When researching underlayments, you may notice compressive force or resistance numbers on the list of the technical specs. Well, we are going to explore what they mean.
This is the era of “floating floors”. Floating floors are plank or tile shapes that fasten together or interlock with one another, but do not fasten to the subfloor. Examples are laminate flooring, engineered wood, and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT).
If the flooring pieces interlock or click together, the joint between planks or tiles are subject to downward force under heavy foot traffic, or heavy furniture, appliances, carts, etc. Think of it as the joints of each plank gaining strength from the next connected plank and so on.
It is recommended that you select a suitable underlayment that provides firm support for the overlying floor, especially at the click-together joints. If an underlayment is too soft or can be dented or compressed too easily, the flooring joints may come apart beneath heavyweight. Look for an underlayment that resists compressive forces like normal traffic – enough to adequately support the floor and not squish or crush over time.
Underlayment’s like MP Global’s QuietWalk, properly test their underlayments in lab settings to understand how much compressive force it takes to compress the underlayment to 1/2 of its thickness. This force is measured in PSI (Pounds per sq inch) So when you look on the label of QuietWalk and see the label stating 85 PSI – it takes a lot of compressive force to crush it. Looking at other popular foams, it takes a whole lot less. The higher the number the more anti-crush-ability the underlayment has to buckle under the normal performance characteristics your floor will have. The longer your floor will last and perform to protect your investment.
MP Global Products – Your Sustainable Underlayment Specialists
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