Choosing The Correct Underlayment For Real Wood Flooring

Real wood flooring is a very convenient and visually striking feature in any home, condo, or office. But underneath lay the part of the installation that makes it structurally sound and functional. Choosing the right underlayment is essential, if you want to get the best out of your hardwood floors.                                     

Underlayment is necessary because a property’s structural subfloor may be uneven and sometime a little abrasive. The result of using underlayment will provide you with a smooth surface for your flooring, help protect from damage associated with rough or damp subfloors. Underlayment also provide a sound barrier, making your home all the more peaceful when walking about.

Even though you can choose your own underlayment, your manufacturer’s instructions will tell you what is recommended, and we highly suggest that you go with that. If you go against there recommendation, you could lose out on your real wood flooring warranty. And this is never a good thing.

The issue with this is sometimes what the manufacturer is suggesting could be expensive or it may not be the best quality. It’s always a good idea to do your research, and call around to different companies to find the lowest competitive pricing, giving you a little leeway when it comes to having a choice in the matter.

In addition, to going with what the manufacturer suggests, don’t forget to check out the buildings regulations to see if a certain kind of underlayment is necessary.

Different Kinds of Underlayment:

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Standard Foam

This is the most common underlayment used in flooring, and it comes in various prices and sizes. Like everything that you typically buy in bulk, the more you buy the more you save. This particular underlayment is a synthetic product that is about 1/8 of an inch thick, and it is placed on top of the surface of the subfloor. Because of the composition of the product, it provides some protection for your floor. However it does not do much for moisture control. Because of this, I would only personally recommend this type for dry areas. Also because this type of foam is usually thick I would not expect a quiet walking environment for your downstairs area, unless you don’t mind hearing people walking around above you.

 

Combination Underlayment

Everything the standard foam does, but with an added layer of protection towards moisture. It is also pretty thin as well so be prepared to hear thudding and thumping when walking around. The good thing about it, is the fact that you do not have to limit where it is installed, you can do bathrooms, kitchens, and even a less humid basement if you want. This foam is also installed on the ground floor.

 

Upgraded and Modified Underlayment

These tend to be much thicker and more resilient than the standard and combination foams. They usually are closed cell foams or fibers. This kind of underlayment provides great noise reduction and moisture protection. This means the people upstairs will not be a factor in your home at all.

Cork

Simply the best, and if you live in a condo it will probably be required to keep the noise level non existent. It is also the most expensive however. So you will just have to get with the manufacturer or the property manager to find out if you can or can’t use this particular product.

Well now you have the facts, and as you can see choosing the correct underlayment for you real wood flooring is essential in the health and overall durability of you flooring.

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