Underlayment is the layer between subfloor and new floor. It’s the layer just under the visible floor covering of some kind of material of hardboard or particle board of various thickness.
It’s made of rubber, cork, rubber cork, felt or foam. Underlayment provide warmth, smoothness, softness and more importantly increases the longevity of the newly made floors.
Underlayment for hardwood floors is a must need these days not only because it provides smoothness but also for the stability of the floors. There are some other merits of using underlayment for hardwood floors. They’re:
- Underlayment muffles sounds caused by footsteps.
- It protects floors from areas those are prone to water.
- It ensures floor lays correctly over subfloors.
- It provides an extra sound barrier between levels of homes.
- It keeps floors totally together during shifting.
Before looking for the best hardwood floor underlayment options, one must have a consideration on the thickness of the underlayment. Most underlayment are of 2-3mm thick, but are sometimes thicker for carpet or to smooth out an uneven subfloor.
Types of Underlayment
Here are the types of underlayment you will find in the market.
It’s the best choice because it is super versatile. It is one of the most sound-absorbing and insulating underlayment.
For apartment and condo owners, it’s the most favorite choice. It’s eco-friendly plus the natural antimicrobial feature of cork prevents the growth of bacteria which benefits allergy sufferers.
It’s a combination of both rubber and cork. This sort of underlay is expert at preventing tiles from house settling and natural movements over time.
It is usually made of recycled fibers and often denser than foam. Some felt underlayment comes with a vapor barrier built-in for extra durability. It can be used for hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and many more.
Best Hardwood Floor Underlayment Options for Buyers
Now that we have the basics out of the way we can focus on our main topic. Here are all the best underlayment options, you will find in the market for hardwood floors.
3 in 1 Silent Vapor Barrier Flooring Underlayment
Merits: Thickness of 2mm, provides insulation to floors, flexibility & versatile
Demerits: poor construction, there can be bubbles & waves.
Laminate Flooring Underlayment with Vapor Barrier
Merits: best to minimize squeaking on the floor, provide sound isolation, has moisture & vapor barrier.
Demerits: doesn’t block the sound fully, not enough variations in color
Amerique Thick Super Quiet Floor Underlayment Padding for Hardwood with Tape & Vapor Barrier Heavy Duty
Merits: proper sound blocking, reduces moisture, easy to install, more resistant
Demerits: doesn’t work on all types of hardwood floors.
First Step 630 Square Feet Roll Underlayment
Merits: easy to install, mold protection, covers 630 feet
Demerits: too much costly
Manton Cork Underlayment
Merits: better for DIY installation, excellent thickness
Demerits: doesn’t reduce sound properly.
QEP 72000 Natural Cork Underlayment
Merits: made of natural cork, better for longer lasting
Demerits: not enough availability of colors
BlackJack Premium Laminate and Engineered Wood Flooring Underlayment
Merits: covers 100 square feet, dense cell structured, keeps floor hygenic
Demerits: not much effective reducing sound properly
Roberts 70-190 Super Felt Insulating Underlayment
Merits: the thickness of 3mm, absorb sound properly, capable of correcting minor problems with the subfloor
Demerits: quite hard, too much rigid
Schluter – Ditra XL Underlayment Roll
Merits: provides longevity, effective in areas with high foot traffic
Demerits: too much price.
Roberts 70-025 Unison Underlayment
Merits: made of polyethylene foam, provide effective cushioning, 2mil top which provides protection against moisture
Demerits: not heavy, ineffective for long term.
For those searching the best underlayment for hardwood floors can find one of the above, suitable for his needs because above-discussed underlayment is the top popular in the markets.