You’ve decided on luxury vinyl plank flooring, but you may be wondering about the underlayment. Do you need an underlayment when installing luxury vinyl plank flooring? Don’t worry. This is a common question, and we are here to help! Visit our flooring consultants for expert advice today . Here are a few things you should know about your underlayment.
Looking at Your Subfloor
Before installing your luxury vinyl plank flooring, you need to take a look at your subfloor. Is it in good condition, free of damage, smooth, clean, and dust-free?
What is your subfloor made of? The material of your subfloor is a huge consideration when it comes to an underlayment.
- Concrete Subfloors: If your subfloor is concrete, you may want to consider an underlayment. First off, it will add extra cushioning which makes the floor softer for walking. Next, it adds a vapour barrier that will reduce moisture. Finally, it will provide extra thermal protection to keep the flooring warmer in the colder months of the year.
- Wood Subfloors: When installing luxury vinyl plank flooring over wood subfloors, you don’t need to worry about the extra layer of moisture protection. But if you’re looking for added cushioning and reduction of sound, you may want to install that underlayment. It may also be a requirement depending on where you live, for example, an apartment, in order to provide a stronger sound barrier.
- Existing Flooring: If you’re planning to install vinyl flooring over an existing subfloor such as tile, you can use the underlayment as an extra cushion and sound reduction. Since there is flooring underneath it, moisture will not be an issue. Bear in mind that installing vinyl flooring over tile will need to include filling in grout lines and uneven surfaces to make sure the flooring is in proper condition before installing over it.
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Differences
Once you have analyzed the state of your subfloor, knowing the different types of vinyl flooring is critical. It will impact your decision of needing an underlayment or not.
- Click Lock Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring: Click lock vinyl plank flooring uses a locking system similar to laminate flooring but has a thinner construction. Any vinyl flooring over 4mm may have a specific underlayment. Adding an underlayment to anything thinner than that may cause issues with the strength of the locking system. If your vinyl is over 4mm, be sure you’re choosing an underlayment specific to vinyl flooring, so you don’t cause added issues.
- Glue Down or Loose Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring: This type doesn’t need an underlayment. They are installed directly on the subfloor, so it is key to have the subfloor free of debris and be sure it is level before gluing it down.
Do You Need an Underlayment?
There are a variety of factors that determine whether you need underlayment or not. These range from your subfloor to your choice of luxury vinyl plank flooring. If you're looking for luxury vinyl plank flooring and aren't sure where to begin, let us help! Contact us today.