Laminate flooring is an affordable alternative to hardwood and has gained popularity over the years. This material is based with composite wood particles and finished with photographed laminate imaging on the surface. The underlayment plays a vital role in how well the flooring will sustain heavy traffic and enhance the insulation.
This post highlights certain factors about underlayment you must consider to ensure you get the best results when choosing laminate flooring.
Types of Underlayment
There are different types of underlayment which are suitable for laminate flooring. Standard foam underlayment is the most common choice, but it’s not suitable for high-moisture areas. Combination foam comes with a vapour barrier as well, making it the best option for most homes. If noise reduction is your primary requirement, cork underlayment is an ideal choice and it also has natural anti-microbial properties.
The choice of underlayment depends on the type of sub-floor you will be installing it on. If it’s made of concrete, moisture retention can become a major problem. Since concrete is porous, it allows water to seep inside, which can loosen the adhesive, trigger mould and mildew growth and warped tiles. A subfloor that acts as a vapour or moisture barrier is the ideal choice in this situation.
On the other hand, you must also avoid a moisture barrier when installing standard plywood, since it’s a natural material that needs to breathe. Moisture that gets trapped into this type of flooring can cause more damage than good.
Heat conductivity is also referred to as the R-value of the material. The lower the R-value, the less insulation it provides. When this level is high, it increases the warmth of the floor, making it more comfortable to walk on.
Noise Reduction and Health Benefits
Most types of underlayment help reduce noise from footsteps, which makes it an ideal option in certain areas such as bedrooms and offices. If you’re living in an apartment or condo, choose an underlayment with high noise reduction so that it’s not transferred to people on the floor below.
Underlayment with anti-microbial properties will ensure you don’t face hazards like mould and mildew growth. Materials such as cork has this natural property, which is why it’s known for its health benefits.
Certain varieties of laminate flooring come with underlayment material already attached on the backside of the planks or tiles. In such cases, you don’t need additional underlayment to be installed separately. However, if you have a concrete sub-floor, you must consider a vapour barrier since the pre-attached padding doesn’t generally this property.
If you want thermal conductivity, sound reduction, and other similar properties, invest in laminate flooring without attached underlayment. Purchase an underlayment option that fits your criteria separately to get the maximum benefits.
When installed with proper underlayment, laminate flooring can be the perfect flooring solution for any home. Now that you know what to consider when buying the appropriate materials, come and explore the options we offer at AA Floors. We provide the best deals in underlayment and laminate flooring in Toronto.