor after installation. Separate LVP planks click together to form a floor. Installers use specialized tools to snap the planks into place while trimming the edges as needed.

There may be an underlayment applied under the planks, but floating floors can be added to the subfloor without much preparation.

Considering the Subfloor

Evaluating the subfloor is critical when debating between glue-down and floating LVP. With glue-down LVP, you must level the subfloor before adding the planks. If the planks are glued down to an uneven surface, they will peel away or crack in those irregular areas. 

Alternatively, floating LVP can withstand a slight unevenness to the subfloor. It can mask those slight imperfections. If you're thinking of remodeling your kitchen, consider the subfloor's condition before moving ahead with any flooring plans.

Contact WC Supply for a Free Kitchen Design

Examining Material Thickness

When selecting a floor type, consider the amount of foot traffic in that area. Glue-down LVP is relatively thin, which provides flexibility when setting it down onto the subfloor. In contrast, floating LVP can be as thick as six millimeters. For busy areas, a thicker floor is preferable.

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Replacing Planks

Damage to floors can occur at any point in their lifespans. Lifting out sections of glue-down LVP is relatively simple. An issue arises when a floating floor has damage in the middle of the room. The planks are essentially locked together. You must take out a larger section than the damaged area alone. Keeping this fact in mind is a good idea when you weigh together foot traffic and how long you want the floor to last.

Factoring in Cost

Because of the material thickness, floating LVP is more expensive than glue down. However, in many cases, paying more for the floating floor gives you a longer warranty on the materials.

If you have a subfloor that requires leveling, the inexpensive cost of glue-down LVP may be negated. Factor in the costs for shimming or concrete leveling the subfloor before the materials can even be installed.

Which Is Better? The Final Answer

The best material for your situation comes down to its application and your personal needs. For example, some people enjoy the hollow sound emanating from a floating floor as they walk across it. Other people prefer the acoustics of a floor firmly attached to the subfloor.

Ideally, walking on both types of floors and comparing their characteristics to your home's aesthetics are the best ways to decide. A new floating LVP floor can complement brand-new, more sophisticated styles, such as skyline cabinets.

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Choosing Between Glue Down and Floating LVP is a Personal Choice

Both glue-down and floating LVP are quality products when installed properly. You can utilize our free kitchen designs to get an idea of what will be best for your space before you get started.

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