Installing vinyl plank flooring in your home can completely transform the look and feel of a room. But in order to get the most out of your new vinyl floor, it's crucial to use the right underlayment during installation. Choosing the proper underlayment for vinyl plank flooring will affect everything from comfort and sound dampening to product longevity and moisture protection. There are several key factors to consider when selecting an underlayment for your vinyl plank flooring project.
First, you'll want to think about the thickness and density of the underlayment padding. Thicker, high-density padding typically provides better sound insulation from both airborne noise and foot traffic above. The underlayment thickness must also be compatible with the total height of your flooring to meet standard transition heights. Additionally, consider an antimicrobial treated underlayment to resist mold, mildew and bacterial growth beneath your floors.
You'll also want to evaluate the underlayment based on the subfloor type it will be installed over. Look for underlayments that can help smooth out minor subfloor imperfections and improve vinyl plank flooring installation over uneven surfaces. For concrete subfloors, choose an underlayment with a moisture barrier to prevent moisture migration and damage.
Does the vinyl plank underlayment provide thermal insulation and improve floor warmth? Does it meet fire rating standards for flame spread and smoke development? Will it be compatible with radiant heat flooring systems? Asking the right questions will lead you to the best underlayment for your specific vinyl plank flooring project.
9 Best Underlayment For Vinyl Plank Flooring
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The product is ideal for providing cushioning and noise reduction under laminate, engineered wood, and hardwood flooring.
The product is ideal for providing sound reduction and waterproofing for hardwood, laminate, LVT, and vinyl plank flooring.
The product is ideal for providing moisture protection and sound absorption under laminate and hardwood floors.
The product is ideal for providing moisture protection and sound absorption for flooring installations.
The product is ideal for providing a premium foam flooring underlayment with a vapor barrier for 800 sq. ft.
The product is ideal for providing sound reduction, moisture protection, and added comfort in flooring installations.
The product is ideal for providing moisture protection for laminate floors.
The product is ideal for providing sound reduction, compression resistance, and moisture protection for laminate and floating wood flooring.
The product is ideal for providing cushioning and sound reduction beneath various types of flooring materials.
1. Roberts Serenity Foam Underlayment – 100 Sq. Ft. Roll – 48" X 25'
I recently purchased this underlayment and I must say, it exceeded my expectations. Not only is it significantly cheaper compared to the big box stores like HomeDepot, but it also does the job perfectly.
The product arrived in a large box with excessive amounts of brown paper, which I found a bit unnecessary considering the foam material is quite durable. However, this did not affect the performance of the underlayment.
I highly recommend this product for flooring padding purposes. Additionally, if you are planning on moving, it can also be used for wrapping up delicate items such as dishes and breakables. The boxes it comes in can even be repurposed as playhouses, which is a fun bonus.
Although this foam underlayment is primarily designed for flooring, I noticed that some people have been using it to make costume wings. While this is a creative idea, it's important to note that it may not hold spray paint well. It is advisable to do a test run with your chosen paint to ensure it doesn't crackle off.
2. Dricore Certiguard Moisture Barrier: Sound Reducing Underlayment
I am extremely pleased with the performance of DRICORE Underlayment. It has completely revolutionized the flooring in my basement. The moisture barrier feature is a game-changer, providing me with a sense of security that my plank flooring is shielded from any potential damage. Additionally, the sound-reducing aspect of this underlayment is a fantastic bonus as it has created a quieter and more comfortable living environment. The waterproof attribute is also a lifesaver, particularly in areas that are prone to moisture. With a sizable 100 square foot roll, it effortlessly covers a substantial area, making installation a breeze. The durability of this underlayment surpasses my expectations, as it is significantly sturdier than the plastic material I previously used which fell apart after just one season. I highly recommend DRICORE Underlayment for anyone seeking superior protection and performance for their flooring. It has truly enhanced the quality of my floors and living space, and I couldn't be more satisfied with this product.
3. Blue Barrier: Laminate & Hardwood Flooring Underlayment (200 Sq.ft)
I recently purchased this underlayment for my engineered click and lock hardwood flooring installation, and I must say, it exceeded my expectations. Here's why I think this product is a great choice:
Cost: The cost of this underlayment is a definite plus. It is significantly cheaper compared to similar products available at local "Big Box" stores. In fact, for the same price, you get twice the square footage. Other options with grid patterns may look aesthetically pleasing but come at a higher cost. Personally, I didn't find the grid lines necessary, and I believe the cost savings are worth it.
