How to Choose the Best Underlay For Your Laminate Flooring
Looking to lay laminate flooring but don’t know which underlay you need? Check out our guide for which underlayment is best for you.
It’s no wonder why laminate flooring is one of the most popular and well-loved options for homeowners. It’s cost-effective, hard-wearing, and available in a multitude of different colours, finishes, and effects to suit any.
Just like with carpet, laminate flooring requires an underlay to help it last as long as possible and perform better once it’s laid. Without an underlay, the joins between the planks experience more pressure and you run the risk of your flooring developing problems because of this. Not to mention it will be noisy to walk on too.
While some models of laminate floors come with built-in underlay, it’s well worth the investment if they don’t. You may experience higher initial costs, but it will add years to the life of your floor and will also help to insulate it, saving you money in the long run.
Which kind of underlay is best for laminate flooring?
The type of underlay you choose can be dictated by the room in which the floor will be fitted. You can find underlayment for laminate flooring in a variety of different materials ranging from basic foam and sponge rubber to fibreboard. You’ll want to choose the underlay depending on your needs – some can help to soundproof, others will help to protect against damp, and others still will help to even out irregular subfloors.
For lower traffic areas where the chance of damp is minimal, such as guest bedrooms or converted loft spaces, a basic foam underlay for laminate flooring may suffice. On the other hand, if it’s a high-traffic area, such as a living room or kitchen, a thicker underlay, or one that helps to soundproof, might be the best option.
Foam or fibreboard underlay?
Let’s go into more detail about the types of underlay and why you should choose each option.
When it comes to choosing fibre board underlay vs foam underlay, the choice might be simpler than you expected. Foam underlay comes in rolls and is a great entry-level choice for your new floors. It’s affordable and is ideal for laying over all types of subfloors. For concrete subfloors, make sure you opt for an underlay that has a vapour barrier to prevent damp from affecting your floors. The only con to choosing foam underlay is that the subfloor needs to be completely level otherwise you risk putting excess pressure on the joints in the laminate flooring.
Fibreboard on the other hand comes in packs of solid sheets and is usually much thicker than foam. It’s important to make sure your subfloor is as flat as possible before laying laminate flooring but that’s not always possible and this is where fibreboard has its benefits. Where subfloors have a small discrepancy of up to a couple millimetres, you can lay fibreboard to help even it out. Fibreboard underlayment has the added benefit of offering extra insulation and soundproofing so is ideal for areas that see a lot of traffic in your home.
We hope this guide has helped you work out what kind of underlayment you will need for your new laminate floors. Check out our full range of foam underlay as well as our selection of fibreboard underlay and don’t forget to pick up your new laminate flooring from our extensive collection as well. Make sure you check out our blog on the Most Common Mistakes Made When Laying Laminate Flooring to ensure the installation of your new floors goes perfectly.