There are so many flooring options available to homeowners today, yet laminate flooring continues to be one of the most popular options.
Because of its convincing wood look, durability, and cost-effectiveness that popularity totally makes sense. Adding laminate can completely change the whole look of a space.
But the key to making your new floor last as long as possible is in the laminate underlay.
This additional layer between the concrete slab and your beautiful selection gives additional protection and comfort. Without it, you’re likely to see more warping and the flooring will wear down at a much quicker rate. Choosing the right floor underlayment is critical, so we’ve outlined the top seven things to keep in mind during your research.
One of the biggest differences between underlayment options is how thick they are. Generally, your options are going to fall between 1/8 to 1/2 of an inch thick. There is no set standard for what you have to lay, so the choice is up to you, all will be acceptable but some will definitely work better than others in your space.
If there are minor imperfections in your subflooring, you’ll want a thicker pad to cover those up and smooth the new surface out. If you don’t have a lot of space to add new flooring, a thinner pad will likely be a better choice.
This is a time when a sample might be helpful to get a feel for the difference the height of the underlayment will make in your actual space.
2. Compression Resistance
A huge aspect of the thickness of a laminate flooring underlayment is how well it will hold up to the traffic in your home. Over time the spongy texture of the underlayment will begin to wear down but you want to find the option that will take the longest to get there.
It’s important to note that thicker doesn’t always mean more compression resistance. Talk with a flooring expert to find the options that are made for the amount of traffic you’re expecting the laminate to experience.
3. Noise Barrier
Flooring underlayment also plays a major role in how noisy laminate flooring will be in your home. The pads under the floor can be a kind of soundproofing as they absorb a lot of the additional volume hard floors can have.
Underlayment is created by weaving together a variety of materials together to create the pad. Depending on the type of weave and the materials used, you can have a really solid sound-proofing system or not. Some underlayment is specifically designed with sound absorption in mind, which will likely be the best choice if that’s your top priority.
Again, your flooring professional will be able to give you the rundown on all of your best options.
4. Moisture Wicking
A downside of putting laminate flooring into your home is that they aren’t always completely waterproof. Excess moisture can cause damage to the planks and result in a warped finish.
The best underlay will be one that can keep the moisture from even reaching your laminate altogether.
This consideration is especially important when you live in a humid or rainy area that has a lot of excess moisture in the air. That can get trapped in the foundation and work its way into the flooring if the proper barriers aren’t installed.
5. Installation Process
So many homeowners choose to add laminate flooring to their homes because of the easy installation process. It’s a job many can handle on their own to save money, which is always a benefit during renovations.
It would be terrible to choose to handle a floor installation by yourself because of this only to realize the underlayment won’t be installed as easily.
Talk to your flooring experts to get a clear idea of what that process will look like to gauge your skill level. The underlayment is a crucial step to great floors, so you don’t want to skimp and be disappointed by the result.
6. Budget Considerations
Adding new flooring to your home isn’t a purchase that many make lightly, it’s an investment no matter what type you’re adding. The floor underlayment will be an additional charge to that number, so the budget will need to be factored in.
While not as significant as the flooring itself, it’s still important to weigh into your overall costs. You don’t want to be surprised when you go to make your purchase with a cost you hadn’t considered but have to make. Your whole investment won’t be worth it if it doesn’t last long because you skipped a step!
7. Underfoot Feeling
The most important of all the things to consider while choosing a floor underlayment is how it will feel underfoot. Depending on where in your home it’s going, you could be standing on it for extended periods of time. So you want it to feel as comfortable as possible.
Different underlayments are made for different areas of your home, make sure you’re matching best to the use of the room.
This is another time when feeling the underlayment in real life will allow you to get a better sense of what to expect when it’s actually installed in your home.
Choosing the Best Laminate Underlay for Your Home
Putting new flooring in a home is an exciting project to take part in. The whole space will feel upgraded and brand new when you’re done, flooring truly makes the biggest impact. That’s why you want to make sure you do it right the first time, so you can just enjoy the great end result.
Laminate underlay will not only help you enjoy your new flooring today, but it will also help you enjoy it for years and years to come. There’s no better way to protect your investment than adding a quality underlay.
If you need some help finding the best underlay for laminate or other floorings like tile floor underlayment, contact us today and our professionals can get you on the right track!