Have Two Elements Float Side By Side Css

CSS Programming

In CSS, one common challenge is to have two elements float side by side on a web page. This can be useful for creating column layouts or aligning elements in a specific way. In this article, I will dive deep into how to achieve this using CSS float property along with some personal touches and commentary from my own experience.

Understanding the CSS Float Property

The CSS float property is used to specify how an element should float on a web page. By default, elements are positioned in a block-level format, which means they take up the entire width of their parent container. However, when we apply the float property to an element, it will be moved to the left or right side of its containing element, allowing other elements to flow around it.

Let’s say we have two elements that we want to float side by side: a <div> with class “left” and another <div> with class “right”. We can apply the CSS float property to both of these elements to achieve the desired effect.

Applying the Float Property

To float the left element, we need to add the following CSS code:

.left {
float: left;

Similarly, to float the right element, we can use the following CSS code:

.right {
float: right;

By applying these CSS styles to the respective elements, the left element will float to the left side, and the right element will float to the right side. This will create a side-by-side layout.

Pitfalls and Considerations

While using the float property can be a powerful tool for creating specific layouts, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Clearing floats: When floating elements, it’s crucial to clear the floats afterward to prevent any unwanted effects on the layout. This can be achieved by adding a clearfix class to the parent element.
  • Overflow: If the parent container does not have a fixed height, it’s important to consider the overflow property. By default, the parent container will not expand to accommodate the floated elements. To ensure the parent container expands correctly, you can add overflow: auto; or overflow: hidden; to the parent element.
  • Responsive design: When using floats for layout, it’s essential to consider how the layout will behave on different screen sizes. Floats may not work well for responsive designs, as they can cause elements to overlap or wrap in unexpected ways. It’s recommended to use alternative layout techniques, such as CSS Grid or Flexbox, for responsive designs.


Using the CSS float property, we can easily achieve a side-by-side layout for elements on a web page. However, it is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls and considerations associated with using floats. Remember to clear floats and consider responsiveness when using this technique. By understanding the float property and its implications, we can create visually appealing and responsive layouts.