When installing new flooring, it is important to know if you need underlayment. Unlike laminate flooring, most vinyl floors are designed to lay right on the subfloor. But there are a few exceptions to the rule, but with all flooring installations, there are a few things that are required no matter what floor you install.
Before you install vinyl floors, always make sure your subfloor is:
- In good condition
- Free of damages
- Clean & Dust free
Not all vinyl floorings are installed the same way. Take a careful look at what you purchase so you know if you need underlayment or other accessories to make you install last for years.
Vinyl Flooring Underlayment Differences:
Click Lock Vinyl Plank Flooring
Click Lock Vinyl flooring has a locking system that is similar to laminate flooring, but has a thinner construction. Due to this construction, adding a foam underlayment can effect the locking system strength. Most of these vinyl floors can be installed right on the subfloor. If you have any areas on a concrete subfloor that may accumulate water or moisture, it is recommended to use a vapor barrier underlayment. This will prevent any mold or mildew from trapping any moisture under the planks.
If you are looking to increase the height of your floor, or have more cushion, an underlayment can be used on most vinyls above 4mm. You’ll want to choose an underlayment specific to a vinyl floor, such as our Perfect Mat Underlayment or Floor Muffler. It is important to read the manufacturer instructions before installing an underlayment. Using an underlayment may void your warranty.
Glue Down Vinyl Plank Flooring
Glue Down Vinyl will only require a subfloor that is debris free. Because you glue this floor to the subfloor, minor imperfections or sloped flooring is no problem!
Loose Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring
Loose Lay Vinyl is the easiest to install. These can be installed without glue or a locking system right above the subfloor. While this floor does sit on top of the subfloor, it does not need an underlayment. This vinyl flooring is designed to be cut to fit perfectly against the wall. No expansion gap needed!
WPC Vinyl Plank Flooring
Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) vinyl flooring is the newest innovation in the vinyl flooring market. It’s a thicker vinyl plank coming in at 5.5 mm or thicker. This flooring is able to be installed with an LVT specific underlayment, or right on top of the subfloor. Some WPC floors will come with an attached cork underlayment. This adds cushion and sound reduction to the floor. Be sure to read the manufacturer instructions before purchasing an underlayment for this type of flooring.
Have you installed a Click Lock Vinyl with underlayment? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
Learn more about vinyl flooring:
- Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring
- How to Clean and Maintain Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Thickness of Vinyl Plank Flooring
*This post was updated from 2015 to give you a better reading experience!