5 Best Underlayment for Laminate Flooring on Concrete (Including Installation)
Best Underlayment for Laminate Flooring on Concrete
Many homeowners today are considering the flooring options for their new home. Laminate flooring is something to be considered, to put down in your kitchen or family area.
There are many different styles of floors and even more than that there are many different types of laminate floors.
Whether you decide on a solid surface, such as tile or vinyl, or a parquet style laminate flooring; there are numerous choices available to fit your style and budget.
The laminate flooring installation, however, is a very important part of this process. The decision to install laminate flooring has to be made carefully and it’s even more important that it is installed correctly.
It would be very easy to make the wrong choice when choosing new laminate flooring, or for your installer to use the wrong installation method.
This article will show you all the issues with installing laminate flooring, including the common mistakes homeowners make when installing this type of flooring, as well as what to look for and where to find the best laminate underlayment for your floor.
When you consider laminate flooring, you should first consider safety. Laminate floors can be very slippery in wet conditions, so it is important to make sure your installation plan includes proper safety measures for yourself and your family.
When installing laminate flooring you need to be very careful. If you are not experienced with the installation process, you could end up doing more harm than good.
The first step for installing a new laminate floor is choosing the right underlayment. The underlayment will provide some comfort to you and your family as well as protect your sub floor from moisture and wear and tear.
The next step would be to choose a type of laminate floor that is suited for your home’s needs.
Best Underlayment for Laminate Flooring on Concrete
There are many different flooring types available for you to choose from and today more than ever there is a wide variety of laminate flooring available. The best underlayment for these types of floors are:
1. Cork Underlayment
Cork underlayment is a natural product that reduces sound. It is very soft and comfortable on bare feet, but it can get slippery when wet.
This type of underlayment absorbs moisture, which means it will protect the subfloor from wear and tear.
Cork also has antibacterial characteristics, making it good for people with allergies, albeit it is not moisture resistant.
While cork underlayment can be used in any room, you should consider installing a vapor barrier in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
2. Rubber Underlayment
Rubber underlayment helps to reduce the noise coming from your floor. It also reduces vibration through your floor boards and to your floors below as well as providing comfort for those living in the house.
Rubber is an underlayment that is often disregarded in the flooring industry, and it is usually not on a homeowner’s radar when they are thinking about putting laminate flooring.
It is, in fact, the best sort of underlayment for noise, and solid rubber underlay can even outperform cork and fiber-based materials in this regard.
3. Felt Underlayment
Felt is a very versatile type of underlayment that can be used in many different situations. Felt, as the name implies, is made of felt material that can be purchased in small squares, usually less than an inch and a half thick.
It is harvested from the softest wool fibers and can be used to make underlay for any type of flooring.
The pros we feel about felt underlayment are its low cost and ease of use. Felt underlayment offers good sound reduction properties while also making your floor comfortable to walk on.
The underlayment also has a vapor barrier built in to help protect your wooden or laminated flooring from dampness.
Felt is the best underlayment for laminate flooring on concrete.
To install your flooring correctly, you will also need to consider the proper length of your screws. You should check the manufacturer’s instructions before purchasing them.
Screws that are too long could damage a laminate floor if they reach the substrate or subfloor. A good screw length for laminate floors is 3 inches.
Also, be sure to install your underlayment so that it is flush with the surface of your subfloor. When the underlayment is installed this way, it helps to protect the flooring materials from moisture.
4. Foam Underlayment
A black or gray polyethylene foam is an effective type of underlayment for laminate flooring.
This type of foam is also the best comfort underlayment, having a soft feel that will allow you to walk on your floor without hearing every step you take.
It also keeps the floor cooler in the summer, which helps keep it from warping or contracting.
Foam does come with its disadvantages though. The biggest disadvantage we feel about this type of underlayment is its cost.
In the long run, this is the most expensive type of underlayment and is not recommended if you are planning a large laminate flooring project.
One benefit we feel about foam, though, is its insulation value. Foam is the best underlayment for laminate flooring when you want to soundproof your floor or keep heat within your home.
Foam also needs to be properly sealed in order for it to be effective.
