They are “floating” floors, and they come in a variety of materials, including plastic laminate, solid wood, ceramic, cork, and even bamboo. Testers ran all kinds of floating flooring through a battery of tests to look for flooring that is going to hold up the best under any circumstances.
A scrubbing machine checks how well it will survive a lot of foot traffic. Another test checks whether the floors will stain. And then there’s the dent test to see whether the floor will be damaged if you drop anything from silverware to an iron skillet.
SnapStone 11-001-02-01 ceramic tiles are the top-rated floating flooring, although like any tiles, they’ll crack if hit hard enough. They snap together easily and are impervious to stains, scuffs, and scratching. They’re available at Lowe’s for about $7.50 a square foot. If you install it yourself, you can save $400 to $500 on the average kitchen.
And if you have your heart set on wood, Consumer Reports top rated a pre-finished bamboo flooring, Teragren Portfolio Naturals TPF-SYN-WHT-126-DL, that costs $7.50 a square foot. It clicks together easily, no nails or glue necessary.
Consumer Reports says for an average-sized room, installing a floating floor can be done in a day, and you can walk on it right away. There’s no waiting for glue to set or the finish to dry.