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What is a “floating floor”?

kitchen with white cabinets and floating vinyl flooring

Floating floors are floors that are designed to float above existing flooring or the subfloor. Installing floating floors is cheaper and less time-consuming than the conventional method which involves removing old flooring and installing flooring with glue or nails.

Think of floating floors as a two-in-one flooring installation. Floating floors include the core that provides strength and stability along with a top layer that gives the desired aesthetic and finish. Because of these reasons, floating floors have become popular as they are easier to install and more cost-effective than traditional flooring.

Floating Floor Examples

  • LVP: Luxury Vinyl Piling (LVP) is a vinyl plank that can have any design printed on it. This allows flexibility in the design and can look like real wood or real stone while also being more cost-effective. LVP floating flooring is known as “click” flooring for its ability to click into place during installation.
  • Laminate: Laminate is usually what comes to mind when people think of floating floors. Laminate floating floors are made up of a wood base beneath the aesthetic layer and topped by a transparent layer that protects the aesthetic of the middle layer and is also a great base for cabinets.

Floating Flooring vs. Conventional Flooring

Besides not needing glue or nails like conventional flooring, floating floors have additional benefits like reacting to humidity better by being able to expand and contract easily. However, while being easier to install and cheaper, floating floors may wear more easily than traditional nail-down or glue-down flooring.

Can you install cabinets on top of a floating floor?

Generally speaking, while you can do it, you should avoid putting a floating floor under cabinets. Floating floors are not designed to hold the extra weight of cabinets, and over time they can damage the floor and cause more issues in the long run. Therefore, we recommend that you install the cabinets before the floating floor.

Should you install LVP under cabinets?

No, you can’t put cabinets on top of a floating vinyl floor. Like other types of floating floors, floating vinyl flooring and LVP should not be installed under cabinets. So, if you’re wondering if you can put cabinets on top of vinyl plank flooring or if you can install vinyl flooring before or after cabinets, unfortunately, you should have the cabinets installed first or choose from the options described below.

Recommended: Install cabinets BEFORE floating flooring.

Cabinet options for installed floating floors

Here are some options for installing floating floors:

  • Floating cabinets are a great option if you already have the flooring installed or simply want to go a different route. Floating cabinets do not rest on the floor, meaning that you don’t have to worry about the cabinets damaging the floating floor underneath them. Floating cabinets are great for kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms and open up more floor space than crowding it with additional cabinets on the floor.
  • Cabinets first. Installing your cabinets first will secure them onto the subfloor and ensure you won’t have any issues that might pop up if you were to install the floating floor first.
  • Floating floor first. Although the rule of thumb is to install the cabinets first, if you are confident in your floating floor and are sure that it can hold the weight of your cabinets, you can go ahead and install your floating floor first.

Looking to put cabinets on top of floating flooring? Contact our custom cabinet designers and installers in Phoenix today.

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