What Are the Best Underlayment Options for Laminate Flooring?

by Jessica Thomson Expert Blogger

Laminate flooring is an affordable but highly durable option that you can choose for a floor replacement project. With the right underlayment, it can be a very good choice for domestic as well as commercial areas. The underlayment is a sheet of resilient material which protects the flooring from moisture, humidity and acts as a cushioning component. Selecting it must be done with care as it will determine how well the flooring will fare over the years.

Our flooring experts have compiled some tried and tested underlayment materials and why to choose them as they have proved to work perfectly well for laminate flooring.

Subfloor Materials

The subfloor materials should be taken into consideration while choosing the underlayment for your laminate flooring. Each subfloor has certain pros and cons associated with them which influence how they affect your flooring.

Concrete- The main trouble that concrete subfloor poses is underfloor moisture. It is a porous material meaning water can seep through it and damage the underside of the laminate floorboards. Chances of mildew growth and adhesive loosening cannot be out ruled either. An underlayment that acts as a vapour barrier will be necessary when you have a concrete subfloor.

Plywood subfloor- Plywood needs to breathe and hence vapour-barrier underlayment cannot be used. Such underlayment will trap the moisture and lead to moulding and warping. However, if the laminate flooring is installed in a high-moisture area, and you have a plywood subfloor, vapour-barrier underlayment is your best choice.

Underlayment Materials

Keeping the subfloor in mind, the underlayment material must be chosen accordingly. Some of the best underlayment for laminate flooring are listed as follows:

Foam- It is the most commonly used and popular underlayment option many homeowners choose. Available in varied thicknesses, they have many benefits. Several foam variants have a moisture barrier. It also provides sound-proofing to a certain extent when you choose a variant that has rubber or fibre. Also, it is easy to install over any subfloor.  There are two variants of foam you can consider – standard and combination.

Standard foam- This is a thin foam strip which acts as a cushion between the subfloor and the laminate flooring. It is mostly utilized for laying laminate flooring over a plywood subfloor.

Combination foam- This is standard foam combined with a vapour barrier for protection against moisture. It is slightly more expensive than standard foam but is suitable for both plywood and concrete subfloors.

Cork- If noise reduction is your main aim, cork is the perfect underlayment to use for laminate flooring. However, this is one of the most expensive underlayment choices but worth the price. It is a great choice to level the surfaces between rooms and has antimicrobial properties. Thus, chances of moulding are reduced. Further, it adds to the insulation of your home and is an eco-friendly material.

Felt- This is a traditional underlayment choice and has a high density, making it heavier and easier to smoothen than cork or foam. It is also excellent for noise reduction, insulation and cushioning the floor, thus making it more comfortable to walk on.

Padded laminate- Laminate floorboards with in-built padding on the underside of the material are available today. You do not need a separate underlayment when you are investing in these floorboards. These floorboards can be easily installed directly over the subfloor or over a moisture barrier.

When you choose the suitable underlayment, it can considerably increase the longevity of your laminate flooring. Flooring experts can recommend the best choice for your home after analyzing in details the present condition of your subfloor.

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About Jessica Thomson Freshman   Expert Blogger

10 connections, 0 recommendations, 37 honor points.
Joined APSense since, February 12th, 2019, From Toronto, Canada.

Created on Feb 13th 2019 04:47. Viewed 581 times.


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