All of the engineered parquets in the collection “Couleurs du Temps” are compatible with a floating installation.
Floating parquet, engineered parquet
In order to bear the label “parquet”, the wear layer of an engineered wood floor must have a thickness of at least 2.5 mm and can be up to 8 mm thick. The thickness of the wear layer reflects the quality of the flooring: the thicker the wear layer, the longer the parquet will last.
The name “floating parquet” is part of our everyday language. However, it is more a type of installation than it is a type of flooring. For example, a 3-layer engineered wood floor can be installed either floating or glued.
When using a floating installation, floorboards are either assembled with glue or using a snap-in system. The parquet itself is not fastened to the ground. As its name suggests, it is left “floating”.
Important: The dimensions of parquet boards can vary depending on the humidity of the wood. When floorboards lose humidity, they shrink in size; when they gain humidity, the dimensions of the wood increase (size variations are more noticeable in width than in length).
The boards of a floating parquet floor are all interconnected; consequently, each board pushes or pulls its neighbors and the block of parquet as a whole either expands or retracts at once. This extent of this is directly proportional to the change in humidity; especially during periods of heavy rain or drought.
An expansion joint of at least 10 mm must be conserved.
Engineered parquet, 2- or 3-layers?
2-layer engineered parquet must be glued-down, whereas with its 3-layer counterpart, you have the choice between floating or glued installation (with some exceptions). 2-layer parquets that can be installed as floating floors do exist, but they are very specific products.
2-layer parquet: the wear layer (fine wood) is glued onto a surface of wood panels: HDF, plywood or more qualitative multi-layer Finnish birch.
The thickness of 2-layer parquet can vary between 11 and 33 mm, and the width between 60 and 500 mm.
3-layer parquet: This is the classic build of floating parquet flooring. The first layer (a) is the wear layer (fine wood), the second layer (b) is the core, and the third layer (c) is the backing. The three layers are glued together. The quality of the flooring greatly depends on the quality of the gluing – and it is not uncommon to see certain imported products become unglued:
- The lifespan of the parquet will depend on its thickness, the wear layer and the hardness of the fine wood.
- The core (solid spruce, plywood or HDF) is the heart of the floorboard. It is essential for this component to be of high quality.
- The backing is used to avoid deformations of the floorboard. This is especially important for floating installations. The front and back of a board are best balanced when they exert pressures that cancel each other out. For example, an oak backing is ideally balanced with an oak front, if they are of the same thickness. This inevitably increases the price of the board and as so, backings are most often made of rotary-cut veneer or, for certain products, Kraft paper.
For more technical details about installation, please see the DTU.
For more information about floating parquets: