Though often a DIY-friendly job, installing flooring requires a lot more than cutting out and pasting planks of material down. As we covered in ourblog on the subject, there are multiple ways that a given flooring type can be installed, for instance—and if that isn’t enough, you also have underlayments to worry about!
But don’t throw in the towel just yet; E Hardwoods & Flooring is here to help. Below, you’ll learn all aboutvinyl flooring and its underlayments—how to pick the right material for the job, what to avoid, and how to spot potential pitfalls before they even become such.
Hardwood flooring doesn’t appreciate moisture, and while vinyl flooring is designed to be hardier in this respect, you’re still in for a nasty surprise if you lay any underlayment down on a moisture-laden subfloor. Mold isn’t picky about what it grows on, and it can quickly wreak havoc on common underlayments like particle boards.
Our recommendation? Get your subfloor under control before you even begin to lay your waterproof flooring.Our blog on the subject is a great place to start. The Spruce’sarticle on moisture testing a concrete subfloor may also be of use.
Certain flooring installation methods are more compatible with certain underlayments due to inherent factors of the former or latter. For example, foam underlayment is a solid choice for click-together vinyl flooring because it helps fill the space that this flooring installation produces near the subfloor.
Broadly speaking, waterproof flooring that comes with a softer, attached backing benefits more from a stiffer underlayment. At the same time, harder stuff might work better with softer, noise-and-shock-absorbing materials, as they give more cushion underfoot.
Aside from the moisture content your subfloor harbors, what it’s made out of can also affect the underlayment that’s right for you. When it comes to concrete, the softer the underlayment, the better, as it makes the flooring a whole lot comfier. Wooden subfloors benefit from similar materials, though for different reasons that primarily relate to noise absorption.
However, rigidity is important in an underlayment if you’re simply laying vinyl atop existing flooring. Used flooring will likely have numerous dings, dents, and even uneven areas that benefit from a stiff material that can level things out a bit.
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