Different Types of Floor Underlayment, Explained

Are you tired of looking at your kitchen’s grungy circa 1970 flooring? Has your once-white carpet turned a dingy brown color?

There’s nothing like new flooring to liven up your living spaces. It can cost a pretty penny to replace the flooring in your home. You can expect to pay between $3 and $22 per square foot for installation alone. 

If you’ll be redoing your floors yourself,You need to know your underlay options if you are redoing your floors yourself. Without a good base, your dream french flooring will look awful and not function as designed. Keep reading to learn more about different types of floor underlayment.

What is Underlayment? 

Your home flooring consists of three main layers.

First, you have the floor joists. Joists are horizontal beams under the floor that carry the weight of everything in your room. 

Subflooring is what covers your joists. It provides a flat surface upon which the other layers of your flooring rest. 

Underlayment is the material between the subflooring and the floor covering. Underlayment provides reinforcement for your subfloor and acts as a sound barrier. 

Underlay for Tile

Tile underlay needs to be strong enough to provide a solid support for delicate tile. 

Cement Board Underlay is a popular underlay option for tile. It’s made of cement and wood fibers and works great over a wood subfloor. 

Self-leveling underlayment is great for older homes with uneven or cracked subflooring. It is a concrete product that pours easily to provide a level surface for your tile installation.

Underlay for Carpet

Carpet underlay serves many purposes. It’s useful for providing insulation, support, and improving the acoustics of your space. 

Rebonded foam provides durability and great value. It comes in a variety of thicknesses and densities so finding the perfect option for your space is simple. 

Prime foam is made with polyurethane foam. It is firmer than other types of carpet underlay but does have a tendency to sink faster. This padding provides a very soft step in an inexpensive package. 

Underlay for Laminate

Laminate underlay adds underfoot comfort to your flooring. It can also provide soundproofing and a moisture barrier if you choose your underlay correctly. 

Foam underlayment is common for laminate flooring. It doesn’t provide a moisture barrier so it’s best used in spaces with minimal moisture.

Acoustical underlayment is perfect for minimizing the hollow sound you might hear walking on laminate. It’s available in cork and felt materials and often comes with a moisture barrier. 

Underlay for Hardwood

Underlay is not always necessary for hardwood flooring. Installing it will provide extra stability and durability, though. 

Felt underlayment is the most popular choice. It provides a basic amount of sound absorption and is resistant to moisture from below.

Cork underlay provides both temperature insulation and great sound absorption. It’s an eco-friendly choice that’s flexible enough to correct imperfections in your subflooring.

Rubber provides the most amount of moisture resistance. It’s great at reducing noise and is simpler to install and remove. 

Check out these products to learn more about your wood and carpet underlay options.

Choose the Right Floor Underlayment 

As you can see, there are many different choices for floor underlayment. We recommend researching each type more in-depth to find the right pick for your space. 

Keep exploring our website for more blogs chock full of helpful tips and tricks.