Vinyl Plank Flooring 101: Do You Need an Underlayment?

Picking out new flooring adds excitement to updating your space, especially when vinyl plank flooring is on the table. Its popularity isn’t hard to understand with its sleek look and tough-as-nails durability. But when it comes to its installation, you may wonder if using the recommended underlayment is necessary.

We understand your concerns, and that’s why this blog post is here to share with you what the underlayment is and its purpose for your vinyl flooring. We’ll also guide you through scenarios where this layer is a must and times you might skip it, though with caution. Read on!

Hardwood floor sample boards

Understanding Vinyl Plank Flooring & Underlayment

Vinyl plank flooring is popular for those seeking a durable and stylish option. It mimics natural wood’s look while offering vinyl’s resilience and maintenance ease. But what about the layer underneath? Underlayment is a thin layer between the vinyl flooring and the subfloor. It’s used for:

1) Moisture Protection

Underlayment is a barrier against moisture, which can seep from the subfloor and potentially damage your plank flooring. By keeping moisture at bay, underlayment helps preserve the integrity and appearance of your floor.

2) Insulation

Besides moisture protection, underlayment provides thermal insulation. This means your floors can retain heat better during colder months, contributing to a more comfortable and energy-efficient home.

3) Sound Reduction

One of the key advantages of underlayment is its ability to absorb sound. This results in a quieter living environment, reducing the noise of footsteps and other impacts. Such sound-dampening properties are particularly beneficial in multi-story homes or apartments.

To Underlay or Not?

In the quest for the perfect flooring, understanding when and why to use underlayment is vital. Let’s see when it’s a must and when you can carefully skip it:

When Underlayment Is Your Best Friend

We highly recommend underlayment when the subfloor is moisture-prone or when installing luxury vinyl flooring over concrete. It protects your flooring from potential water damage and provides a smoother surface for installation, enhancing its overall look and feel.

Skipping With Caution

While there are scenarios where you might consider skipping the underlayment, tread carefully. Some vinyl flooring comes with a pre-attached underlayer, which can simplify your project. However, bypassing this layer could risk the floor’s integrity over time, potentially leading to discomfort and additional costs.

Get a Foundation that Lasts with Badger State Flooring, LLC

We know that when you prioritize durability and longevity, every layer matters. The concern over moisture damage or reduced comfort from missing underlayment can dampen the excitement of your new vinyl plank flooring. At Badger State Flooring, we get it. No one should have to second-guess the resilience of their choice.

Avoid regretting a decision made in haste. With Badger State Flooring, you can rest easy that your investment stands strong through the seasons. We’ve guided dozens of property owners toward flooring solutions that encapsulate durability, style, and practicality. Count on us to make an informed decision today!