Back to Flooring Products
Finding the Best Underlay for Wood Flooring
Choosing the right wood floor underlayment can make a big difference when it comes to a stable, solid, and well-insulated wooden floor. Choosing a high-quality underlayment will work as a protective barrier for moisture that won’t affect the wooden floor structure. Additionally, the good underlayment comes with insulation and sound-proofing properties. A high-quality product will also help you increase and improve the durability of your wooden floor and its long-lasting power. On the contrary, installing the wrong or poor quality underlayment can cause some issues and problems you definitely don’t want to deal with. In this article, you will find out how to choose the right underlayment for your wood floor installation project.
Consider the Type of Subfloor
Based on the type of the subfloor you are starting with, you will be able to determine the right type of underlayment. As an example, if you work with a plywood subfloor, you will definitely need some additional level of protection against moisture. In this case, wood floor installation specialists recommend you to not choose impermeable or closed-cell underlayment as these will prevent the wooden floor from “breathing” which is crucial for it keeping the moisture content average and not getting damaged by increased moisture content. Choose an underlayment that does not trap moisture, which will prevent the growth of mould.
In case you are working with a wooden subfloor, make sure to invest in a permeable or a semi-permeable underlayment. These materials are usually saturated with asphalt and they require overlapped seams for great durability. On the other hand, if you start are working with a concrete subfloor, you definitely want to purchase an impermeable underlayment that will prevent moisture from absorbing into the underlayment and next into the wooden floor, which can cause a number of issues with the condition, appearance, and structural stability of the floor. When it comes to a concrete subfloor, you definitely want to take additional precautions as this type of material can cause condensation build-up. The seams of the underlayment must be taped and use a proper overlapping method that will ensure the right level of protection.
Consider the Type of Wood Flooring
Not just the type of subfloor but also the type of wood flooring is important to consider when you are choosing the right underlayment. As an example, an impermeable padded underlayment is required for floating engineered wood floors as well as solid-hybrid floors. On the other hand, a paper underlayment is recommended for nail-down hardwood flooring.
Radiant Heating and Underlayment
A common question wood floor installation specialists get do you need to have underlayment installed when you are planning the installation of an underfloor heating system. The answer is yes, you need to invest in an underlayment. However, due to the specific temperature conditions as a result of the underfloor heating system and the temperature fluctuations, you should consider only specific types of underlayment that can withstand these specific conditions.
For example, you should definitely avoid underlayment products that contain asphalt, which includes the majority of permeable and semi-permeable underlayment products. Remember, it is important to choose an underlayment product that can create a barrier membrane that protects from moisture and humidity.