Quality: I was initially concerned about the tape that holds the underlayment together, as some reviews mentioned it wasn't very good. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. I have installed four rolls so far, and I haven't experienced any issues with the tape. It handled the installation process well, even with an inexperienced DIYer like myself. Additionally, some parts of the underlayment remained exposed for over a week, and there was no visible wear or damage, despite being in a high-traffic area. Overall, the quality is comparable to other similar products in the market.
Installation: This underlayment has been excellent for my engineered hardwood flooring installation on a 30+ year-old particle board subfloor. It not only dampened the sound of people walking on the hardwood floor but also helped reduce or eliminate squeaks caused by loose nails in the subfloor. However, it's worth noting that I haven't used this on concrete or in bath/shower areas, so I cannot comment on its performance in those specific situations. But in my kitchen, main hallway, entryway, living area, and dining area, it has worked great.
4. Bestlaminate 3in1 Vapor Barrier Flooring Underlayment: The Ultimate Flooring Solution
I recently ordered this underlayment for a flooring project and I must say, it exceeded my expectations in every way. Not only did it arrive earlier than the expected delivery date, but it also performed beautifully during the installation process. The tape on the underlayment made it incredibly easy to layer on, saving me time and effort. I was so impressed with the quality of the product that I decided to order from this vendor again for future flooring projects.
One of the standout features of this underlayment is the excellent customer service provided by the vendor. They were responsive, helpful, and ensured that my experience was nothing short of exceptional. I have already recommended them to a few friends who are also in the process of upgrading their floors from carpet to wood.
In terms of performance, this underlayment provides good cushioning and eliminates any squeaking when walking on the new wood floors. It offers a great level of support and stability, making it an ideal choice for flooring projects. Additionally, the affordability of this product surprised me, as it was significantly cheaper than similar options available at big-box stores like Home Depot or Lowe's.
The ease of installation was another highlight of this underlayment. Despite being a first-time installer, I found the process to be straightforward with the guidance of my contractor. He also commended the quality of the underlayment and mentioned that it is not easily found at local stores.
Comparing this underlayment to ones I had previously purchased from Home Depot, I can confidently say that the quality is either on par or even better. The attached pictures clearly illustrate the difference between the layers, with the underlayment from Amazon being of superior quality.
5. Amerique Premium Foam Flooring Underlayment: 800 Sq. Ft., Royal Blue
I recently purchased this underlayment for a DIY project in my basement, and I must say, it worked exceptionally well. The product was perfect for laying over concrete, providing a solid foundation for my flooring. I was able to save a significant amount of money compared to the prices at big stores for a similar product.
Not only was this underlayment more affordable, but the quality was also impressive. The installation process was hassle-free, and I had no issues with it. In fact, I ended up buying more rolls than I needed and found additional uses for them in different projects. Even after four months, I'm still using it without any problems.
I specifically purchased this underlayment for my Pergo floor, and I couldn't be happier with the results. Not only was the price better than what other home stores near me offered, but the pad itself was thick and easy to lay. It provided the perfect support for my flooring.
Comparing the cost of this product to what I would have paid at Home Depot, I saved more than half the price. Additionally, the quality of this underlayment surpassed what is typically available at the big stores. I highly recommend this product for anyone looking for a cost-effective and high-quality option.
While this underlayment may not be the top-of-the-line, it still served its purpose well. Contrary to the description, it did not have self-adhesive tape, and the color was not exactly as depicted in the picture. However, these factors did not significantly affect its performance. As a first-time user of underlayment, I found the experience to be relatively smooth.
Once the floor was installed, this underlayment provided a decent padded feel. While there may be better and worse options available, this product certainly got the job done. In fact, I am planning to purchase it again for future projects. It worked perfectly in my moderately priced house, delivering satisfactory results.
6. Amerique Platinum 3.5mm 3-In-1 Flooring Underlayment & Barrier
The self-adhesive tape on this underlayment makes it incredibly easy to install. Unlike cheap thin packing foam, this product is thick and durable, providing excellent support for our above ground pool on a concrete slab. We purchased double the amount needed for our 20ft round pool, and two layers were the perfect amount. The sticky part on one side made it simple to secure the pieces together, and it rolled out smoothly with no tearing. We did need to use a razor blade for cutting, but overall, the quality exceeded our expectations. Whether you're using it for a pool or any other purpose, I highly recommend this underlayment for its outstanding quality and ease of use.
On the other hand, I had a different experience when using this underlayment under vinyl plank flooring. Although the flooring already had a foam underlayer, the combination of this underlayment and the existing foam created too much movement. As a result, the interlocking mechanisms of the flooring became unattached, and several planks broke during the process of pulling up the flooring. While the price was great and the product was as described, it didn't work well in this specific flooring application. If you're considering using it for vinyl plank flooring, I would advise caution and potentially exploring other options to avoid potential damage.
