How to choose flooring underlayments

While there are many options to consider when choose the appropriate floor underlayment, it is essential to the maximum performance of any hard surfaced flooring.  Many, if not all, flooring manufacturers require an underlayment to reside under their flooring and to help protect your investment and increase the potential of the finished floor. There are several attributes to these flooring underlayments that help make for better overall flooring performance and maximum life.

  1. Flooring Underlayment provides a smoother surface for the finished floor than the subfloor by itself.
  2. Provides a better place for ceramic tile to stick (and other types of flooring requiring mortar or adhesive) than just the subfloor. 
  3. Sound control.  Some flooring applications like laminate flooring need an underlayment that will help dampen and absorb sound.  
  4. Harmful moisture management protection. Water can abruptly end the performance of the hard surfaced flooring.  Flooring underlayments that offer built-in vapor barriers can offer peace of mind 

Underlayment Comparisons

   Recycled Fibers  Composition
Moisture Control System
Sound Deadening Attributes

Insulating Value

Safe Indoor Air Quality

Flooring Requirements

 Flooring Types


     Over 94% with LEED Benefits
Floating Laminate & Eng. Wood


     Almost 90% with LEED Benefits
Float, Nail, & Glue-down


     100% with LEED Benefits
Nailed & Glued Woods


     100% with LEED Benefits
Traditional Tile Installation
LuxWalk      Almost 33% with LEED Benefits
Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Sound Step ES
Floating Laminate & Eng. Wood


Float Floors