If you opt for laminate flooring installation for your house or apartment, the underlayment remains a crucial step. As a matter of fact, you will have to take into account some parameters in order to choose the right model that should be functional and insulating at the same time. Here are the main factors that you need to know before purchasing a laminate flooring underlay.
Flooring Underlayment: the Definition
First of all, it is advised to learn more about this insulating solution before rushing in a specialized store. Flooring underlayment refers to a thin foam pad. This latter is most of the time made of polyethylene or polypropylene that is laid on the sub-floor before installing the laminate or parquet. On the current market, a reliable insulating laminate floor often requires the installation of an underlayment. Yet, you can find manufacturers and sellers who propose models with an integrated underlayment, but it can be less efficient than the other alternative.
The Advantages of Installing Underlayment for your Laminate Floor
To put the laminate flooring correctly, you do not need to nail or glue it down. Instead, you have to install a kind of cushion between the subfloor and laminate so that it can float easily. To understand it even more, you can imagine it as a large jigsaw puzzle that you can expand and shift as the climate changes. And to prevent any damage due to friction between the laminate and your sub-floor and other aggressions, the underlayment is mandatory. Plus, the laminate will get a smooth surface on which it can float.
Choose the Right Underlayment for you Insulating Laminate Floor
There are several types of laminate underlayment produced by different manufactures. Hence, the features are not the same and they can impact the feel and quality of the laminate flooring. To help you find out which one will fit you best, here are some parameters you have to consider. Before all, define the type of subfloor you have. If it is a concrete subfloor, you will surely need a vapor barrier to avoid any damage due to moisture. On the other hand, if you plan to install over a wood or an existing subfloor, you can forget about the anti-moisture barrier underlayment.
If you have to install the underlayment for a floating parquet on the second or upper floor, it is important to choose a solution offering noise reduction. Most of the time, a minimum sound rating from the underlayment are required in apartments and all condo associations. While laminate flooring can remain quiet when you walk on it, it can still transfer the noises to the floor below if you do not opt for the right underlayment. So, make sure to buy an underlayment with an interesting acoustic insulation.