Often times an underlayment is considered unnecessary. But your contractor may insist on placing an underlayment. It is one rudimentary structural part and plays a capital role is aiding the longevity of the top visible floor of your home. As the name suggests, it gets positioned below another surface. Haven’t heard of it earlier? Have questions in your mind concerning the specifications of the role it plays? Let’s clarify things.
What is an underlayment?
Underlayment is a sandwich layer of flooring, as it is placed under the top floor and above the sub floor. The materialistic composition of the sub floor is not a hindrance. Wood or concrete, an underlay can be glued down effortlessly. Accessed in foam, cork and other synthetic materials, they are ideal to be used in case of laminate, engineered, solid and vinyl flooring.
Your home constructor will stress on installing underlayment to ensure better durability of the wear layer. It might seem an unnecessary expense, but it is for the longevity of your flooring. In case the concept of underlayment is confusing you with vapor barrier, then note that both are different from one another. Not every cushioning underlay can prevent moisture. Here, a vapor barrier is needed to safeguard the top floor from gaping.
How an underlayment is beneficial?
- Used for both glued and locked flooring: While an underlayment is itself glued or tapped on the sub floor, solid and engineered wood flooring can also be glued impeccably over an underlayment. But what about laminate flooring? Laminate strips or planks are clicked with one another in a continuous pattern. Underlayment is appropriate for such floating floors as well.
- Aids in installing the top floor: The wooden or concrete sub floor under certain circumstances gets spaced, cracked and uneven. Thus, it is impossible to place the top floor material in a proper flat manner. Especially, if it is thin laminate, the underlayment here acts a counterbalancing flexible component.
- Helps in absorbing sound: Even in a small family, the noise of TV, moving furniture, music stereo systems and loud conversations, becomes irritating. An underlayment can suppress excessive noise. For homes and offices with heavy traffic of foot, underlayment will end up being useful in absorbing sound.
- Prevents moisture from seeping in: Excessive humidity defiles structural strength of solid, hardwood or laminate flooring. Mostly hardwood top floors, framed completely of single layer of solid wood, are perceptible to change in moisture content. An underlay will avert the seepage of water to the top floor constituent.
Presence of an underlayment makes it comfortable to the feet touching them. Walking on them is less stressful to the feet. Insulating quality of an underlayment are great insulators, keeps your floor warm in winter and cool in summer.