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Can I install underlayment under laminate with attached padding?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
Is it okay to use a felt Roberts underlayment if the laminate already has attached padding?
-Craig S.

Dear Craig,

Laminate with attached padding (underlayment) can be confusing to many DIY installers. You read articles touting the importance of using underlayment for moisture control, noise reduction, and overall support. It’s natural to wonder what you should do to maximize your floors longevity when the underlayment comes pre-attached.

Extra Padding Poses a Risk

Most underlayment provides extra padding on a floor. When this additional padding is combined with the pre-installed padding on your laminate flooring, it poses a risk and should be avoided. By adding unnecessary cushioning, you could actually be causing more harm to your floor than good. The added friction could cause the underlayment to wear down quickly and make your floors less stable over time, causing stress on the floating floor’s locking system joints.

Vapor Barriers

There is an exception to this rule – a film vapor barrier.

If you are installing your laminate flooring with the pre-attached underlayment over a cement subfloor, you will want to use a vapor barrier. This type of underlayment does not have any additional padding, so it will not pose a risk to your laminate flooring.

We recommend using our Visqueen Vapor Block PE Film in these situations. You can be sure that no moisture or other damage will occur with this option under a pre-attached underlayment.

As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration when installing your laminate flooring. From subfloors and underlayment, to the type of laminate flooring you buy, you must weigh everything equally to get the best results. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our flooring experts for help. We’re here to make your installation as easy as possible.

Learn More:


  1. Such an informative article and it is beneficial for many people, keep up the good work. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Thank you for sharing this topic: “Can I install underlayment under laminate with attached padding?” I had fun reading about Vapor Barriers that you included. I look forward to hearing from you if there is a need for information about recessed aluminum floor doors for your following content.

  3. Hi Helen. We are not particularly familiar with this Costco product. We always recommend reaching out to the manufacturer to see if there is a particular product to help with noise reduction. However, we like to recommend a closed cell foam underlayment to help with the noise reduction. Floor Muffler has the highest ratings that we carry.

  4. Reolaced condo carpet in bedroom with Golden Select laminate flooring purchased from Costco. The information was that it has a 2mm foam backer to help with comfort, and create an extra sound barrier so no additional layer was required. It does indicate in the installation manual that, “for additional acoustical properties an additional underlayer of up to 2mm can be installed”. The flooring planks were installed as is without that additional underlayer and the neighbours downstairs are complaining of being woken by our walking. The condo specs are IIC 70 but I can’t see anything anout that impact sound insulation rating anywhere to compare the Golden Select vinyl planks to the standatd requirements. Are you familiar with this product? I’m not sure since the planks already have a 2mm foam backing if that is the same as the 2mm underlayer. I do wish the instructions had indicated the sound barrier underlay might be necessary if installing in a condominium

  5. Hi Marc! Yes, you would be able to use cement backer board over OSB. You would also be able install a LVP with attached underlayment over the backer board without a vapor barrier.

  6. On the second level of my home, can I install cement backer boards over an OSB subfloor? If yes, can I still install LVP with the pre-attached underlayment on top of the backer board?
    Lastly, I have a concrete slab on my first floor. Do I need a plastic sheet type vapor barrier over the slab before installing LVP with pre-attached underlayment or is the pre-attached underlayment sufficient (it’s a waterproof LVP)?

  7. Thank you!

  8. Keep up the great work! Thank you so much for sharing a great posts.

  9. Hi Don! If the imperfections on the subfloor are most (deeper) than a quarter of an inch, you may need to level the subfloor. If not, the 2mm underlayment should help with the imperfections on the subfloor.

  10. Good morning! We have purchased 800sq.ft. of 10mm Quick Step laminate flooring (with padding) as well as 2mm Floor Comfort underlayment to be installed over our sub floor. Our house is a modular and is 14 years old. The sub floor is level, but, has a few imperfections. I have read all the other questions and answers, so I am guessing what you would say…but, because of the importance of a smooth base for the laminated floor, can I still install the underlayment?
    We are doing our living room and dining room. Directly underneath is our non insulated basement.
    Thank you for your time!!

  11. Thanks James!

  12. Get some great stuff here. Thank you for this info.

  13. Hi Nial! Attached underlayment isn’t necessarily better than underlayment that comes in a roll. The attached underlayment does help with installation, by cutting out the step of rolling out and installing the underlayment.

