Talking to flooring dealers or installers can be a bit uncomfortable for most people. They, after all, are experts and are dealing with laminate flooring underlayment every day, but most of us only encounter it occasionally. This puts us at a disadvantage when shopping for flooring and underlay. Hopefully your dealer will give you the information you need to make a good decision but, just in case he doesn’t, arm yourself with knowledge before you leave home.
Laminate flooring underlayment is necessary in most cases. The only exception is if you are buying laminate flooring that already has underlay attached to the bottom of the floor. In that case, if is unnecessary and, in fact, unwise to use more underlay. The floor will end up being too soft and will not wear well.
If you are getting a laminate floor that doesn’t have underlayment attached, you will need to get underlay.
- provides cushioning
- eliminates imperfections in subflooring provides thermal insulation
- provides sound insulation
- in some cases provides a moisture barrier.
It isn’t a frill; it’s a necessity.
Laminate flooring underlay comes in rolls and is from 6-8 millimeters thick. Generally it is 3 feet wide and varies in length from 30-100 feet long. Be sure that your underlay is as long as the length of your room to avoid unnecessary seams. If you are putting the laminate over concrete you also want to be sure that your underlay has a vapor or moisture barrier.
Do your homework before you start shopping for laminate and underlay. Having knowledge beforehand will allow you to ask the right questions when you are talking to the flooring dealer and installer. Be sure to question your dealer or, even better, check the specifications yourself to make sure that the underlay will meet your needs.