5. Vinyl-Backed Underlay
Vinyl-backed underlayment is the best type of underlayment for a laminate flooring installation. Vinyl-backed underlayment is a very popular type of underlayment.
It can keep moisture out and it meets ADA guidelines as well as sound reduction specifications.
Another great feature about vinyl-backed flooring is that it comes in many different shades and styles that will help you to create the look you desire for your home.
One disadvantage about vinyl-backed flooring is its cost, as it is the most expensive option available to you. In addition, it cannot be used in cold environments or areas that are subject to moisture.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to installing a laminate floor is that you should always remember to seal the seams of your room carefully.
Sealing these seams can help you avoid leaks and spills that can cause considerable damage to your new floors.
How To Choose The Most Appropriate Laminate Underlayment
If you want to protect your floors make sure you choose a proper underlayment that can handle your lifestyle.
Here are factors to consider when selecting a laminate underlayment’s;
1. Cost of Underlayment
As with any type of flooring, the quality of your underlayment plays a tremendous role in its ability to protect your floors and keep them in good condition.
The cost of the underlayment is always a factor that you should think about before you choose one, but it is not the only factor you should consider.
When choosing an underlayment for your laminate flooring project, it is important to choose one that meets the standards of the ADA.
2. Sound Absorption
Underlayment has the ability to absorb sound. This is a crucial factor when considering underlayment for your laminate flooring project.
If you are installing new laminate flooring, then you should go with an underlayment that isn’t too noisy. Noise is one of the biggest disadvantages when it comes to laminate flooring; noise can make it hard for people upstairs or downstairs to sleep while in their homes.
3. Flooring Installation
Underlayment should also be considered when it comes to flooring installation.
The installation process of laminate flooring is quite easy if you know how to do it and have the right tools.
Make sure you are comfortable with the way you will install laminate flooring before purchasing an underlayment so that you get a good result.
4. Comfort of Flooring
Underlayment should be chosen based on the comfort of your laminate floor, but there are other factors to take into consideration as well. For laminate flooring, we recommend a 3 – 5mm underlay.
To give comfort and ground leveling properties, it should be at least 3mm thick. However, it should be no thicker than 8mm.
Do you have carpeted floors or hardwood floors nearby? Do you want to be able to clean your floor easily or do you want a more stain-resistant underlayment?
The walkability of your new laminate flooring will depend on the surface texture and type of laminate, but something else you need to take into consideration when choosing a type of underlayment is the walk score.
Underlayment should also be chosen based on things like whether or not your pets are active, the size of your house and if you will be installing more laminate floors in the future.
6. Moisture Resistance
After installation your underlayment can become a source of moisture. The amount of moisture that is created should be taken into consideration when selecting an underlayment for the laminate flooring project.
Selection of an underlayment that can resist moisture will help you to avoid moisture related issues and increase the life of your flooring.
Underlayment should also be chosen based on thermal ratings. Laminate flooring is an eco-friendly flooring option, but there are some disadvantages when it comes to its thermal properties.
8. Additional Benefits
While some underlayments are versatile and can be used in many different situations there are some that can provide certain benefits that other types of underlayments cannot;
Underlayments with noise reduction qualities can make your floors quieter, which is great if you have children or other people living in your home.
Underlayment should be something you take into consideration when installing a new floor. Cork underlay is one of the best types on the market today and as many people know, it comes with its own sound reduction properties.
Instead of just replacing your flooring, you can take care of almost all the damage that has happened to your floor without even having to replace it.
If you are thinking about trying this method, it is very important for you to follow the instructions and guidelines that come with your cork underlayment. If you do not, there is a chance that your installed floors will not be reliable.
Underlayment For Laminate Flooring FAQs
1. What is the purpose of underlayment for laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a flooring option that is eco-friendly, but this type of flooring makes your home hotter.
Underlayment will help you keep the temperature of your home cool by providing an effective barrier between the heat produced from your home and your new laminate floors.
Underlayment also ensures that humidity does not damage your new floors and makes it easier for you to install them into existing homes.
2. What are the things You Should Know About Underlayment for Laminate Flooring?
Underlayment for laminate flooring is a very important thing to consider before you buy a laminate floor. The right underlayment can make all the difference in your life.
