Blog Header - Ask Bob & Betsy

Can You Put Down Two Layers of Laminate Flooring Underlayment to Reduce Noise Pollution?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I’m laying a laminate floor in a room with no insulation below or above. There’s a basement beneath the room and a ceiling without insulation above it. I’m worried about noise. Can I put down two layers of laminate flooring underlayment to increase the sound absorption?
– Patricia A. 

Dear Patricia,

Underlayment is an essential part of any flooring project. Not only does it add a barrier of protection between your subfloor and the planks of laminate, but it also reduces noise. Some types of underlayment even help to keep moisture out of your room.

In rooms where noise is a concern, such as yours with a basement below and a ceiling without insulation above, it makes sense that you’d like to take extra steps to reduce sound. However, adding a double layer of laminate flooring underlayment isn’t the ideal solution.

Manufacturers of underlayment say that adding two layers of this essential product can actually do more harm than good. The underlayment can shift while you’re walking on it. Over time, this can also cause the planks of laminate flooring to shift. As they do, you’ll start to hear squeaking sounds from the flooring rubbing against each other. Over the lifetime of your flooring, this can cause further damage, reducing the quality of your laminate.

How to Install Floor Muffler Ultraseal Underlayment

Since noise is a concern, we suggest getting a three-in-one underlayment. This is the thickest style of underlayment, so it provides the maximum level of sound absorption.

Three-in-one underlayment products also block moisture. This could prove extremely helpful to you because there is a basement below without added protection against leaks or spills.

For more help choosing the best underlayment for your product, talk to one of our flooring experts. We’re available by chat, email or phone.

Check out three-in-one underlayment installation tutorials:

About Bob and Betsy

Bob and Betsy
Bob and Betsy are the dynamic duo that have all the answers for your flooring related questions! Don't hesitate to submit a question to them at support@bestlaminate.com!

14 comments

  1. Alana Kane

    Hi Andrea, thanks for the question. I am going to take a guess that they will require a product that meets those requirements solely. Adding products together will not make a higher STC rating.

  2. Avatar

    Hello – We have just removed all the wall to wall carpeting from the main rooms of our recently purchased condo. The floors are all concrete. We want to install a VLT with an STC rating of 62 (cork back), and an IIC rating of 62 over a foam underlayment with an STC rating of 67, and IIC of 68.
    The Condo board requires an STC of 72, IIC of 71. Can you tell me if this combination would meet the Condo STC and IIC requirements?

  3. Alana Kane

    Hi Noe, thanks for the question. Adding too much padding will cause joint integrity issues and can lead to floors coming apart at the edges due to too much pressure on the joint. I would recommend leveling the subfloor with either leveling compound or additional subflooring.

  4. Avatar

    My house is an old house, and thefloor has a small slope going from middle to wall, I was thinking about putting a 3 m and 3 m underpayment up where the slope is and go back with 3 m , would that cause problems later on

  5. Alana Kane

    Hi Nina, what type of material is it? For a floating laminate or hardwood, it is recommended to lay underlayment over a level subfloor. If the sound proofing is a type of cushion, then laying underlayment over it can be too much padding and affect the joint stability. In this case, yes you would need to remove it and get an underlayment that has sound proofing built in.

  6. Avatar

    Hi, I want to lay a wood or laminate flooring in my hall and lounge. I live in an upper floor retirement apartment which has already got a top quality soundproofing glued to the concrete floor. I’ve been told I’d have to remove this before laying any kind of wood type flooring as it can cause the planking to shift and will negate the guarantee ? Is this absolutely necessary ? Any advice would be welcome as I’m getting more and more confused over what to do ? Many thanks Nina

  7. Alana Kane

    Hi Jeannetta, thanks for the question. First of all, I would make sure your basement is completely fixed and sealed to avoid any potential moisture damage in the future. Although vinyl is waterproof, mold and mildew can still become an issue if you have water under the planks. I would recommend looking into SPC or WPC vinyl for this. They have a solid core that will keep the floor a more mild temperature. You can also add an underlayment beneath 4mm or thicker planks to help with the thermal properties. You can check out our options here: https://www.bestlaminate.com/vinyl-plank-flooring/search-by-construction/spc/; https://www.bestlaminate.com/vinyl-plank-flooring/search-by-construction/wpc/

  8. Avatar

    What would be the best laminate flooring for a concrete basement floor? We have had some water damage before and would like to use a solid vinyl flooring if possible but we are worried about it being really cold in the winter.

  9. Alana Kane

    Hi Sherry, thanks for your question! Your best bet would be a vinyl floor with an attached underlayment. Although these floors do have some chemicals involved, they are FloorScore certified for low emissions and are healthy to have in your home! You can browse our selection here: https://www.bestlaminate.com/vinyl-plank-flooring/

  10. Avatar

    I am concerned about products being in flooring that causes cancer. I need to replace flooring that came in my brand new mobile home because of that. The new flooring will be in both bathrooms and a
    Kitchen area. I’m not rich so it will have to be affordable. Also challenging is it has to be soft for the feet as I have very sensitive feet and im.on them alot! What is my choice?

  11. Alana Kane

    Hi, thanks for your question! If you are going with a laminate featuring attached underlayment, you should not put any additional cushioning under it. This will weaken the joints of the locking system. If you’re looking for sound reduction and cushion, we’d recommend choosing a laminate without attached underlayment and buy an underlayment with specific sound and vapor protection properties. Here are some recommendations: http://www.bestlaminate.com/vapor-3-in-1-underlayment-silver-100-sq.ft-roll/; http://www.bestlaminate.com/floor-muffler-ultraseal-2mm-underlayment/ or http://www.bestlaminate.com/bestlaminate-felt-cushion-premium-underlayment-with-vapor-barrier-100sf-roll/. You may also want to consider getting installation quotes from local flooring installers and contractors to compare the price of installation if that is a big factor in the decision. Hope this helps!

  12. Avatar

    Dear Bob and Betsy,
    We are trying to decide on laminate flooring from two different places and have them install it. It is Pergo Outlast with attached underlayment from Home Depot and Dream Home without attached underlayment from Lumber Liquidators. If we go with the Pergo should we add felt or additional underlayment for soundproofing and insulation? The basement ceiling is not insulated also. We do want a good grade as we have a dog and two cats which get very playful at times. The Dream Home is about $1500 more because of the installation price difference. Need help!!!

  13. Alana Kane

    Hi Malcolm, thanks for reaching out. We only sell and ship within the USA, so we cannot be of help! Try searching Floor Muffler’s site for a retailer near you: http://www.floormuffler.com/

  14. Avatar
    Malcolm Campbell

    Hello, do you have a UK supplier for floor fuller as the noise ratings are excellent for the thickness
    Many thanks
    Malcolm