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Why Laminate Floors Need Underlayment

There are situations in which underlayment will not make too much of a difference in the end result of your laminate flooring installation.

If laying laminate on a smooth wood subfloor, the inclusion of underlayment will not make the floor warmer or quieter. If anything, underlayment may give the laminate a mushy “laminate floor” feeling. It’s a feeling that real solid wood flooring does not have, and it’s undesirable across the spectrum.

Laminate foam underlayment is not particularly expensive. But if you’re trying to cut costs to the absolute bare minimum, not installing underlayment may cut the project cost by about 15 to 20 percent.

Underlayment is Not Meant As Primary Moisture Barrier

Be sure to check product specifications. If you are laying laminate over concrete, for example, you need a vapor or moisture barrier. Check product specifications to see if the underlayment will act as a vapor barrier.

Not For Warmth: For That, Try Radiant Heating

Even though underlayment can help make laminate feel warmer, it will not do much to help excessively cold floors, such as basements located in chilly climates.

For this, install electric radiant heating mats under the laminate. Radiant heating is approved for most types of laminate.

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