  14. I just want to ask “Is attached underlayment better?”

  15. Hi Diane, thanks for the question. Yes, the height difference can matter and cause the feeling of hollowness where the plank will dip down into the low spots. It can also cause joint damage over time. You should start with a level subfloor, so yes, filling in the grout lines is also recommended.

  16. We are installing laminate planking with attached underlayment. We are installing this on our basement floor. There is a border of ceramic tile around the entire area and also an area of ceramic tile under a free standing fireplace. We removed the carpeting that had been in the room but did not remove the tile. We laid a plywood subfloor over the concrete where the carpeting had been to bring the floor up to the height of the tile. The subfloor is less than 1/8″ from the height of the tile. Can we run the planking over the tile and the subfloor? Or will the slight difference in height cause us problems? Also, do you recommend leveling the grouted areas of the tile before laying the planking?

  17. Hi Jason, thanks for your question. It is always recommended to use a vapor barrier over concrete since it is porous. Most underlayments for laminate have a vapor barrier already within the product.

  18. I am installing laminate flooring over my concrete floor (slab on grade) The slab has in-floor heat and also a 10 mil poly vapor barrier under it. Should I be using another moisture barrier on top of the floor if there is already one under the concrete?

  19. Hi Martha, thanks for the question. You should always use an underlayment when it comes to laminate. If your laminate has attached underlayment, then you will not need additional padding. If you only have the laminate plank, you will need underlayment. You can shop our options here:

  20. Is laminate with particle board for underlying good or shall i lay another underlying on tile flooring

  21. Glad it could help!

  22. Gisela Schimmelpfeng

    Excellent information. Thank you

  23. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for the question. I would say an SPC or WPC vinyl may be the best option for you, but laminate is also a close second. And engineered vinyl will have the durability and cushion, but the top coating may show wear over time with the wheels. A laminate, on the other hand, has a stronger top coat that may hold up better to wear. Feel free to give one of our flooring specialists a call to discuss each option further: 800-520-0961.

  24. Elizabeth A Watts

    My son weighs 125 lbs. and is a considerably heavy wheelchair. Which flooring is best for wheelchairs;
    vinyl planks or laminate. My sub-floor is concrete. I want flooring that can accommodate the wheelchair
    and yet still have a cushioned floor for comfort.

  25. Hi Jacob, yes you will need a standard foam pad. This will cushion the floor and help reduce the sound. Here is a good one I would recommend:

  26. Yes, Catharina! There are plenty of laminate’s without attached underlayment. Do you have a particular look in mind? You can use our filters to see if we have what you’re looking for here:

  27. I am installing laminate over 870 sq ft over original hardwood. Would I need any padding or no?

  28. Catharina Teunisse

    Are there still laminate floors to be found without the attached backing? I would really like to get the best soundproofing etc with the Floor Muffler or Quick Step for my 3rd floor condo unit. Appreciate a reply.

  29. Hi James, great question. I would recommend getting an underlayment with a vapor barrier within it to be safe. The linoleum should prevent any moisture from coming through, but this is an easy way to play it safe since you will need underlayment regardless! If the floor has attached underlayment already, you could opt for the moisture barrier film as an extra precaution. The edges are the only area where I could see potential moisture from getting around the linoleum.

  30. Hi Alana…..

    We are about to install (Pergo) laminate flooring over linoleum tile flooring on a concrete slab floor. The tile (25 + years old) is still stuck securely to the floor. Do I need to put down a vapor barrier before I install the laminate flooring?

  31. Hi Jim, thanks for the question! We would not recommend installing FloorMuffler under a pre-attached underlayment. The only thing you could install would be a vapor barrier film. Double underlayments can cause issues with the joint integrity.

  32. Could I install the FloorMuffler underneath a pre-attached laminate flooring?

  33. Hi Cindy, thanks for your question. You should never use a double underlayment in a laminate installation. In this case, you should just use a moisture barrier film under your floors above the concrete. If you want to install the Quiet Walk, you will need to get a laminate flooring without an attached underlayment. Here is more details for the vapor barrier film:

  34. My condo association says that they require Quiet Walk underlayment to be used. However, the laminate flooring I’ve picked out has an underlayment pad already attached – do I still need to use the Quiet Walk? What about a moisture/vapor barrier? I’m installing on a concrete subfloor, but in a high rise building, so there’s not much direct exposure to moisture.

  35. Hi Dusty, yes this could be an issue. Not using laminate specific underlayment and using double underlayment can compromise the joint integrity of the laminate. This is why there is the spongy feel when you walk. Over time, the joints may loosen and you could have separation.

