A "floating floor" sounds like Staying Alive meets Star Trek, but is nothing space age or related to disco. It simply refers to the fact that this type of floor is not nailed, stapled, or glued down but is instead left to "float" on top of the subfloor. Almost any type of floor has a floating version, hardwood flooring, cork flooring, laminates, and vinyl to name a few, but you have to know where floating floors are best suited to make sure the floor is protected, and the life extended.
How can a floor float without becoming unstable? Most of the planks, boards, or tiles that are installed via a floating method are relatively sturdy and are built with a locking or snapping mechanism that securely affixes each tile to the one next to it, giving the floor a cohesive, secure look and feel.
There are a thousand and one benefits to a floating installation related "green" ways of doing things as well as cost and time savings. One is, of course, not having to use any chemicals or adhesives to install them. This means cleaner indoor air quality and no mess. Two big plusses for sure.
Another neat thing about floating floors is that depending on the type of material, engineered wood flooring, for example, a floating floor takes expansion and contraction due to humidity and temperature much more in stride (pun intended.) than does nailed or glued down hardwoods. Floating floor engineered hardwood floors are up a notch on the green scale, too, over solid hardwoods, because less of the raw material is used to manufacture them. Green on a couple of counts.
You can certainly can save quite a bit by going with a floating floor installation. You save money and time on installation because it's a pretty simple do-it-yourself project, no matter what type of material you're dealing with. And the costs in the extra materials and tools needed to install a glued or nailed down floor can be pretty hefty. To install a floating floor, all you need basically (after proper prepping is complete) is the planks or tiles, a saw to trim the boards to size, and maybe a pencil…doesn't get more straightforward than that.
Save yourself time and do something good for the environment by choosing a floating floor installation.