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Best Underlay for Laminate Flooring

Posted: 28th May 2019

Best Underlay for Laminate Flooring image

One of the key steps when buying and installing laminate flooring in your home is choosing the correct underlay product to be laid ahead of the floor itself.

Underlay acts as an extra insulator for your laminate floor, ensuring extra warmth in the winter as traditionally laminate flooring does not provide the highest insulation level in the floor itself.

Laminate flooring generally does not come any thicker than in 12mm boards, which can make it vulnerable to damage long-term if it is not accompanied by a suitable underlay product.

What is laminate flooring underlay?

Underlay is the spongy plastic foam sheet that comes in rolls. It is rolled between the actual laminate flooring boards and the subfloor.

As far we are concerned, underlayment is not something which should be considered optional.

If your laminate floorboards don’t already have an underlay attached, it’s recommended to buy underlay on which to install your laminate floor.

How important is laminate flooring underlay?

Having a properly laid underlay for your laminate flooring is highly important to ensuring the long-term look and practicality for your floor.

Underlay does two things that are crucial to the laying of a laminate floor:

·         Underlay evens out any minor differences in the levelling of the subfloor

·         Installing an underlay will give you a less noisy floor

How to choose the best underlay for your home

But what exactly is the best underlay for laminate flooring? The answer ultimately depends on the type of room you are looking to lay the floor on.

Laminate flooring generally does not come any thicker than in 12mm boards, which can make it vulnerable to damage long-term if it is not accompanied by a suitable underlay product.

For rooms and areas in your home which will be getting more traffic, choosing the best underlay will revolve around which product provides more resistance and allows for less noise through sound absorbant underlays.

For areas which will perhaps have less footfall in your home, such as a spare bedroom or an attic, a more budget-friendly alternative would be a sufficient option.

In general, most types of underlay will be suitable with laminate flooring, as laminate flooring is fitted as a floating floor, with no need to be fixed with nails, glues or staples. 

XPS Underlay – ideal for living rooms and upstairs rooms

XPS foam is an insulation board manufactured of fully recyclable material. It is produced from foamed polystyrene, a material that does not deteriorate. 

As you will not be wasting heat through your floor you will utilize your energy in an effective manner and thereby lower your energy consumption and carbon footprint. 

In addition the boards have an excellent sound insulating effect, which makes the floor quieter to walk on and an ideal product for use when you need to reduce sound transmission to the room below.

Duralay Timbermate – versatile across several room types

The Duralay Timbermate range of specialist underlays for wood and laminate flooring offers some of the best noise reducing performance in the industry. It includes the best-selling sponge rubber brands Timbermate Excel and Silentfloor Gold.

All the products in Duralay’s Timbermate range reduce in-room noise by 30 per cent and are suitable for use with underfloor heating. For commercial installations and particularly heavy-wear areas such as hotel receptions and corridors, airport and offices.

White Foam – budget alternative for rooms with less traffic

The thermal and sound insulating properties of this product makes this one of the best value-for-money underlays in the market.

From prices as little as £1 per square meter, this basic white underlay provides everything you would need in an underlay product for a laminate floor – at a fraction of the price.

Pro Multi Underlay – the all-round option

MULTI Adhesive Underlay is the next generation in underlay for engineered and solid wood floors, but can also be used for laminate floors.

 It is a sound reducing, thermal insulating underlay incorporating a strong adhesive coating which will change the way fitters install floors in a home or commercial space.

FAQ - Will carpet work like a laminate flooring underlay?

No – we would not recommend using a carpet product as an underlay so these items must be removed prior to installation. This is for the same reason adding additional padding is not recommended.

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