  36. When I pulled up the carpet, I found out the used an MDF board instead of plywood for the subfloor, some of the spills that happened in the room made that MDF swell up and made the floor uneven so I left the carpet pad down to help level out the floor & used the foam underlaminate over the carpet pad under the laminate I put down, is this going to be an issue? It has some spongy spots when you walk on it.

  37. Hi Tuba, thanks for your question. You should not install a cork underlayment underneath your vinyl flooring. Too much cushion will compromise the joint integrity. If your flooring did not have an attached underlayment, you could install a cork underlayment that is 6″ or less. Again, keep in mind the amount of cushion under the flooring is important to consider.

  38. Hello, my condo requires 73 ICC rating I bought a 12mm water resistant vinyl hardwood floor that includes a 2mm attached underlayment .
    My condo requires an 8mm cork underlayment on the 6″ concrete flooring. Can I install this combination? I am guessing I dont need another vapor barrier

  39. Hi AJ, thanks for your question. If you can find a vinyl with attached underlayment that meets the STC rating, that would be the easiest route! If not, you’ll need to look for an LVT specific underlayment with the 60 STC requirement.

  40. I have the same issue. Our minimum STC requirements are 60. Should we go with a vinyl plank that has attached backing (foam/rubber/cork) or should we use vinyl plank with no backing and go with Pergo Gold or Cali Complete?

  41. Denisse, I would highlyu suggest it to be safe, but technically you would not need it.

  42. I bought laminate flooring with underlayment to put in my basement (next to furnace and laundry) Do we still need vapor padding if my floor is vinyl tile over concrete? Thanks!

  43. Hello! If it is a decent amount of mouisture that you see on the subfloor, you would probably need to get that checked out first before attempting to lay the floor down.

  44. Signs where moisture has been on the sub wood flooring around the outer edges.
    Before putting down lifetime laminate with attached padding, should we use a moisture barrier underneath.
    What would you recommend

  45. Hey Mary! The first question would be to ask your HOA what their minimum STC requirements are. This could narrow down choices really quick. Let me know!

  46. My condo HOA requires carpet for all 2nd floors units, except kitchen, bath & bedrooms)for sound proofing for units below.
    I would like to do away with all carpet and am looking for the best flooring/underpayment that will not bother units below mine.
    I was looking at vinyl with foam or cork backing? I need answers A.S.A.P. Please HELP!!

  47. Hi Dean, thanks for reaching out. Generally speaking, we do not recommend installing additional underlayment beneath a floor that has a pre-attached pad. Too much underlayment can create too much cushioning, and lead to issues with your flooring such as buckling or joint damage. You can go ahead and install your new flooring directly on the subfloor. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  48. Hello,
    I’m installing click-lock laminate flooring with an attached pad over plywood subfloor, but the manufacturer states that additional padding CAN be added and recommends Pergo Gold. I’m not a fan of Pergo Gold underlayment and would prefer using QuietWalk instead. I reached out to the manufacturer with my question, but did not receive a reply. So, because the manufacturer specifically states that additional padding CAN be used, should I be safe adding additional underlayment (mostly to smooth out floor imperfections), and is their recommendation of Pergo Gold simply a “sponsored” recommendation … in other words, would any quality underlayment work just as well? Pergo Gold and QuietWalk are the same thickness (3mm).

    Thank you!

  49. Hi Allison, thanks for reaching out! We would recommend the Visqueen Vapor Block PE Film Flooring Underlayment for your project. It is currently out of stock, but we have an ETA of October 17, 2018 so you can certainly give us a call to pre-order! 1-800-520-0961

  50. Hi Michael, thanks for reaching out! We do not recommend installing additional underlayment, as this would create too much cushioning and could sacrifice the joint integrity of your flooring, as well as void your warranty. The only option we can recommend is to pull up your existing flooring and add a layer of rigid cork underlayment on your subfloor. We hope this helps, please let us know if you have any other questions!

  51. Where can fbis Visqueen Vapor Block PE Film Flooring Underlayment | 6MIL 100sf Be bought at? I clicked on the link but it’s available for purchase there I guess. Does Lowe’s or Home Depot have one that you would recommend? We are laying laminate with attached padding on concrete. Can you provide the link to the one you recommend?

  52. Hello,

    We had laminate installed with attached underlayment and have gotten noise complaints from the unit below. If we are asked to add additional acoustic insulation underneath, what should we do?

