Hardwood meant to be glued, not floated?

Q: My husband and I want to replace the carpet in our office, living room, dining room and hallway, with wood flooring. We found an engineered product on BuildDirect.com by Vanier that is 5″ wide planks of hand-scraped Chateau Maple. The product states it can be glued down or floated.

We want to lay the floors ourselves, so we’re leaning towards float installation. Our living room and dining room are combined and relatively large, so we want to keep the noise down. What installation method/underlayment would help us achieve the quietest wood floor?

A: There are a number of products on the market designed to be a sound suppressant. There are natural cork and man-made materials, the names of which escape me at the moment. You will need to do a Google search. Your sub floor should be very flat to attempt a floater.

Follow-up Q: We are hearing from flooring stores that hardwood was meant to be glued, not floated. Is gluing the floor better than floating it? We are fairly handy people. Would you suggest we attempt to glue down the floors instead? Or is that something that is typically left to professionals?

A: I would go by the manufacturer instructions. Some products can be glued or nailed. Others can be glued or floated. The only thing with glue down: the adhesive, such as Bostik’s Best is around $200 per pail and is messy to work with. Good adhesive though. You would have to consider that method more permanent.