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Choosing The Right Type of Underlay

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. To ensure comfort underfoot carpet underlay needs to be thick and soft. While laminate underlay needs to protect the flooring joints. 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.



Here at Discount Flooring Depot, we have several types of underlay for you to choose from with different properties to consider when laying your solid wood, LVT or laminate flooring:


  • White Foam - A 2mm thick synthetic product made from thin polyethylene foam. This type of underlay is best used as light padding and as a noise barrier in rooms with a timber subfloor where there is no chance of moisture. 


  • Platinum Plus – 2mm thick and suitable for underfloor heating, this high-quality insulating underlay covers an area of 10m² per roll. Its built-in aluminium vapour barrier helps protect your flooring against dampness and water damage. 


  • Underfloor Heating Underlay - 2mm thick with a low tog rating of 0.23, this underlay is designed for use with underfloor heating systems to aid in warming your home.


  • Woodtech – This 2.5mm thick sound barrier underlay is used to deaden sounds through the floor and any echoing in the room. This is a sponge rubber underlay, which allows for a bit of give and means your wood or laminate is not overstrained.


  • Goldfoil – 3mm thick, this high-density foam underlay features an integrated backing fleece and aluminium vapour barrier that protects your floor from water and eliminates the need for additional moisture protection methods such as polyethene sheeting.


  • Fibreboard – At 5.5mm thick, this premium natural insulating board is designed for use with all laminates and glueless woods. The thickness of each board provides excellent soundproofing, making it ideal for areas of heavy footfall.


  • LVT Underlay – This 1.55mm, damp-proof underlay is specially designed for use with click-system LVT flooring. Its high-density, foil layered fan-fold board offers insulation and soundproofing as well as extra support and protection for your LVT flooring.





If you’re laying solid wood, 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.