Vinyl Flooring Underlayment
In the process of flooring installation, you will come across the term underlayment. It is one of the components of flooring. The structure of floor typically consists of –
- Joist – It is the first layer, generally wooden foundation below the subfloor.
- Subfloor – The upper layer that provides firm support for flooring and structure.
- Underlayment – This layer serves as the buffer layer between subfloor and the surface. It offers stability to top flooring.
Flooring underlayment is the thin, hard layer that offers smooth and stable surface to fix top finished flooring. Flooring underlayment products are made of different materials like fiberboards, cement board, plywood, rubber, and cork. But ½” to ¼” plywood is widely used for vinyl flooring.
When To Install Underlayment
It is not necessary that underlayment is essential in every vinyl flooring installation. It depends on the quality of subfloor or flooring requirements. Flooring installation needs smooth, leveled surface. In case of renewal of flooring or when subfloor is in bad condition, it is difficult to fix it with embossing leveler. In such case, underlayment is used. It provides smooth and balanced surface for flooring installation. If the flooring is installed on weak, cracked subfloor, very soon the flooring will have uneven surface and it will not last longer. So, underlayment is important component of flooring to make it stable, even and durable. In most new constructions, sub floor is good enough to install top flooring without the need of underlayment. However, there are also other added benefits to install underlayment.
Benefits of Flooring Underlayment
Underlayment ensures even and perfect flooring. Installation of underlayment offers various benefits like –
- It provides good stability to flooring as it adds material to the flooring structure and provides smooth surface.
- It provides smoother surface eliminating flaws in sub floor for flooring.
- It offers a good surface which can fuse with self-adhesive or glue down vinyl flooring
- Its excellent sound absorption properties reduce floor noise.
Apart from these benefits, underlay improves underfoot comfort. Some underlayment products are environmental friendly and recyclable. For radiant heating floor, synthetic rubber pad is the best suited product. It needs to take care of moisture released by sub floor while installing underlayment. The 6mil polyurethane sheet is placed below underlayment to protect it from moisture.
Types of Underlayment
You will find different types of underlayment products like cork, rubber, and recyclable products. Some products come with in-built moisture resistance property like Eco-timber recycled. Some products made of thick polyurethane pads provide anti-microbial properties. They are also suitable for radiant heat flooring.
Take note that although underlayment stabilizes surface, it does not provide structural stability. In cases where sub floors have severe issues, you need to fix it before flooring installation.
If you are not sure whether your flooring needs an underlayment, do not hesitate to call Vinflor experts at