  53. Hi Melvin, thanks for reaching out! You cannot install laminate flooring on top of laminate flooring. Laminate is a floating floor that expands and contracts with temperature changes. If you have two layers of laminate, you risk that the floors will shift and you could run into buckling, separation and joint issues. We recommend pulling up the existing laminate and installing directly on the subfloor. Hope this helps!

  54. Melvin Curtis Jones

    I am putting laminate flooring on top of laminate flooring. The flooring I am laying has padding is that a problem?

  55. Hi Tim, thanks for your question. We would still recommend using one, as the edges and walls could still have a potential for moisture to become an issue. We’d rather you be safe than sorry!

  56. Hi
    I am getting ready to put 12mm laminate flooring with pre attached padding on my concrete floor that has peal and stick floor tile. Do I still need to use the vapor barrier?

  57. Thank you, Alana. I had someone look at my crawlspace and (as I knew) it’s totally dry and enclosed by the foundation. I was going to have him install plastic but he suggested a moisture absorber instead to see if that’s even necessary, which he doesn’t think it is.

  58. Hi Ann, great question. Although we do recommend a moisture barrier over crawl spaces, you will probably be OK in the climate you described. If your floor is completely waterproof, like a COREtec floor, moisture will probably not affect it. Just be sure to keep your home at a controlled temperature to avoid drastic fluctuations that could cause buckling or gaps.

  59. Along the same lines, I just had water-resistant laminate with attached padding installed in an area that is above a crawl space without a moisture barrier (the installer either forgot or didn’t believe me when I said that area was also above crawlspace, and I wasn’t paying attention). Now, I do live in a dry/semi-arid climate and the quite old, plank sub floor showed no signs of moisture issues.

    Should I expect any problems nevertheless?? I’m wondering if I should go ahead and order a few more boxes to have on hand for future problems. Sigh…

  60. Hi Kelsey, what subfloor did you install over? If you installed over plywood, you should have no issues. You could experience some over a concrete subfloor.

  61. Help…We just laid about 1000 ft of laminate click and lock wit padding attached, However we DID NOT use a vapor barrier….Is this going to be a big problem?

  62. Hi Patricia, thanks for the question! You should absolutely not glue the laminate to the concrete subfloor. Laminate is a floating floor, and it needs to be unrestricted to properly expand and contract with temperature changes. By restricting the planks ability to move, you can end up with damaged planks. With any concrete subfloor, you will need a vapor barrier underlayment to protect the floor from any moisture that may come up from the subfloor. You can find more information on installation here: Feel free to give us a call at 800-520-0961 if you have any additional questions on laminate flooring!

  63. My son said I should just glue the laminate floor to concrete floor without padding. Do you still need vapor padding. I haven’t picked out my floor yet but he says it makes flooring more stable and want buckle over time if I don’t have the padding put down. My son doesn’t lay flooring he was just giving advice. Is ok to lay laminate flooring down on concrete floor without padding.

  64. No problem, Maria! Also be sure to leave a proper expansion gap, so your floors have room to expand and contract. This could potentially be some of the issue as well. With laminate, you should be able to carefully un-click and reinstall the planks, as long as the locking system is not damaged. Feel free to let us know if you have any additional questions!

  65. Thank you so much. I do believe this is the problem. We have to take steps to have the flooring redone. I hope it is not damaged. The flooring store that sold it to us apparently did not give us the right information. It was Lumber Liquidators. We replaced the floors because of the flood.

  66. Hi Maria, thanks for your question. So it looks like you put additional underlayment under a plank that had attached underlayment, is that correct? Without seeing your floors, it seems like this could be the issue. Adding two layers of padding will reduce the integrity of your locking system. When the floors are overly cushioned, the floating system is not supported, and the flooring will sink into the cushion as you walk on it. This could be causing the creaking and cracking as you walk on it. The joints are more mobile due to extra cushioning. If possible, we’d recommend re-installing the flooring without additional underlayment. If you’re worried about moisture, opt for a film vapor barrier.

  67. We had 12 mm laminate flooring installed over concrete floors with a 4 or 5 mm liner called “Quiet Walk”. It is felt with a water proof backing. The problem is after about 2 months it began to creak and crack when we walk on it. The noise was minimal at first but has gotten much worse over time. What is wrong? We are thinking a not so good installation. The flooring has an attached backing. Than k you.

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