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Click-Lock & Snap-Together Flooring: What it Is + How to Install It

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November 14, 2019

Click-together flooring, snap-together flooring, click-lock flooring, interlocking flooring—yeah, it goes by an absurd number of names. And they all refer to the same thing: planks or tiles with a type of interlocking grooves that, when assembled, create a seamless flooring surface. 

But whatever you call it, this type of floor setup is becoming more popular by the day thanks to its ease of installation and increasing availability. So if you’re thinking about purchasing a new floor, you should probably know a little bit about it. After all, informed decisions are the best decisions.

Below, we’ll answer all your questions about click-together flooring: what it is, how it works, what its advantages are, which flooring materials come in a snap-lock setup, and even some tips on where to buy it. Because we’re here for you, our flooring friend. 

What is click-together flooring and how does it work?

Like we mentioned above, click-together, snap-together, or interlocking flooring (we’re going to use these terms interchangeably) all refer to a style of floor that installs via a system of interlocking grooves. 

Click-together planks or tiles are constructed with special edges that fit snugly into each other; that way, when they’re put together, they create a seamless surface. Think of it like a more secure tongue-and-groove system.

Why are there so many names for it?

Broadly speaking, interlocking flooring types are all basically the same. But each manufacturer has its own version (and sometimes many versions) of the concept. Maybe the cut depths change, maybe the installation method varies, maybe one version needs to be tapped into place while another can be put together by hand—you get the idea.

Manufacturers will usually brand their offerings in order to reflect these differences and set them apart from the competition. If you’ve been looking into the best vinyl flooring for your home, you’re probably familiar with the idea; it’s the same reason there are a million names for LVT/vinyl plank. Branding, branding, and more branding.

What are the advantages of click-together flooring?

As its growing popularity would suggest, there are quite a few. Here are some of the main ones:

It can be installed as a floating floor (without glue or nails)

Click-together flooring doesn’t need to be glued or nailed to a subfloor; the click-lock connections provide enough tension to keep it together. But like we said, there are endless versions of click-lock floors. Some are always installed as floating floors, others can be glued down, etc. It all depends on the product. But in general, click-lock floors are usually installed as floating floors.

It can be installed over existing flooring

Again, it depends on the product. But as with most floating floors, you can usually install click-lock systems over existing surfaces. That said, we wouldn’t recommend installing any floating floor over a warped surface or carpet—so make sure to use an appropriate underlayment or you might face a flooring fiasco. 

Alternately, just buy some peel and stick carpet tiles at Home Depot or something—you can stick those straight onto just about anything.

It’s DIY-friendly

Interlocking floors are generally designed to be DIY-friendly; so if you’re the handy type, do your thing. That said, we don’t really recommend that anyone install a floor without prior experience or professional guidance. It’s almost never worth the hassle, cost, or spike in blood pressure. But again, you do you.

It’s used to improve waterproof qualities

Ok, we can not stress this enough: it completely depends on the specific material and product you’re using. But, generally speaking, certain types of flooring that we think of as “waterproof”—vinyl plank for instance—get that quality from their synthetic construction along with a tight click-lock installation. 

The bottom line: if you’re looking for a waterproof flooring option and you don’t want to put down a vinyl sheet, you’re almost always going to be getting a click-together floor.

Which flooring materials come in a click-together setup?

An easier question would be: “which flooring materials can’t be purchased with a snap-together setup?” Because these days, a ridiculously high percentage of popular flooring options come in click-lock configurations.

Vinyl

Most types of vinyl—with the obvious exception of sheet vinyl—can be purchased for a click-together setup. In fact, interlocking construction is the default for the majority of vinyl plank/LVT products.

In fact, vinyl’s ease of installation (thanks to its largely click-lock construction) is one of the many reasons that it has become so popular in recent years. Well, that and the fact that it’s one of the most durable flooring options around. 

Read on: Vinyl Flooring Pros and Cons

Laminate

Like vinyl, laminate floors often come in snap-together configurations. But as always, it depends on the manufacturer and product.

Hardwood

Interestingly, more and more types of wood flooring are starting to come in click-together setups as well. Engineered hardwood is obviously the most common in this regard, since it’s crafted rather than cut from planks like solid wood is. 

However, even some types of solid hardwood can now be purchased as snap-together floors—though this is much, much rarer. Given that many of the pros and cons of hardwood flooring concern installation, though, it’s a big leap forward.

Conclusion

Ok, so you’re sold on click-together flooring—now it’s time to find the perfect floor for you! And the best way to do that (in our humble opinion) is to go straight to the source: local flooring retailers. 

Local retailers are 100% the best resource for all of your flooring needs; they can answer your questions, help you choose a surface, and even get it installed for you. Use our flooring near me search to find one in your area!

About The Author

Samuel Greenberg

Associate Director of Content Marketing at FlooringStores (and its parent company, Broadlume), Samuel is a former travel writer, English teacher, and semi-professional trivia host. When he’s not creating content, he can be found doing crosswords, drinking coffee, and petting the office dogs.

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