The advancements in building technology have introduced new flooring techniques. Laminate flooring is one of them. Most house owners are turning to laminate flooring because laminates are durable, easy to install and rarely require any repairs.
Laminate flooring requires underlayment materials. These materials are laid in between the subfloor and the laminates to provide support. They also assure that the laminates are leveled ensuring a smooth even floor.
This article points out some factors that will help you choose the best underlayment for laminate flooring.
Type of Sub Floor
It is important to take note of the type of subfloor you are using under your laminate flooring. Your underlayment material should synchronize with the subfloor you are using.
Concrete Type Sub Floor
If you are using a concrete subfloor, you need to make sure your underlayment can block moisture and vapor. This is because concrete is a porous material. Water from beneath the foundation can percolate through your subfloor to the laminated panels dampening and damaging your laminates.
Plywood Type Sub Floor
In the case of the plywood subfloor, getting an underlayment that blocks vapor is not a good idea. This is because plywood blocked with vapor can get attacked with molds and over time it will dampen the plywood and damage your subfloor. In this case, air-permeable underlayment does fine.
Type of Underlayment
In the case of laminate flooring, it best to use a layer of skinny foams as underlayment. The different types of foam underlayment are discussed below:
- Standard foam is the most common type of underlayment used by many builders for laminate flooring. These materials are air permeable and are great for houses having plywood subflooring. They do not block moisture and dampen your laminates.
- When the standard foam is combined with a layer of moisture barrier material they are known as combined foam. They are best for use in areas where the vapor content in the air is high. If you are using concrete sub flooring under your laminates, combined foams are good to go. However, they are pricy.
- Cork is the most costly underlayment and is used in areas that are too noisy. This material is well known for blocking sound to a significant percentage. They can be used with all type of sub-flooring and mostly used in study rooms and personal libraries.
Additional Underlayment Features
Two additional features you should consider before selecting the right underlayment for your laminate flooring are listed below:
- Insulation: Underlayment with high insulation rating traps more heat and is comfortable during winter. If your location has long winters, high insulation underlayment can be comfy.
- Antimicrobial: Underlayment that can destroy and prevent germ growth can keep your house hygienic. This can be your choice if you are focused on a healthy lifestyle.
In short, you can keep in mind the above-discussed points to choose the best underlay you require while opting for laminate flooring.