That being said, when compared to the underlayment options available at stores, this particular product stands out in terms of thickness and quality. It is definitely superior to the cheap ones commonly found. If you're looking for a reliable underlayment, this one will not disappoint. It provides excellent support and durability, making it a worthwhile purchase.
Having used similar, more expensive products in the past, I can confidently say that this underlayment works just as well as any of them. It delivers on its promises and performs admirably. I would definitely recommend using this underlayment, especially if you have the time to plan ahead and allow for delivery. With its reliable performance and competitive pricing, it's a solid choice for any project requiring underlayment.
7. Roberts Laminate Floor Underlayment: Moisture Barrier Film
My first DIY project involved using this vapor barrier on a cement foundation in my bathroom. While the installation process was a bit challenging due to the large sheet unfolding, it would have been more convenient if it came in individual strips. However, I found that it works better for larger rooms than smaller spaces. I would recommend cutting it after unrolling the first side for easier handling.
I used this vapor barrier in my garden to kill weeds before tilling and planting. It worked wonders! The waterproof and black material effectively smothered all the weeds by attracting the sun and drying them out. After leaving it in place for two weeks, I rolled it up and tilled the soil without a single weed in sight.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this product was significantly cheaper on Amazon compared to Home Depot. The quality of the vapor barrier is excellent, with a thick and durable construction. It even comes with a self-stick strip for easy connection to another run. The value for money is exceptional.
I initially purchased this vapor barrier to supplement my more expensive local store purchase. To my delight, the rolls were larger (10×12) and more convenient for covering multiple rooms with minimal taped connection points. The thickness of the material also surpassed the 6 mil product I bought elsewhere. I highly recommend this product.
I have used this vapor barrier twice on different floating installations of manufactured plywood. The thickness is appropriate, and it is relatively easy to work with. To ensure a secure seal, make sure to use the recommended sealing tape and create 6-inch overlaps. Although it is one large sheet, you can easily patch and fit it to your specific space.
8. Quietwalk Laminate Flooring Underlayment – Soundproof, Moisture-Proof (100 Sq Ft)
QuietWalk is a game-changer when it comes to underlayment for flooring. I had the opportunity to use it fourteen years ago when installing a finished floor in my living room, and it recently saved my floor from a major disaster. There was a slow leak in the plumbing behind my refrigerator, which seeped through the wall and into the living room. Thankfully, the QuietWalk underlayment absorbed all the water, preventing any damage to the subfloor and finished floor. All I had to replace was the QuietWalk and underlayment, and my floor was as good as new.
Not only does QuietWalk excel in preventing water damage, but it also provides excellent noise reduction. As someone who has used foam underlayment in the past, I can confidently say that QuietWalk surpasses it in terms of sound dampening. Walking across the floor is significantly quieter, making it an ideal choice for those looking to minimize noise issues commonly associated with hardwood or laminate flooring.
What I appreciate most about QuietWalk is its ease of installation. As a non-professional floor installer, I found the installation process to be simple and straightforward. This made up for any cost difference between QuietWalk and foam underlayment, as the superior performance and peace of mind it offers are well worth the investment.
9. Premium 2-In-1 Underlayment
I recently purchased this underlayment for my flooring project, and I have to say, it exceeded my expectations. As an IT guy with some experience in laying flooring, I've used various underlayments before, including more expensive ones. However, this underlayment performed just as well, if not better, at a much more affordable price.
One thing to note is that the rolling process is a bit different from what I'm used to. Instead of simply dropping the edge and kicking the roll across the floor, it's important to follow the instructions and unroll it in the specified manner. Once I got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing. I didn't experience any tearing or flimsiness, contrary to what some negative reviewers have mentioned. I walked on it and even crawled on the floor with knee pads, and it held up perfectly. The cuts were clean, and the overall quality seemed top-notch.
This underlayment ticks off all the boxes for me. It effectively reduces sound and noise, provides insulation and warmth, and offers a comfortable cushioning underfoot. It's easy to work with, as it rolls out easily and can be cut without any hassle. Binding it to previous pieces was a breeze, and it has the same tensile strength as other underlayments I've used. Additionally, it's lightweight and doesn't have any unpleasant odor.
On a side note, I accidentally purchased the padded underlayment, but it turned out to be a great find. It added an extra level of comfort to my kitchen floor, making it feel like I'm walking on a luxurious mat. I couldn't be happier with my purchase and highly recommend it to others.
