Is underlayment for flooring always necessary?

Is underlayment for flooring always necessary?

Underlayments aren't always required, but they are always an advantage for any flooring. With an underlayment, you'll have beautiful, well-performing floors that last a long time.

They have many functions, from adding stability to making it more comfortable on which to walk and stand. They also block cold, deaden sound and protect the floors from excessive moisture.

Most of all, they’ll provide a smooth surface to enhance the beauty of your new floors.

Floor structure 101

We want you to understand the anatomy of a floor; it will help you understand the importance of the underlayment.

Floors are made up of several layers, but we only see one: the surface floor.

Underneath is a structure that includes the subfloor and joists. If an underlayment is used, it lies between the subfloor and the surface floor. It hides subfloor imperfections; that is crucial because those can travel up to the surface.

Underlayments are hard, like plywood, or soft, like foam or cork. Depending on the type used for your flooring, you'll also hear them called by different names in the flooring store.

When the underlayment is needed

Laminate flooring must have one. These floors are installed as floating floors. Since laminate often has wood in its composition, it can get wet, change shape and warp and throw it all off-balance.

It’s also highly recommended for engineered hardwood floors installed via the floating floor technique. Even the slightest movement to adjust to weather can create an imbalance.

Is an underlayment necessary for solid hardwood?

You’ll probably want a vapor barrier since they can be damaged by excess water. But, again, the flooring company will advise you of the best underlayment for your installation.

Shenandoah Valley’s trusted flooring provider

Strickler Carpet is a family-owned company that's been operating for decades. As a result, we have some of the most well-known and trusted brands in all flooring. These include names like Mohawk, Dream Weaver, and US Floors. Beauflor and more.

Visit our showroom to learn more about new floors. We're in Timberville, VA, serving homeowners and businesses in Broadway, Harrisonburg, Woodstock, and Luray.