Do You Need Underlayment for Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is a popular option for homeowners because it offers the look of hardwood without the maintenance. But if you're planning to install laminate flooring in your home, you should know that underlayment is necessary to help protect your floors from moisture damage.
Today’s laminate floors are beautiful, durable and often look just like hardwood.
Laminate flooring is a great choice for many homeowners because it looks like real wood and stone but at a fraction of the cost. It's made of layers of material that look like wood or stone and are created with different textures on each side. The top layer is printed with a grain pattern, while the bottom layer has grooves in it to give the appearance of depth.
They come in an array of styles including oak, maple, walnut, and more! They can also be installed over existing concrete or tile surfaces so you don’t need to tear up your current floors when you install new laminate flooring!
But underneath the flooring, you’ll find a moisture barrier for the subfloor around your home.
To understand what underlayment is, you’ll first need to know a bit about floors. When you walk on laminate flooring, your weight presses upon it, creating an indentation that can damage the laminate flooring. The same thing happens when water seeps through the cracks in your subfloor and into the laminate flooring below. So underneath the flooring, you’ll find a moisture barrier for the subfloor around your home.
Underlayments work by absorbing excess moisture before it can seep into or onto your new laminate flooring—preventing damage from occurring in both places (as well as preventing mold from forming). They also help deaden sound while keeping things quiet so you aren't constantly hearing footsteps or other noises throughout your home as people walk around on top of them daily!
That brings us to our main point here.
If you're planning to install laminate flooring, you may be wondering if you need to purchase underlayment as well. The answer is yes—and no.
The "yes" part is pretty straightforward: when you're installing laminate flooring, it's important to have a solid foundation for your flooring. You don't want your new floors to warp or shift over time because they aren't resting on the right base. Laminate flooring requires a flat floor and an even surface so that it can lay down evenly and look great from start to finish.
However, the "no" part of this question is a little more complicated. Not all underlayments are created equal! If you're using a high-quality underlayment you should be able to get away with just one layer of underlayment—but if you use something less high-quality, it will probably require two layers of underlayment underneath your laminate flooring.
So how do you know which type of underlayment will work best for your project? The answer lies in two places: first, in how much noise your laminate flooring makes when walking across it; second, in what kind of wood species the laminate is made in. If you're installing a hardwood or engineered wood floor and you want to minimize the amount of noise that it makes when you walk across it, then one layer of underlayment should be enough to do the trick. However, if you're installing a softer wood like pine or cedar, then two layers of underlayment will be more effective at reducing noise than just one layer would be.
The second factor to consider is the thickness of your laminate flooring. If you're installing thin laminate flooring, then one layer of underlayment will be enough to prevent squeaks from developing between the subfloor and the laminate. However, if you're installing thicker laminate flooring (like 12mm or more), then two layers of underlayment should be used in order to take full advantage of their noise-reducing properties.
We hope this article has helped answer your questions about underlayment for laminate floors. The truth is, there’s no perfect answer for everyone. The best way to decide if you need underlayment is to weigh the pros and cons of each option based on your specific needs and preferences. But in general, we think that most people will find that a laminate floor with an attached moisture barrier will work just fine without any extra materials underneath it—especially if they install a high-quality brand like the brands we carry in-store here at Norman's Flooring in Stuttgart.