Snap-In Wood Flooring: Why It’s Popular & What Tools To Use

Go to any flooring website, and you’ll see plenty of listings for snap-in wood flooring. Head to any DIY channel or home décor blog, and it will pop up there as well. What is snap-in wood flooring? Why is it so popular? Is it true wood flooring, some type of laminate, or both? It’s easy to see why the questions arise, and thankfully, they are just as easy to answer. 

If you want to learn more about snap-in wood flooring, keep reading as we clear up many of the mysteries surrounding it and more here.

What Exactly Is Snap-In Wood Flooring?

Most types of snap-in wood flooring are actually a form of laminate called engineered wood. They consist of a layer of wood fibers that have been pressed together and are topped with a thin layer of actual wood that provides the look of wood flooring. Depending on the type of flooring, the layer of solid wood may be a bit thicker and may not have a clear protective topcoat installed. It might also be thinner and have that already applied topcoat layer. It all depends on the variety that you choose.

However, no matter which type of snap-in wood flooring you pick, all have one thing in common – the “snap-in” part of the name. Unlike other forms of wood flooring that require they be adhered directly to the subfloor, a snap-in flooring floats over the subfloor. It consists of planks that snap and lock together, preventing you from needing any nails or glues to adhere the floor in place.

Instead, when installing a snap-in floor, you place a protective, soundproof moisture barrier over the subfloor and then put the snap-in floor over it. The planks snap together, and the entire floor floats over the moisture barrier. Since the planks essentially adhere to each other, it’s easy to install this type of flooring yourself, and it looks just like hardwood flooring without any of the extra work.

Why Choose Snap-In Flooring?

There are many different reasons why someone would choose snap-in flooring over traditional wood flooring. Not only do the two look almost the same to the untrained eye (some DIY and flooring experts might be able to tell the difference), but both types of flooring will stand the test of time. Here are some additional reasons why you might want snap-in flooring:

It’s Easy To Install

Want to install your wood flooring on your own? Then snap-in flooring is your best option because it’s very easy to DIY. Once the moisture barrier is cut and in place, you just need to start cutting the planks down to size and snapping them into one another. Since you don’t need nails, wood glue, or other tools that complicate the matter, you can definitely DIY your own wood floors with snap-in planks.

Maintenance Is Simple

Worried about maintaining your snap-in wood floors? Don’t be. They are fairly simple to maintain and are designed to take a beating, so you won’t find yourself dealing with dings and dents. 

Instead, when you need to replace a plank due to cracking or other major damage, you just need to cut that plank out, remove the sections where it snapped and locked into the planks around it, and put a new one (cut down to size, of course) into place. It’s very simple to do and only requires a few tools.

It Costs Less

A traditional hardwood floor is beautiful. However, it can also be a bit pricy. Since you’ll not only need to buy enough hardwood planks for your home, plus a few extras, just in case some are cracked or chipped, you’ll also need to have them professionally installed. This adds to the overall price of the flooring. 

If you want to save a bit of money yet have the look of hardwood, snap-in flooring is a great option.

It’s Moisture-Resistant

Unlike traditional hardwood flooring, which remains porous no matter the type of topcoat you choose, snap-in flooring is moisture resistant. 

If you have pets or want to put the flooring in a high-traffic area where liquids might get spilled or puddles of water end up on the floor (like in a mudroom or foyer), then a snap-in floor will be easier to care for and will last longer than its traditional counterpart. You’ll be able to wipe up those liquids without worrying about whether or not they seeped into the planks.

What Do You Need To Install Snap-In Wood Flooring?

Since the easy installation of snap-in wood flooring is one of the main reasons it’s so popular, it’s necessary to go over the tools needed to put it into place. You’ll need some traditional tools, but not as many as you would if you chose traditional wood flooring instead.

The Tools You Need for Snap-In Flooring

Many of the items on this list are traditional tools that you probably have lying around your home. You’ll need painter’s tape in order to hold the moisture barrier in place, as well as a construction knife to cut the barrier. Since you may need to install baseboards to cover the area where the edge of the walls and the flooring meet, you’ll also need some nails and either a hammer or nail gun to get the job done.

Some measuring implements, like a yardstick or tape measure, a hammer (to ensure that the planks lock into place properly), a pencil, and saw, are also necessary to mark and cut the planks down to size. It doesn’t hurt to have a straightedge and a level to ensure that the subfloor is level and ready for installation.

Things You’ll Need Other Than Tools

On top of the tools you’ll need, there are also some additional supplies required to install your new snap-in wood flooring. For example, you’ll need the moisture barrier that goes on the subflooring below the snap-in flooring

You’ll also need new baseboards if your existing ones don’t match your new floors. Wood to shore up the subfloor and make it even throughout the room is another supply that you may need to have on hand, just in case you’re worried that your subfloor may not be even.

Snap-In Wood Flooring Is a Popular Option

Why do people choose snap-in wood flooring from Hardwood Bargains over traditional hardwood flooring? The ease of installation, ability to stand up to moisture, and low amount of required maintenance are all on the list. 

Also, snap-in flooring comes in many different styles, patterns, and colors, all that look like standard hardwood, making it simple to find a type that will complement your existing décor. Since snap-in wood flooring tends to look just like the real thing, it’s easy to see why people prefer it over the real thing. You may want to jump on the bandwagon and choose it for your flooring as well.


How to Install Snap-Together Laminate Flooring | DIY Network

How to Install Hardwood Flooring That Snaps Into Place | SF Gate

Guide to Installing Laminate Flooring | Family Handyman

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