Do you need to install laminate flooring underlay? In a word, yes. Laminate flooring underlayment is part of the entire system that makes up a laminate floor. It provides projection, adds comfort and insulates against noise pollution. It also adds a more pleasant sound to the floor when it’s walked on. Without the moisture barrier benefits of laminate floor underlayment, your floor will be much more susceptible to water damage, which can destroy one of these floors in short order. With the appropriate underlay material, you’ll find that this flooring surface can last for many years and provide excellent aesthetic value.
Laminate flooring installation will vary, depending upon the underlayment you require, which can be determined by the type of flooring, type of subfloor, and moisture levels. In some cases, the product is attached directly to the flooring itself. This makes it easier to install, though cutting the laminate planks is sometimes a bit trickier. The laminate underlayment may also be purchased in a roll. This allows you to customize the laminate underlay to your needs. This is actually one of the most flexible aspects of this type of flooring, and it can make it suitable for just about any room in the house.
Laminate Flooring Underlay Options
Foam underlay is one of the most popular laminate underlayment choices. Some types increase the R-value of the home, decreasing the amount of heat and cold exchange with the outside. Other types of foam underlay for laminate flooring are made to alter or reduce sound. As you can imagine, the sound of feet striking a floating floor with nothing underneath it may not be that pleasant. This foam underlay absorbs the sound—making it sound much like a solid wood or tile floor—and also provides a cushion for walking on. Especially in areas where people tend to stand a lot, such as the kitchen, this makes this a very popular choice for laminate flooring installation.
There are very few laminate flooring underlayment tools required to complete the job. Most underlay materials can be cut with a utility knife. It may require that you glue or tack it down. To learn how to install it properly, consult the manufacturer’s instructions. Planks that come with their own underlayment attached can usually just be slid into place. The underlay material, however, makes sure that those planks don’t slide once they are put in place, another benefit of the product.
Choose an Underlay Appropriate to the Application
If you’re choosing separate underlay products for laminate floors, make sure you get a type that’s appropriate. If you’re installing in an upper-floor room, get the foam underlay to diminish the noise of people walking on the floor – one common thickness is 3mm underlayment. If you’re using the laminate floor underlay to help increase the insulation value of your home, consult with the salesperson to see which is best for your needs. For the easiest possible laminate flooring installation, get a style of plank that comes with the laminate attached so that you don’t have to put it down as an extra step. Do not put down a laminate floor without laminate flooring underlay, as it’s inevitable that damage will occur to the floor.