Choosing the right type of underlay for your floor is very important. Each flooring type has its own requirements. Laminate flooring needs a different underlay than carpet for example. Your underlay needs to protect the flooring joints so we would advise selecting an underlay that does not exceed 1/2 the thickness of your flooring.
Underlay can also reduce sound, act as a protective barrier between your subfloor, and make your floor more comfortable to walk on. The diagram below will help you choose the right underlay for your new laminate or engineered wood floor.
To make sure you end up with the best results from your flooring installation, underlay is crucial. But why use underlay? Underlay is a thin layer of cushioning placed between your subfloor and your chosen flooring that has a big impact on how the end result looks, feels and sounds. There are a number of benefits associated with installing an underlay under your new floor. Subject to the one you choose for your home, underlay can:
Help even out the subfloor, minimising and bumps and imperfections.
Act as a sound barrier and help with soundproofing.
Work as a moisture barrier (to protect your flooring from moisture rising from the subfloor when laid foil side down).
Add a level of insulation and help warm your home.
Provide superior cushioning underfoot.
If you’re laying engineered wood, LVT or laminate flooring on concrete subfloors, the main issue to consider is moisture. As concrete is porous, water can easily seep in and subsequently damage your layer of flooring, causing warping and mould. To prevent this from happening, opt for an underlay with a built-in vapour barrier that works to protect your flooring from moisture and dampness creeping up from the cold concrete.
If your subfloor is standard floorboards, you may not want to use an underlay with an in-built vapour barrier, as this runs the risk of trapping moisture into the natural wood, causing mould and warping issues you want to avoid. However, if you’re placing laminate in areas of your home with high levels of moisture such as a kitchen, bathroom or utility room, opt for an underlay with a moisture barrier to lay under your waterproof laminate flooring
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