Understanding what goes under your laminate flooring can help improve the life of your flooring. Of course, this really never gets talked about because the flooring is what you look at, feel and admire. What isn’t talked about is underlayment. Underlayment helps moisture protection, sound absorption and compression support.
Do you really need underlayment for laminate flooring?
Yes, proper underlayment and subfloors allows minimal wear and improve stability of any flooring. Without underlayment, click and lock mechanism can fail over time and give your floor an unlevel floor.
How does laminate flooring underlay work?
Underlayment works by providing the following benefits:
1. Moisture Protection
Fiber underlayment works by absorbing moisture/water vapors from your subfloor. The open gutter of the outer perimeter of the underlayment evaporates the vapors. With the built-in vapor barrier (film facing up), the moisture will never touch the laminate.
2. Sound Absorption
Another benefit is the fiber underlayment provides a fuller sound when walking on. Also dampens the sound from impact or sound transmission noises from other rooms.
3. Improved Subfloor Minor Imperfections
While laying out the underlayment, it can cover the small imperfections your floor has and makes your floor look nice and even. If your subfloor is uneven, your flooring can potentially buckle or sound like “rice krispies popping” when walking on.
What are all the sizes of underlay for laminate flooring?
There is a lot of variations between sizes. Some come in 100 sq ft rolls – 3′ x 33.4′ or 360 sq ft – 6′ x 33.4′. Some other size can be 48″ x 25′ or 48″ x 150′.
Does price really make a difference with underlayment?
Yes, it does make a difference with underlayment.
Foam underlayments is like buying a bicycle. cfiber/felt underlayment is like buying a cadillac.
Foam underlayment is essentially trapped air in tiny bubbles. The issues is over time with high traffic areas, the air is released/popped and never returned to is original form.
Fiber/Felt underlayments however provide that compression rebound so your floor never looks/feels flat.