Glued Down vs. Floating Vinyl Plank Flooring: The Good, The Bad, The Better

  • January 6, 2021
  • Comments Off on Glued Down vs. Floating Vinyl Plank Flooring: The Good, The Bad, The Better
living room with luxury vinyl plank floors that look like wood

It’s easy to decide to add Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring to your home, but a little bit hard to decide glued down vs. floating vinyl plank flooring. This guide explores every aspect of the question, including acoustics, installation, cost, and a variety of other factors.

Vinyl Plank Flooring Pros and Cons

Vinyl Plank Flooring is a popular choice in homes because they are durable, easy-to-clean, water-resistant, and, most importantly, beautiful. These floors are available in a wide variety of styles and colors. Some LVP floors even look like wood flooring, but require a lot less care.

ProsCons
Durable and Water-resistant; can be installed in rooms with high-humidity and prone to water spills (i.e. bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms, etc.)May scratch or fade
Available in a wide variety of styles that look like stone and wood 
Easy-to-clean and Low-maintenance; only requires a regular sweep or vacuum and occasional dry mop 

LVP floors are fairly low-maintenance and only require a regular sweep or vacuum and occasional dry mop. (Use these LVP flooring care tips to keep vinyl plank flooring looking new.) Luxury vinyl plank floors are incredibly tough and can handle heavy foot and paw traffic, plus high humidity and water spills.

Because they are water-resistant, LVP flooring is a good fit for rooms with high-humidity and a high chance of water spills. Vinyl plank flooring is a good floor for almost any room, including bathrooms, basements, living rooms, mudrooms, kitchens, and living rooms.

If there are any “cons” to LVP flooring, it may be prone to scratches and fading. There are several ways to lessen the risk of scratching, such as adding felt pads to furniture. When furniture is moved, it should be picked up and not dragged or pushed. Some LVP floors may fade over time; homeowners should let their flooring professional know if the vinyl plank flooring is going to be in direct sunlight for long periods.

Glued Down vs. Floating Vinyl Plank Flooring

Luxury vinyl plank is a great choice for homes and comes in two options: glued down or floating vinyl plank flooring. Glued down vinyl plank flooring is adhered to the subfloor or slab with a glue, making it a more permanent solution. Floating LVP is also a long-term flooring option, but is installed without any adhesive. These floors come in click-and-lock options. In both cases, the installer should prep the sub floor or slab before installation.

 Glued Down LVPFloating LVP
InstallationTypically more complicated; should be done by a professional installerFairly easy; click-and-lock products make it a fairly easy DIY install
Wear in High-Traffic SpacesSame; glued down LVP is recommended in spaces with rolling furniture (i.e. kitchen islands with casters, office chairs, etc.)Same
AcousticsSameSame
CostSame; though cost is typically cheaper per square foot, installation costs often offset savingsSame; the cost is typically more per square foot, but can be a DIY project with no installation costs

Installation

The main difference in the glued down vs floating floor vinyl plank flooring comparison is installation. Floating floors are far easier to install because they don’t require applying adhesive. This makes a floating floor an excellent choice for do-it-yourselfers, though they should ask a flooring professional to recommend easy-to-install lock-and-click LVP products.

Because the installation of glued down vinyl plank flooring is more complicated, homeowners should contact a professional flooring installer about installation. The installer should always use an adhesive recommended by the vinyl plank manufacturer to avoid voiding the floor warranty.

Regardless of the type of installation, it is important to prep the subfloor or slab before applying adhesive or installing a floating LVP floor. The subfloor should be clean and level. Installers may need to take additional steps to prep the surface for adhesive before installing a glued down vinyl plank floor. The specific prep instructions are typically found in the manufacturer specifications

Foot (and Paw) Traffic

Luxury vinyl plank flooring wears very well, even in high foot- and paw-traffic spaces. Glued down vinyl plank flooring is a more permanent solution and withstands high foot traffic a bit better than floating LVP flooring. This is especially true in spaces with rolling furniture, such as a kitchen island with casters or rolling chairs. Glued down vinyl plank flooring is also the better option for larger rooms, though thick vinyl planks are a good fit for big rooms.

Acoustics

Both glued down and floating floors are similar in acoustics. They typically absorb more sound than hard floors like wood and tile. If homeowners are worried about echoing, they can make sure the subfloor is secured during installation and add area rugs and other fabrics to the space to absorb sound.

Cost

The total cost of both products is fairly equal, even though the cost per square foot of glued down vinyl plank flooring is typically lower. Floating floor LVP typically costs more, but can be a DIY project with no installation costs. Glued down LVP costs less per square foot, but there are additional install costs when hiring a professional or for the cost of adhesive. Fortunately, LVP is a long-term floor that should last for years after installation.