One of the most common laminate flooring questions is ‘Do I need laminate flooring underlayment?’ Laminate flooring underlayment is essential for installation as it allows to laminate flooring to expand and contract properly on top of the subfloor. Laminate is a wood product and will expand according to the climate of the room. Having proper underlayment will help protect your flooring from the climate and prevent warping due to expansion.
When Should You Install Underlayment?
- When you install any laminate flooring that will be floating over the subfloor
- Your subfloor has minor imperfections
- When you need sound absorption
- When you need moisture protection when installing over a cement sub-floor
When Should You NOT Install Underlayment?
- When your laminate flooring has underlayment attached
- The only exception is installing a vapor barrier that does not have excess padding over a cement subfloor
- When the flooring manufacturer tells you you do not need underlayment for the installation
- When installing most vinyl floorings
- When installing a flooring that will be directly glued or stapled to the subfloor
Choosing The Correct Underlayment
There are different types and thicknesses of underlayment. Type of your sub-floor plays the main role when choosing right underlayment for your floor. When selecting underlayment, be certain to use only the type specifically designed for this purpose. You can not use carpet underlayment for laminate flooring installation- too thick padding may damage or make unstable locking system, so stay away from it. Generally all manufacturers are recommending use of maximum 3mm thick underlayment. Installation of flooring underlayment is easy as 1-2-3, all you have to do to is to measure, cut and lay down your padding.
If you need help with selecting proper underlayment, check our guide below:
After you’ve selected your underlayment, you should know how to install it properly. Check out our installation tutorials to complete your underlayment knowledge!
Learn More About Underlayment:
- How Much Underlayment Do I Need to Buy?
- Can I install underlayment under laminate with attached padding?
- Installing Underlayment With Laminate Flooring on Stairs