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    Enhancing Flooring with the Right Underlayments

    April, 2024

    Flooring underlayments, such as a quality underlay are unseen, but their impact on the flooring’s performance, comfort, and longevity is undeniable. They form a crucial base for the flooring, smoothing out imperfections, providing stability, and offering essential protection against moisture — particularly important in the UK’s damp climate. This piece explores how underlayments boost flooring efficacy and offers tips on selecting the perfect type for different flooring materials.

    Boosting Flooring Durability

    Underlayments are key to preventing wear and damage, especially in hard flooring such as laminate, hardwood, and luxury vinyl tiles (LVT). They help protect against moisture, preventing warping and the growth of mould and mildew. Choosing the right underlayment can extend your flooring’s life and keep it looking great for years.

    Comfort and Noise Reduction

    Beyond durability, underlayments improve the feel of flooring underfoot, making walking more comfortable. This feature is a bonus in environments  with high foot traffic. They also play a vital role in soundproofing, reducing noise transmission between floors — a must-have in multi-level buildings. Products such as SBA19 from SoundBase are a great example of a high-performance acoustic underlay. SBA19 has been chosen to work with DURAFLOR products on numerous occasions.

    Choosing the Perfect Underlayment

    The choice of underlayment should match the flooring type and the specific needs of the space.

    • Hardwood and Laminate

    For these flooring types, both foam and rubber underlayments are recommended. They provide stability, sound insulation, and in some cases, moisture protection. Foam underlayments are praised for their affordability and ease of installation, and they often include a vapor barrier for moisture protection. Rubber underlayments are notable for superior soundproofing and moisture resistance, making them suitable for areas where these factors are a concern.

    • Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) and Engineered Wood

    Foam underlayments are commonly used for these flooring types as well due to their cushioning and sound absorption properties. They’re suitable for high-traffic areas or multi-level homes. However, they may require an additional moisture barrier depending on the specific installation needs.

    • Carpet

    Felt underlayments are particularly beneficial for carpet installations, providing excellent sound insulation and a touch of extra comfort underfoot. Rubber underlayments are also suitable for carpets, especially in terms of enhancing warmth and reducing sound transmission.

    Key Takeaways

    The underlayment may be out of sight, but its role in flooring installation is critical. It’s the foundation that supports the flooring, ensuring it remains durable, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing. For flooring contractors, selecting the right underlayment is as crucial as choosing the flooring itself. It guarantees a successful installation that stands the test of time, meeting and exceeding the expectations of end-users.

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