Home Underlayment Do I Need Laminate Flooring Underlayment?

Do I Need Laminate Flooring Underlayment?

by Bestlaminate
Published: Updated: 31 comments 3 minutes read

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

Which Underlayment should I use?

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

How To Install 2in1 Vapor Barrier Floor Underlayment: Inspect your 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:

Browse a wide selection of underlayment for laminate flooring now.


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:

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31 comments

Deborah Ellabarger December 9, 2022 - 3:16 am

I am going to have to replace new wood under my new snap lock due to a water leak and it sagging, My question is the new snap lock (Trq XD RAIL TIE OAK 4MM CLICK) I just Purchased, it is water proof and scratch proof, but it does not have attached pad, so do I need I a underlayment if I do what thickness and gives the floor comfortable feeling when you walk on it and low chemicals and I will be using this through out my entire home, even in the wet areas and do I need a moisture barrier under the layment as well. First I was told I needed under my new snap the underlayment ( 100291179/silent LVT/1123/20/12/03/2022 which I did Purchase already and LL Flooring said I need to Purchase a moisture barrier, but I wonder if it is necessary under the underlayment? 2nd question I was told I by the person that I spoke to about installing the floor, told me I didn’t need the underlayment or moisture barrier, so could tell me if I should have the underlayment and moisture both put under my new snap lock or do not bother with one or the other or not at all. My crawl space is being repaired with new Installation and so it has been dried out and the 2 leaks have been fixed. I just need to know what to put under My new snap lock to protect my new investment
Thank You, Mrs. Ellabarger

Reply
Rachel Vahcic December 13, 2022 - 3:42 pm

Thanks for your question, Deborah. We are not familiar with the product you purchased, we would suggest contacting the manufacturer to get more information on what is needed for a proper installation. If you have underlayment already that is suited for your flooring, you could use a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from the subfloor.

Reply
paul torrey January 27, 2019 - 9:10 am

I purchased a laminate floor with a backing attached. I am installing over a plank flooring on the second floor of my home. Do I still need to put a barrier or some form of sub-flooring down first.

Reply
Alana Kane January 31, 2019 - 2:29 pm

Hi Paul, thanks for your question! As long as your plywood subfloor is in good condition, you do not need any extra vapor protection! You will be fine with just the attached underlayment that comes with your laminate. Let us know if you have any other questions!

Reply
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