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Is underlayment required for vinyl plank flooring installation?




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Purchasing new underlayment and flooring can be a daunting task. With so many alternatives available, it’s critical to determine whether underlayment is necessary for the installation of vinyl flooring. The type of subfloor you have and the type of vinyl plank flooring you install will determine if you should use a vinyl flooring underlayment.

Why Is Underlayment Necessary?

Underlayment for flooring is a thin layer of material, typically composed of rubber, foam, or cork. It is situated on the subfloor beneath your flooring and performs several crucial tasks.

helps protect your flooring from dampness; aids in the appropriate flotation of floating floors, such as vinyl plank or laminate; adds additional cushioning

reduces noise underfoot and hides small flaws in the subfloor

aids in adding more insulation

Sorting Underlayment by Subfloor

Based on the type of subfloor you have, you can choose the appropriate underlayment for your project. We can handle concrete, wood, or pre-existing flooring like tile or hardwood. Continue reading to choose the ideal underlayment for your subfloor.

Subfloor made of concrete

We usually advise using moisture-resistant underlayment when putting vinyl plank flooring over a concrete subfloor. This is due to the fact that moisture can permeate the concrete from below, and it is crucial to safeguard your flooring from any potential moisture damage. In addition, underlayment can offer thermal insulation, making your flooring warmer throughout the winter when concrete might get chilly. The kind of vinyl plank flooring being installed and whether or not it has an underlayment already attached will determine what kind of underlayment is required. To obtain additional advise on choosing underlayment based on the type of vinyl flooring, please consult the section below.

Timber Subfloor

laying a moisture barrier is not a concern when laying vinyl flooring over wood subfloors. But if you want to improve your flooring’s floating qualities, provide some cushioning, and dampen noise, we definitely recommend installing underlayment. Depending on the kind of vinyl plank flooring and whether it comes with an underlayment already attached, a different kind of underlayment will be needed. For additional information on choosing the right underlayment depending on the kind of vinyl flooring, please refer to the section below.

Please be aware that some HOAs or apartment buildings may demand underlayment as part of their sound barrier requirements for flooring. We advise verifying all regulations one more time before installing in a homeowners association (HOA) or condo association.

Current Floors

The same guidelines that apply to putting vinyl floors over existing wood subfloors also apply to installing vinyl floors over tile or lino flooring. Installation of a moisture barrier is not a concern for you. On the other hand, underlayment is advised if you want to enhance your flooring’s floating qualities, offer cushioning, and lessen noise.

Remember to fill in any uneven patches and grout lines if you’re placing over tile. Make sure the flooring is in good condition before installing. Whether the vinyl plank flooring already has an underlayment pre-attached or not will determine the exact underlayment needed. For additional information on selecting the ideal underlayment for your vinyl flooring, see the section below.

Type of Underlayment: Vinyl Flooring

There are four primary varieties of vinyl plank flooring to take into consideration while installing it. Knowing which kind you have will enable you to assess whether underlayment is necessary. For simple help, below is a summary of each type: Vinyl plank flooring with underlayment already attached: This kind has an underlayment already installed, which simplifies installation.

Without the underlayment already attached: Vinyl plank flooring For extra comfort and safety, you’ll need to install an underlayment if your vinyl plank flooring doesn’t already have one.

Adhesive-backed vinyl plank flooring: For this style of installation to be strong and long-lasting, adhesive is needed to firmly fasten the planks to the flooring.

Vinyl plank flooring laid loose: Installation is quick and simple with this type of plank because it is made to lay directly on the subfloor without the need for glue or adhesive.

You may select the right underlayment or installation technique with confidence for a successful flooring project if you are aware of the sort of vinyl plank flooring you have.

1. Vinyl plank flooring with underlayment already put in place

An integrated underlayment is included with vinyl plank flooring that has an underlayment pre-attached. Because underlayment is already linked to the flooring, as the name implies, this is a highly convenient option because it eliminates the need to buy and install cushioning separately. Typically, the pre-attached underlayment is composed of rubber, cork, or foam.

For further safety, it’s crucial to utilize a vapor barrier when putting on a cement subfloor. In these cases, we advise applying our Visqueen Vapor Block PE Film. Your floor is protected from any potential moisture rising up from the subfloor by this moisture barrier. This additional layer guarantees long-term floor protection by keeping ground moisture from penetrating through the concrete.

Pre-attached underlayment for vinyl plank flooring has grown in popularity because it’s convenient and simple to install. The majority of our vinyl plank floors at Royal Infinity Furniture LLC have high-quality pre-attached underlayment, which makes installation simple and quick.

2. Vinyl plank flooring without the underlayment already in place

Padding is not included with vinyl plank flooring that does not have an underlayment already attached. In order to guarantee additional protection and cushioning, we advise buying underlayment separately. For floating floors to effectively float on the subfloor, underlayment is necessary to avoid moisture damage, fix minor defects in the flooring, and reduce noise.

We advise the following if you are putting over a wood subfloor:

LLC Royal Infinity Furniture Common Underlayment for Flooring: For the finest outcome, this underlayment supports the locking mechanisms between boards and offers stability and noise reduction. Our most popular solution for wood subfloors is because it is both practical and reasonably priced.

Choosing an underlayment with a moisture barrier is crucial for installations over a cement subfloor. By doing this, you may shield your flooring from any moisture that may seep through the subfloor. We advise:

Blue Vapor 3-in-1 Underlayment for Flooring: This three-in-one underlayment comes with a regular underlayment that has a moisture barrier connected, tape for simple installation, and overlap to keep moisture out. For cement subfloors where moisture may rise through the flooring, this vapor underlayment is perfect.

3. Install vinyl plank flooring via glue.

Glue down vinyl plank flooring, as the name implies, requires adhesive to firmly fasten the planks to the subfloor, resulting in an installation that is strong and long-lasting. Underlayment is not necessary since the planks are glued directly to the subfloor.

A level and clean subfloor is essential for installing glue-down vinyl flooring correctly. This guarantees that every plank adheres consistently, averting any potential issues later on.

4. Flooring with loose-lay vinyl planks

You can omit the underlayment when installing a loose lay vinyl plank flooring. Loose lay vinyl plank flooring uses unique materials that grip the subfloor, as opposed to other vinyl plank floors that need glue, nails, or a click-to-lock mechanism. This implies that you won’t need any additional padding when installing the planks directly on top of the subfloor. Just like with any other vinyl installation, just make sure your subfloor is level.

We hope that this advice has helped you make sense of which underlayment is best for installing vinyl plank flooring. Our staff is available to help you identify the best solutions for your project if you have any more concerns about whether underlayment is required for the installation of vinyl plank flooring. Speak with one of our experienced flooring specialists right now! 


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