Are there any specific underlayment requirements for installing vinyl plank flooring over concrete subfloors?
Yes, there are specific underlayment requirements for installing vinyl plank flooring over concrete subfloors. The primary purpose of underlayment in this scenario is to provide moisture protection and to create a smooth and stable surface for the vinyl planks.
One common type of underlayment used for vinyl plank flooring over concrete is a vapor barrier. This helps prevent moisture from seeping through the concrete and damaging the flooring. It is important to ensure that the vapor barrier is properly installed and sealed to create an effective moisture barrier.
Another type of underlayment used for vinyl plank flooring is a foam underlayment. This helps to provide cushioning and absorb sound, making the flooring more comfortable to walk on and reducing noise transmission.
Before installing the underlayment, it is crucial to thoroughly clean and level the concrete subfloor. Any imperfections or debris should be removed to ensure a smooth surface.
It is always recommended to refer to the manufacturer's guidelines and installation instructions for specific underlayment requirements for the vinyl plank flooring you are using. They will provide detailed instructions on the type and thickness of underlayment required for optimal performance and durability.
Are there any underlayment options that offer thermal insulation for vinyl plank flooring?
Yes, there are underlayment options available that offer thermal insulation for vinyl plank flooring. One popular choice is foam underlayment with a built-in vapor barrier. This type of underlayment not only provides cushioning and sound reduction but also helps to regulate the temperature of the floor by acting as a thermal barrier.
It helps to prevent the cold from transferring through the subfloor, making the floor more comfortable to walk on and reducing heat loss. Another option is cork underlayment, which has natural insulating properties and can help to keep the floor warm. It also provides cushioning and sound absorption.
It's important to note that the choice of underlayment will depend on factors such as the specific requirements of your flooring, the subfloor condition, and any specific concerns you may have regarding thermal insulation.
It's always a good idea to consult with a flooring professional or read the manufacturer's recommendations to ensure you choose the right underlayment for your vinyl plank flooring.
Can underlayment help with moisture protection for vinyl plank flooring?
Yes, underlayment can indeed help with moisture protection for vinyl plank flooring. Moisture is a common concern when it comes to flooring, especially in areas prone to high humidity or moisture, such as basements or bathrooms.
Underlayment is an additional layer of material that is installed between the subfloor and the vinyl plank flooring. It acts as a barrier, preventing moisture from seeping through and reaching the flooring.
There are different types of underlayment available, and some are specifically designed to provide moisture protection. These underlayments are typically made from materials that have moisture-resistant properties, such as foam or rubber.
They create a protective barrier that helps to prevent water damage to the vinyl plank flooring and can also provide additional cushioning and sound absorption.
It's important to note that while underlayment can offer some level of moisture protection, it is not a substitute for addressing the root cause of moisture issues. Proper subfloor preparation and addressing any potential sources of moisture, such as leaks or high humidity, are essential steps in ensuring long-lasting moisture protection for vinyl plank flooring.
Can you install vinyl plank flooring without underlayment?
Yes, you can install vinyl plank flooring without underlayment. Vinyl plank flooring is designed to be a durable and resilient flooring option that can be installed directly on top of most subfloors. However, the need for underlayment may vary depending on the specific conditions of your subfloor and the type of vinyl plank flooring you are using.
Underlayment is typically used to provide additional cushioning, sound absorption, and moisture protection. If your subfloor is already smooth, level, and free from moisture issues, you may not need underlayment.
On the other hand, if your subfloor has imperfections or lacks moisture resistance, using underlayment can help create a smoother and more stable surface for the vinyl plank flooring.
It is always recommended to refer to the manufacturer's installation guidelines for the specific vinyl plank flooring you have chosen. They will provide detailed instructions on whether underlayment is necessary and what type to use, if required.
Additionally, consulting with a professional installer or flooring expert can provide valuable insights based on your unique circumstances.
Does underlayment reduce noise in vinyl plank flooring?
Yes, underlayment can help reduce noise in vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl plank flooring is known for its durability and water resistance, but it can sometimes be noisy underfoot, especially in high-traffic areas.
Underlayment acts as a buffer between the vinyl planks and the subfloor, providing an extra layer of cushioning and sound absorption. It helps to dampen the sound of footsteps and other noises, making the flooring quieter and more comfortable to walk on.
Additionally, underlayment can also help to smooth out minor imperfections in the subfloor, providing a more even and stable surface for the vinyl planks. However, it's important to choose the right type of underlayment specifically designed for vinyl plank flooring to ensure compatibility and optimal performance.
How do you choose the right underlayment for vinyl plank flooring?
