Unlike solid or engineered hardwood, laminate flooring installation requires an underlayment. Since laminate is a floating floor, it must be evenly distributed across the subfloor. The underlayment is what allows the floor to float, rather than being glued or nailed down to the subfloor. Underlayment provides stability, support, noise reduction and supports the locking systems in between laminate planks to assure the sturdy installation. There are a number of different underlayment options. Don’t worry, you don’t need to become an underlayment expert. Your Flowers Flooring estimator or sales representative will make recommendations for underlayment based on your specific needs.
The best way to determine which underlayment needed for your installation is by looking at your subfloor. The two most common subfloors are wood and concrete.
Wood Subfloor – If you have a wood subfloor, Flowers Flooring recommends using a standard or premium underlayment. The difference between the two is premium underlayment has noise reduction and cushion capabilities.
Cement Subfloor – If you have a concrete subfloor, Flowers Flooring recommends using a vapor underlayment. This protects your flooring from any moisture that could seep up from the cement subfloor. In addition, you should also use a felt or standard underlayment over the vapor underlayment.
Exceptions – There’s always an exception to the rule. Now, many laminate floors have underlayment already attached directly to the plank. If you purchase a laminate flooring that has underlayment already attached, you should not use extra underlayment. Having to much underlayment or cushion can destroy the integrity of the locking system and cause the floor to become unstable.