Best Underlay for Laminate Flooring


Choosing the best underlay for laminate flooring can be a daunting task as there is hundreds of different types of underlayments for laminate on the market.  With various underlayments being made by various materials, features, price difference and installation ease can overwhelm the homeowner. In this article not only will be tell you what we think is the best underlay for laminate flooring but how to choose the correct underlayment that suits your needs and budget. We will first discuss the features of what constitutes the best underlay for laminate flooring in features:

Key Features of Underlay for Laminate Flooring

Sound Reduction

The main purpose for underlay or flooring underlayment is to block sound from transferring from room to room. This is why sound rating test you see with underlayment help cater to Home Owner Associations/Condo and Multi-Family units. If you find sound rating numbers and want to know exactly what they mean, then you should read this article here.

Moisture Protection

The second main purpose for underlay is to help manage or block moisture from getting to your laminate flooring. If your laminate is exposed to water or moisture, it can cause warping and buckling which is something a homeowner does not want.

Compression Resistance

Having an underlayment that resist compressing allows the click-lock mechanism of laminate flooring to hold in place over the life of the floor. Depending on the material of underlayment, compression resistance can either withstand or not hold in high traffic areas.

Smooth Out Imperfections

Having a subfloor that has some imperfections is very common and an underlayment provides that extra layer to hide those imperfections. Take example a small nail head poking out of plywood, yes it will cover it up to 1/8”. This will essentially provide a flat surface for your laminate to be installed on.

Insulating Value

Feeling a cold floor during the winter is no fun for the family. Having an insulation barrier between the subfloor and final laminate flooring can help keep your feet warm during the cold and cool in the summer.

Clean Indoor Air-Quality

Having an underlayment that gives off no-gassing can help your health in the long run. Some underlayment give a strong odor which can be overwhelming for your family and loved ones. Choosing an underlayment that has third-party certification can help ease your mind when it comes to buying underlay.

Difference in Underlay Materials

Knowing the difference of how underlayment is consisted of helps you know how that material excels in your choice.Foam

Foam Underlayments

You will find most underlayments are made out of foam. For good reason as certain thicker foam underlayments provide good sound absorption and moisture protection. When it comes to compression resistance, foam is like trapped air and can be crushed in high traffic areas overtime.

Fiber/Felt Underlayments

Fiber/felt underlayment can also be found out in the market. Compromised of post-industrial fibers, fiber underlayment is the green choice of underlayments. Fiber/felt underlay has many benefits such as great sound absorption, moisture protection, compression resistance and clean indoor air quality. The only downside of the underlayment is the weight of the roll.

Rubber Underlayments

Rubber underlayment is known for the sound absorption however can come with strong odors. This material is also waterproof which is great for tile flooring.

ProductDuoFoamQuietWalkSoundStep XL
Sound ReductionXXX
Moisture ProtectionXXX
Compression Resistance XX
Smooths Out Imperfections XX
Insulating Value0.280.580.24
Clean Indoor Air Quality GreenGuard Gold (can be installed in education and hospital facilities)X

Best Underlayment for Laminate Flooring – QuietWalk Underlayment

So what do we recommend for the best underlay for laminate floors? We would have to say QuietWalk underlayment. Here’s why:

QuietWalk’s Dri-Wick technology – you will not have to worry about moisture as the recycled fibers wick away the moisture and will evaporate over time. With one of the recycled fibers, you can see the moisture in action.

  • The recycled fibers are manufactured by a patented process that allows sound to be absorbed in the fibers providing great sound absorption. Your laminate floors will start to sound like real hardwood.
  • The compression resistance will bounce back 84% in high traffic areas compared to foam underlayments. This will ensure your floor last the test of time.
  • Reycled fibers conform around the subfloor objects hides the imperfections of the subfloor very well.
  • QuietWalk underlayment has 0.58 for R-value which is the highest in the underlayment industry
  • QuietWalk is known for its green-friendly composition. With third-party testing with GreenGuard Gold certification, the underlayment can be installed in education and hospital facilities.

If you have any concerns or questions, we will love to hear from you. Just leave us a comment below and we will answer any questions you have.

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