When selecting the appropriate underlayment for vinyl plank flooring, there are several factors to consider. First, check the manufacturer's guidelines for the specific vinyl plank flooring you have chosen, as they may recommend a particular type of underlayment.
Additionally, consider the condition of the subfloor. If it is uneven or has imperfections, you may need an underlayment that provides extra cushioning and smooths out the surface. Moisture resistance is another crucial consideration, especially for areas prone to dampness or high humidity.
Look for underlayments with moisture barriers or those specifically designed for moisture-prone areas. Soundproofing can also be a consideration, especially for multi-level buildings or rooms where noise reduction is desired. Finally, take into account your budget and personal preferences.
There are various underlayment options available, such as foam, cork, rubber, and felt, each with its own benefits and costs. Ultimately, selecting the right underlayment will depend on your specific needs and the characteristics of your vinyl plank flooring.
Consulting with flooring professionals or experts can provide further guidance tailored to your situation.
How does underlayment affect the overall durability of vinyl plank flooring?
Underlayment plays a crucial role in the overall durability of vinyl plank flooring. It acts as a protective layer between the subfloor and the vinyl planks, offering several benefits. Firstly, underlayment helps to absorb impact and reduce noise transmission, making the floor quieter and more comfortable to walk on.
It also helps to provide insulation, preventing heat loss and enhancing energy efficiency.
Moreover, underlayment helps to create a smooth and even surface for the vinyl planks, ensuring they are properly supported and reducing the risk of damage from uneven subfloors. It can also help to prevent moisture penetration from the subfloor, which is especially important in areas prone to dampness, such as basements or bathrooms.
Choosing the right underlayment is essential. Opt for a high-quality product that is specifically designed for vinyl plank flooring. Consider factors such as thickness, moisture resistance, and sound absorption properties.
Following manufacturer guidelines and installation instructions is crucial to ensure maximum durability and longevity of the vinyl plank flooring.
What are the different types of underlayment options available for vinyl plank flooring?
There are several types of underlayment options available for vinyl plank flooring. Here are some of the most commonly used ones:
1. Foam Underlayment: This type of underlayment is made from foam material and provides good sound absorption and cushioning. It helps to reduce noise and provides a comfortable feel underfoot.
2. Cork Underlayment: Cork underlayment is made from natural cork material and is known for its excellent sound absorption properties. It also provides thermal insulation and can help to reduce energy costs.
3. Rubber Underlayment: Rubber underlayment is durable and provides excellent sound absorption. It is resistant to moisture and can help to prevent mold and mildew growth.
4. Plywood Underlayment: Plywood underlayment is made from layers of wood veneer and provides a strong and stable base for vinyl plank flooring. It helps to reduce unevenness in the subfloor and provides added durability.
5. Combination Underlayment: Some underlayment options combine different materials, such as foam and cork, to provide a combination of sound absorption, cushioning, and thermal insulation.
When choosing an underlayment for vinyl plank flooring, consider factors such as the level of sound insulation required, moisture resistance, and the condition of the subfloor. It is always recommended to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the specific type of vinyl plank flooring you are installing.
What is the purpose of underlayment for vinyl plank flooring?
The purpose of underlayment for vinyl plank flooring is to provide a smooth and stable surface for the vinyl planks to be installed on. Underlayment helps to reduce any imperfections in the subfloor, such as minor cracks or unevenness, ensuring a level and uniform installation.
Additionally, underlayment helps to absorb sound and provide insulation, making the flooring quieter and more comfortable to walk on. It also acts as a moisture barrier, preventing any moisture from seeping through and damaging the vinyl planks.
Underlayment can enhance the overall durability of the flooring, extending its lifespan and protecting it from potential damage. Overall, underlayment plays a crucial role in ensuring the proper installation and performance of vinyl plank flooring.
What is the recommended thickness for underlayment when installing vinyl plank flooring?
The recommended thickness for underlayment when installing vinyl plank flooring can vary depending on the specific manufacturer's instructions and the condition of the subfloor. However, in general, a thickness of 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch is commonly recommended.
Underlayment serves several purposes in vinyl plank flooring installations. It helps to smooth out minor imperfections in the subfloor, provides a cushioning effect, and can also help with noise reduction.
Thicker underlayment can provide additional sound insulation and help to create a more comfortable walking surface.
It is important to check the manufacturer's guidelines for the specific vinyl plank flooring being installed to ensure that the recommended thickness for underlayment is followed. Additionally, it is crucial to properly prepare the subfloor by cleaning, leveling, and repairing any issues before installing the underlayment and vinyl planks to ensure a successful and long-lasting installation.