How to edit 24/96 FLAC and preserve quality

I have two 24/96 FLAC files created from a vinyl rip and I’d like to remove the surface noise between them. I can open the files with Audacity and edit the offending areas to silence but I want to be sure that when I export the edited files back to 24-bit FLAC I don’t create any changes in the remainder of the data. I know “lossless is lossless” but does it matter that Audacity opens and edits the files as 32-bit floating and I want to export as 24-bit FLAC? Thanks.

I think I answered my own question: opening one of the original 24/96 FLAC files in Audacity and exporting it as FLAC 24-bit did NOT create a bit-identical file according to foobar2000’s “Bit-Compare” utility. However, exporting from Audacity as “Other uncompressed files” and selecting “WAV - 32-bit float” then using foobar2000 to convert to FLAC 24-bit (no dither) did create a bit-identical file. I ended up editing the files in Audacity and following the second procedure.

Am I full of it or is there some reason why I got these results? This is with Audacity 1.3.12 on Win 7 x64. Thanks.