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  • Writer's pictureNorman Floorcovering

Why Underlayment Matters

Underlayment is a crucial part of any hardwood flooring installation, but it's often overlooked. Some homeowners believe they can skip it altogether, while others just want to know what it is so they can tell their contractor which kind to purchase. Here's the truth: when you're installing hardwood floors (and, yes, even engineered hardwood), you need an underlayment. In fact, if you want your floors to last and look good for years to come, buying quality underlayment and having someone experienced to install it is essential. Let's explore why underlayment matters in any hardwood flooring project:

Underlayment is:

A thin layer of material that lays on top of the subfloor to provide additional smoothness, prevent moisture damage, and enable healthy mold prevention.

Installing underlayment is a crucial part of the flooring process.

Installing underlayment is a very important part of the flooring process.

While underlayment is not always necessary for every kind of flooring, it can be one of the most important factors in determining how long your floors will last. If you're installing hardwood or laminate floors, chances are you'll want to install underlayment as well.

Moisture damage is one of the most common problems with installing flooring without underlayment.

Moisture can come from the subfloor, which may be damaged or simply not dry enough after construction to withstand a significant amount of weight. Even if your flooring doesn't have a moisture barrier, moisture can still get in through gaps in the joints between boards and other mistakes during installation.

Underlayment prevents this by creating an additional layer that blocks access to any part of your subfloor that isn't completely dry and ready for installation. Underlayment also helps prevent buckling when moisture gets trapped below it, keeping everything flat so you don't have any wavy floors!

The quality of your underlayment can create a noticeable difference in the room's acoustics.

Now, you might be wondering: Why does underlayment matter? Well, it can make a big difference in your room's acoustics.

Underlayment is the layer of material that you put down before your flooring goes on top. It helps add comfort and stability to your floors—and also provides an extra layer of sound dampening by reducing noise from footsteps, furniture moving around on the floor, and even squeaking noises caused by movement between different types of materials. You may not notice these things when you're standing still or walking very slowly across them; however, having poor underlayment could lead to an unpleasant experience when someone tries out some high-energy dance moves in your home.

Underlayment is not always necessary for every kind of flooring.

Underlayment is not always necessary for every kind of flooring, but it's usually a good idea. Some types of flooring require underlayment in order to provide the correct amount of support and insulation. For example, hardwood flooring is soft and can dent easily if there's not enough cushion underneath it. That's why you need to install underlayment before laying down your hardwood flooring.

If you're using tile on top of concrete subflooring or a new wood subfloor (like plywood), then you'll need to install either cement board or another type of substrate before laying down any tile. This material provides an extra layer between the concrete or wood, making sure that no moisture enters into direct contact with those surfaces while also allowing them to breathe properly as they dry out after installation.

There should be a gap between all walls and underlayment when installing it.

You should leave a gap between the wall and underlayment when installing it. There should be at least 1/2 inch of space between your walls and underlayment to prevent moisture damage. If the gap is too small, then there won't be enough room for air to flow through and moisture will build up in your walls.

Considering underlayment is essential for every flooring project you do.

Before you start laying down your new flooring, ask yourself:

  • Is the subfloor level? If your subfloor isn't level, then underlayment will help to eliminate any bumps in your new floor. It can also help protect against moisture damage and promote healthy mold prevention.

  • Is my home/room prone to moisture problems? Underlayment can help prevent moisture damage by making sure that water doesn't seep through to the surface below.


We hope that this article has helped you learn more about underlayment and why it is so important to your flooring project. It’s not enough to just buy a new floor for your home; you also need to make sure that it is properly installed. By adding an extra layer of protection underneath your laminate flooring, hardwood or vinyl planks, you can ensure that they will last longer and look better while providing additional benefits like soundproofing the room. If you are interested in learning more about underlayment options available at Norman's in Stuttgart, don't hesitate to contact us today!

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