Underlay is certainly the most overlooked material when it comes to installing flooring. Although finding the right underlay is not nearly as glamourous or fun as picking out your actual flooring, it is just as important. Choosing a good quality underlay can be a make or break decision and can really determine the longevity of your new flooring.
Many homeowners, while making a budget for their renovations, often forget to factor in underlay in their flooring budget. That is why it is so important to know about underlay before you even begin your renovation project. That’s also why we have made this blog to let you know all about it!
Before we reveal one of our best selling, quality underlay, let’s go over the basics of underlay, what it does, and its importance.
Underlay is a thin material, often made of fiber, felt, rubber, or foam, that lays between your subfloor and flooring. Underlay is not always required to purchase separately from your flooring itself, and many vinyl and laminate floorings have an attached underlay. However, if the flooring you pick out does not come with an attached underlay, it’s important to purchase a quality underlay separately.
It is important to note that both not enough and too much cushion under your flooring material can be a problem, often when it comes to the structural integrity of your floor’s interlock system. Many flooring manufacturers will recommend different types and brands of underlay and have done testing specific to their brand and flooring types.
The main purposes of underlay are to smooth subfloor, reduce sound, protect against moisture, and uphold supportive configuration.
Underlay and Smooth Subfloor
Underlay plays a pivotal role in the structural aspect of your home. Underlay actively works to smooth your subfloor by covering it and creating a more predictable surface for laying your flooring. This aspect is mostly a structural role.
Not only does underlay do the work of ensuring your subfloor is smooth, but it also improves adhesion. Various brands and types of floors require to be glued down, and underlay drastically improves this.
Underlay and Sound Reduction
Almost all homeowners have run into various issues with sound transmission throughout their home. Whether it be footsteps, pet claws, high-heels, shoes, or furniture, the noisy echo through your home is never ideal. Sound waves travel though your hard floors and are projected up through your ceiling and echo off walls and furniture, so even dropping something is projected from room to room. Getting away from this echo is quite easy to do, and it starts with a good underlay! Underlay counters the noise by absorbing the sound waves at their source.
Underlay and Moisture Protection
While flooring like SPC vinyl is almost always waterproof, it is always important to protect moisture from reaching the underside of the planks. Underlay does a great job at this. Using an underlay ensure that your flooring stays gorgeous (and without warps) for years to come!
Underlay and Configuration Support
Underlayment can give your entire flooring better stability. It is particularly useful at this function in older homes, where the subfloor may be constructed with boards rather than OSB or plywood sheets. It works to ensure that your flooring is stable and safe.
Underlay and Flooring Longevity
The main, and most important reason to use underlay under your new flooring is to help with the longevity of your new flooring. Flooring is made to last, but when you take the appropriate steps to preserve it even further, many floors will last long past its warranty. For all the above reasons, underlay is unbelievably important to preserve your new flooring.
With all these factors in mind, we do have a #1 recommendation that is our best seller, and that we offer to our customers quite frequently.
Choosing Quiet Walk Acoustical Underlay
Quiet Walk underlay from HTBC flooring is one of our favorite and top selling underlays at Word of Mouth Floors! It provides a high level of advanced sound and moisture control, ensuring that your home is safe for visitors and inhabitants.
It’s made from high density EVA foam, which is great for most flooring types, including engineered hardwood, vinyl, and laminate. It’s 4.5mm thick, and each roll covers 100 square feet of surface area.
This underlay was tested rigorously by Intertek, an certifies US laboratory. The results of the testing determined that it’s STC (sound transmission class) is 86. STC evaluates the underlay’s ability to reduce airborne sounds such as from voices, TV, and stereos. The higher this number, the better the resistance, and therefore, the better the sound barrier becomes.
Quite Walk underlay has an IIC (Impact Insulation Class) of 84. The IIC tests the ability to block impact sounds produced by dropping objects, footsteps, or anything else that stimulates footfall. Again, the higher the number for this class, the better soundproofing your home will have.