Flooring is an important part of your home décor. Whether you want to go with laminate, solid wood, vinyl or herringbone engineered flooring, your choice will depend on various factors such as your interior design and budget.
If the laminate is your choice, underlay is a critical step in the installation of laminate floor material. When selecting an underlay, there are several factors to consider. Find out everything about the ideal underlay for laminate before purchasing.
What Is Floor Underlay?
It is a thin foam pad, usually comprised of polyethylene or polypropylene, that is placed on the subfloor and after that, the laminate floor is laid over it. When one plans to install laminate, it is recommended that you first install the underlay. Some manufacturers sell laminate flooring with an underlay attached, so you can check with them if the option you are planning to purchase has an attached underlayment or not.
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Apart from different types of floor materials such as laminate, engineered or oak flooring, Floorsave also offers flooring accessories including underlay.
Selecting Underlay for Laminate Floor
There are numerous laminate floor underlay options that one can choose from. As laminate floorboards are used to create a floating floor, hence they require fewer nails or staples. And this is the reason why many types of underlayment can be used with laminate. As a variety of underlay options are available, a decision can be taken based on where the floor will be installed and what type of subfloor is there in that room. After you have got the answers to these questions, you can effortlessly choose from the different kinds of underlay options available.
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Cork Underlay to reduce noise
A cork underlay reduces noise significantly and it smoothes out the imperfections of the subfloor, it’s a good option to even out the surface. Cork is a natural product, hence it promotes airflow to the underfloor whilst also combating mould and mildew as it has antimicrobial properties.
Foam as underlay
A conventional foam underlay can be used for installing a laminate floor. It is a thin layer which acts as padding between the laminate boards and the sub floor. However, because this kind of underlay offers no moisture barrier, it is only appropriate for wood subfloors in areas with a low danger of spills or dampness, provided an extra vapour barrier is applied.
Combination underlays are versatile
Underlay materials that combine cushioning and moisture barriers are also available on the market.
This results in a flexible underlayment that is appropriate for most homes and laminate flooring applications.
Vapour barrier underlay
The moisture protection required for laying a laminate floor can be provided by a vapour barrier underlay. When combined with a layer of paper felt, a vapour barrier underlay is very much useful with underfloor heating systems.
How to select an underlay to be used with the underfloor heating system?
When selecting underlay for a laminate floor to be installed with an underfloor heating system, you must examine where the floor will be fitted and what type of subfloor is in that room. As some underlay materials have a higher tog value, they provide great thermal insulation. The laminate floorboards can contribute to the overall insulation.
Higher insulation with underfloor heating stops heat from increasing, limiting performance and hence a rise in electricity bills. It is thus essential to make sure that the underlay to be used with the underfloor heating system has a low tog value in order to permit effective heat conduction through the floor.
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There will be flaws in the subfloor, whether it is cemented, hardwood or plywood. A layer of underlayment acts as a buffer between these defects and the flooring material and smoothes out the subfloor.
Apart from this underlay is used for insulation, noise reduction and moisture protection. Certain underlay materials can aid to soundproof a space by dampening sounds caused by foot traffic and movement on laminate flooring.