Underlayment has a lot of qualities that need to be considered before purchase.
- Type of Underlayment
Underlayment has three main types: foam underlayment, vinyl-backed underlayment and carpet-backed underlayment.
- Size of Underlayment
There are many different sizes of each type of underlayment on the market today. The size of your laminate flooring is an important factor when choosing an underlayment; your size needs should be considered before the purchase.
Underlayment can vary in price depending on the quality of the underlayment. The cost of underlayment includes the labor and material needed to install it.
- Moisture Resistance
Underlayment will help your laminate flooring to resist moisture and keep it in good condition for a longer period of time, but how much moisture resistance is needed?
- Thermal Ratings and Fire Ratings
Underlayment can be used in different areas of your home and offer a host of benefits. For example, an underlayment will provide you with thermal protection for your floors.
Another great quality of underlayment is fire ratings; it can provide you with fire resistance that is crucial when installing laminate flooring.
- Comfort and Noise Reduction
Underlayment should be chosen according to the comfort of the flooring you are installing, but there are other factors to take into consideration as well.
3. Do you need a moisture barrier for laminate flooring on concrete?
Laminate flooring is such a great flooring option because of the hardwood feel, but it can make your home more humid and may be a problem if you have moisture-prone floors.
If your home has moisture-prone floors and you are installing laminate, you will need underlayment to help protect the flooring.
Underlayment for laminate flooring on concrete is also something that will help to protect your laminate from moisture damage and help keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Regardless of whatever underlayment you use, whether you’re putting on a moisture-prone subfloor or a concrete subfloor, you’ll require a moisture barrier underlayment.
Install moisture barrier underlayment to protect your laminate flooring from moisture for years to come.
4. What is the best underlayment for laminate flooring over concrete?
Laminate flooring over concrete is one of the best flooring options because it offers so many benefits. Underlayment for laminate flooring on concrete is necessary to protect your laminate flooring from moisture damage.
Every type of underlayment has different characteristics and properties that will help your laminate floors to stay protected over time. It is important to choose the best underlayment for your floors and install it correctly.
Foam and cork underlayment’s are the best underlayment for laminate flooring. Foam is the best underlay for laminate flooring because it is easy to install, provides an excellent sound barrier, and is inexpensive.
Some of the greatest foams contain an additional layer that serves as the best moisture barrier.
5. What are the best properties of underlayment for laminate flooring over concrete?
A: People in home improvement stores have many options when it comes to choosing laminate flooring for your home.
Laminate flooring over concrete is one of the best flooring options because it offers so many benefits. Underlayment for laminate flooring over concrete is necessary to protect your laminate floors from moisture damage.
Every type of underlayment has different characteristics and properties that will help your laminate floors to stay protected over time.
6. What is the best thickness for laminate flooring underlay?
A: It is important to choose the best thickness for your laminate flooring, and that depends on the type of laminate you are installing.
If you are installing laminate flooring over concrete, you should choose a layer of underlayment that is at least ½ inch thick.
A foam underlayment should be 1/8-inch to ¼ -inch thick, according to the manufacturer, while cork underlayment’s are commonly much thicker than this. Some companies will provide guidelines as to the minimum layer thickness needed for installation instructions.
7. What is the best thermal insulation under laminate flooring?
Most homeowners prefer to install laminate in their homes because of the softwood feel and appearance. Laminate offers a warm, rich wood-like look that many homeowners enjoy.
Underlayment is necessary when installing laminate flooring because it acts as a thermal insulator and helps your floors to remain comfortable in any season. Underlayment for laminate flooring is also important because it keeps out dirt, dust, and moisture that can damage your floors over time.
For many clients looking to buy an insulating underlay, tog ratings are the most significant consideration. A higher tog value indicates that the underlay will perform better in keeping a room warm.
A high-tog underlay can make a significant difference in cold concrete flooring or draughty floorboards. It will not only keep warm air from departing, but it will also function as a barrier to cold air seeking to enter.
Underlayment should always be considered when installing laminate flooring. The type of underlayment that you choose will play a role in the life of your floors and the amount of life they can have.
Always choose an underlayment that is ADA compliant, has sound absorption properties, and is compatible with your type of flooring.