The need for an underlay for your flooring can very well influence your decision to buy a laminate floor, especially given the expensive cost of an underlay. An underlay is important for many good reasons. Here are the situations when you will need underlay for your laminate floor.
Your Laminate Floor has no Pre-Attached Underlayment
Many modern laminate floors come with a layer of underlayment attached to them. In such cases, an extra underlayment is not necessary. In fact, adding an underlayment in such cases can adversely impact the stability of the floor.
Your Subfloor is Not Flat and Strong
A subfloor needs to be flat and sound to take your laminate flooring. If the subfloor lacks these features, an underlayment helps cover these flaws and give you a stable laminate floor underfoot.
If you install a laminate floor without underlayment on a weak or uneven subfloor, it can damage the laminate floor and create safety hazards.
You are Using a Concrete Subfloor
Using an underlayment over a concrete subfloor makes the laminate floor soft and comfortable underfoot. The absence of an underlayment in such cases can make your floor a nightmare to walk on.
Your Subfloor is not Vinyl
When installed perfectly, a vinyl subfloor is waterproof. If you are installing your laminate floor on a vinyl floor, an underlayment is not necessary.
You want a Silent Floor
Laminate floor is very thin, given that it is made of fibreboard. Therefore, it cannot absorb sound as efficiently as solid hardwood does. But, an underlayment creates a sort of padding to the floor, which boosts the floor’s sound absorption abilities.
So, whether you are looking to create a quieter ambience at the office or looking to reduce the sound impact of mischievous kids and pets in your home, a laminate floor with an underlayment can work wonders.
Your Floor Needs Moisture Protection
If you are using a subfloor that is not resistant to moisture, say a subfloor of wood, cement or concrete, a moisture-resistant underlayment becomes important. An underlayment is also extremely important if you are installing the laminate floor in a crawlspace or rooms where there is no automated climate control.
When an underlayment is not used in such situations, the moisture can move upward, into your laminate flooring, and damage it structurally.
Do not let the expensive cost of an underlay deter you from using one for your laminate floor. An underlay extends the life of your floor in the long-run providing best value for your investment.