This is a bigger deal than it sounds, because for ages floor coverings such as hardwood floor do need to be nailed down to the sub-floor. Ceramic and porcelain tile, too, need to be attached to the base subfloor by mortar.
A jigsaw puzzle is one way to look at floating floors. With a jigsaw puzzle, pieces connect to each other, but not to the table. A floating floor is like a jigsaw puzzle. One prime example of a floating floor is laminate flooring. While laminate flooring can be glued down to the underlayment, most laminate is installed on a "floating" basis.
Even some types of tile flooring are floating. Rather than mortaring down the tile to the floor, the tiles are attached to each other via interlocking plastic trays.
Floating Floor: Benefits and DisadvantagesOne advantage of the floating floor method of installation is it allows for the floor to move and expand in response to changes in a room's humidity. More importantly, floating floors remove many obstacles to do-it-yourself installation. For instance, nailing down hardwood flooring can be a daunting task for DIYers. But with a floating laminate floor, the floorboards easily attached to each other with no specialized tools such as a floor nailer.
One of the disadvantages of a floating floor is that it is thinner and less substantial than flooring that attached to the subfloor. Floating floor tends to command lower resale value than traditional nailed-down or mortared-down hardwood or tile.