Does lifeproof flooring require underlayment?


LifeProof flooring is one of the most popular selling floors on Home Depot today. For good reason as it gives the look of hardwood with the benefits of vinyl flooring and winning the Home Depot coveted Innovation of the Year Award. But the age old question always comes up. Does LifeProof flooring require underlayment?

The answer is no. But wait, does it require something else?

Since we are the manufacturer of underlayments, we wanted to look a little deeper into the installation instructions to what they say in their installation instructions:

Should Underlayment (pad) be used?

LifeProof Installation Instructions Screenshot

No – LifeProof™ includes a pre-attached sound mitigating pad. Do not use any additional sound suppression underlayment or padding, as doing so will void the LifeProof™ Limited Warranty

The good news is they do offer pre-attached pad that has sound absorbing properties. No sound ratings are provided for the consumer which can be a downfall for condo, multi-family associations or homeowners who really want to deaden the sound from going room to room.

If you are a condo or multi-family, sound ratings do matter. With our QuietWalk Luxury Vinyl underlayment (designed for luxury vinyl plank) achieving Delta IIC rating of 28 was achieved. The definition of Delta IIC Rating – Performance gain in sound reduction between two sound test. The higher the number, the better the sound proofing is.

Do not use any additional sound suppression underlayment or padding, as doing so will void the LifeProof™ Warranty.

Updated 11/19/2020

LifeProof™ includes a pre-attached sound mitigating pad. QuicPrep Universal Underlayment can be used as an additional underlayment under LifeProof™ floorng. Use of any other underlayment will void the LifeProof™ Limited Warranty.

According to the installation instructions, adding another underlayment such as QuietWalk Luxury Vinyl under LifeProof™ would void the warranty. Our QuietWalk Luxury Vinyl is backed up with a peace-of-mind lifetime warranty. The warranty details can be found here.

Vapor Barrier (6 mil polyfilm) – Not Required

LifeProof Installation Instructions Screenshot

So why would they mention a vapor barrier not required in their installation instructions? All flooring is still acceptable to excessive moisture, alkalis in the subfloor and conditions arising from hydrostatic pressure.

LifeProof Installation Instructions – Screenshot
Concrete Alkaline

This is why we recommend installing a 6 mil vapor barrier under the floor which will block all moisture/chemicals from reaching your brand new flooring. While this still might not protect you from flooding, it will protect you from chemicals/mold reaching your floor and causing havoc.

6 Mil Vapor Barrier
MoistureBlock – 6-mil Vapor Barrier

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Conclusion: We recommend to at-least install a 6-mil vapor barrier underneath. Our MoistureBlock 6 mil vapor barrier is designed specially to block moisture from reaching your floor. If you are looking for additional sound reduction benefits, insulating value and built-in vapor barrier, we recommend the QuietWalk Luxury Vinyl underlayment has it was designed for luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring.

QuietWalk luxury vinyl underlayment

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Enjoy gentle floor heat with your new floor!

While installing your new floor, why not install a low cost, effect floor heating system so you can enjoy the colder months while walking barefoot?

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