What are the Differences in Underlayment?
Underlayment is a great way to protect your flooring over the long haul. Many people don’t realize that there are several kinds of underlayment types to choose from. Each has certain benefits and advantages, but all stretch the life of your floors. Today, we will be looking at 5 different types of underlayment so that you can have a better idea of what will serve your home better.
5 Different types of Underlayment
1. Standard Foam Underlayment - This type is usually made of foam and about an eighth of an inch thick. It doesn’t really provide a lot of noise reduction and is typically used on the ground floor of a home, not upstairs. This is your typical underlayment option that you will get in bundled sales. Nothing special, but better than going without.
2. Combination Underlayment – This is when it starts to get interesting as far as floor protection goes. It is very similar to the standard foam, however it has the added benefit of moisture blocking. It also doesn’t have a lot of noise reduction qualities to it like the previous, but on the ground floor, that isn’t much of an issue. This is a great option if you have concrete slab sub-flooring as it tends to retain moisture.
3. Muffler Underlayment - This is another combo that is excellent for several things. Not only does it give you what whas mentioned with the combination underlayment, it does it better with the added advantage of sound reduction qualities. It is more expensive but very worth it, if you are worried about excessive noise from upstairs and moisture issues.
4. Upgraded Underlayment - This is a super noise reduction option. It is very thick compared to standard underlayments and makes the best choice for second floors in the home. It is more expensive than the standard options, but well worth the investment if noise reduction is a major concern of yours.
5. Cork Underlayment - This is your overall best option, possessing all of the previous advantages. This is of course the most expensive, but will serve you and your family better than most. It still falls a little short on the sound reduction, compared to the muffler type underlay, but if that isn’t an issue it is a great option.