Underlayment refers to the thin, flexible sheet of resilient material that is installed over the subfloor before laying a new laminate floor. Think of your subfloor as the foundational support of the room, and the underlayment as the foundation for the laminate flooring. Not only does it help to level the floor it also cushions the laminate planks and helps reduce noise. It is important to follow the laminate flooring manufacturer’s recommendations for underlayment materials this way you can keep your warranty intact. Some products even come with an attached pad these days, eliminating the need for you to have to decide on the underlayment. Easy-peasy if you ask us!
Here are a few of the different types of underlayments available:
- Standard Foam: the most commonly used type that consists of a thin strip of foam material that serves as the cushion between the subfloor and the laminate flooring
- Combination Foam: this is a type of underlayment that combines standard foam with a vapor barrier layer that helps protect the installation from rising moisture
- Cork: when noise reduction is a priority – you may want to consider cork underlayment; it also has natural anti-microbial characteristics