While no top layer of flooring is the same, laminate flooring particularly often comes with its own set of recommendations and needs. Some homeowners question, for instance, whether one layer of typical home flooring—the underlayment—is necessary for the proper installation of laminate flooring in Utah. While manufacturers of this flooring will often recommend the installation of an underlayment layer to ensure proper stability and structure, there is one specific instance in which it may not actually be needed.

Read on to learn about whether the implementation of underlayment is necessary for your Salt Lake City laminate flooring.

The Case for Underlayment

Homeowners residing within Orem and surrounding areas who are interested in having laminate flooring installed within their homes may have caught wind of arguments for and against having underlayment installed beforehand.

The general consensus among manufacturers of laminate flooring is that having underlayment installed before laying down the laminate layer is a good idea. The reasons for this include:
  • Sound: Because laminate flooring is typically very thin—measuring no more than 12 mm thick on average—the transmission of sound is a particular concern for laminate flooring. This can be contrasted with hardwood flooring, which by itself is capable of limiting sound transmission. In this case, underlayment serves the function of helping the laminate absorb sound better both within the room in which it is installed, and that coming from any floors below.
  • Safety: Installing underlayment below laminate also provides a generous margin of safety for both the manufacturers—in product liability—as well as the company that is installing. Safety may also be a concern when planning to install laminate on top of concrete; in this case, the underlayment can serve as an extra layer of padding, making it more comfortable to walk on.
  • Accounting for Inadequacies of the Subfloor: Flooring manufacturers often refer to these issues as “subfloor imperfections”. These imperfections most commonly refer to subfloors that are inconsistent and not as flat as they should ideally be in order to avoid laminate damage. This is widely considered one of the most important reasons underlayment may be an important structure to install for laminate flooring.
  • Moisture Protection: The concern of moisture migrating upward through the flooring is a particular concern when the laminate is being installed over top a cement subfloor. However, this can also be a concern for installation on top of wooden and tile subfloors as well. The installation of foam underlayment serves in this case to prevent this upward migration of moisture and therefore protect your flooring.

When Underlayment Is Not Necessary

Although it may sound rather strange, some laminate flooring comes with pre-attached underlayment, and this is the only generally-accepted instance in which additional underlayment may therefore not be necessary.

The pre-attachment of an underlayment layer to laminate has only become more common in recent years, but may be important to consider—particularly as having additional underlayment installed may actually pose detriment to your flooring in these cases. However, a vapor barrier—different from underlayment—is still recommended by manufacturers even with laminate flooring that has that underlayment pre-attached.

The General Consensus in Flooring Installation

Generally, underlayment is still considered a sound investment and the safest choice for when you are having laminate flooring installed within your home. Utah residents that still feel unsure of whether underlayment is still truly necessary for their own homes may bring up these concerns with their Old World Stone Imports flooring expert.

The laminate flooring we provide our clients offers ideal durability, practicality, and style to the homes of Utah residents. They also typically serve as a budget-friendly alternative to other types of flooring such as hardwood without sacrificing quality or beauty.

Both of our stores in our Orem and Salt Lake City locations are available to install this affordable, stylish flooring for homeowners that are interested in receiving quality, professional service from experts that care. Contact us today to schedule your laminate flooring installation.