Does solid wood flooring need underlay?
When you think of laying solid wood flooring, finding a use for an underlay may not be the first thing that will spring to your mind. However, an increasing number of homeowners are starting to fit underlayments before laying solid wood flooring – and you should too.
There are several benefits of underlayments that make them worth spending your brass on. In today’s post, we will look at some of those benefits, and also help you choose the right underlay. Let’s start, shall we?
It has amazing sound Insulation properties
Solid wood floors – no matter how elegant and timeless they look – are (in)famous for their bad acoustic properties. This is where underlays come in. One of the most significant benefits of installing an underlay is that it provides a significant reduction in impact noise (e.g., noise from footsteps, furniture being moved and things falling on the floor) and airborne noise (e.g., noise from the neighbor’s party across the street or drilling sounds from work in progress on the road outside), thereby contributing to a quieter and more peaceful home. An underlay can be particularly helpful if you live in a multi-story apartment as it mellows those impact and airborne noises that are transferred to or emanated from the floor below.
It has amazing thermal Insulation properties
In addition to sound insulation, you also get thermal insulation with underlays. An underlay minimizes heat from escaping through the floorboard, so the hard surface of the solid wood flooring does not stay too cold. This not only provides for a very pleasant experience indoors but also results in the minimization of energy losses (with consequent energy and economic savings).
It makes for a more comfortable living
By providing a subtle cushioning effect, a high-quality underlay can make even something as simple as walking on your solid wood floor feel like a pleasant thing to do. Since you would be walking on your floors a lot, you might as well get the most satisfying walking experience you can, right? A quality underlay helps with that.
It prolongs the life of the floor
That spongy-ness that makes underlays so comfortable to walk on actually serves another practical purpose. It also reduces the level of wear and tear on the solid wood flooring by enabling the floor to absorb the shocks of people walking all over it. Certain underlays also feature a built-in vapor barrier that blocks moisture from getting to your floor, protecting it from untimely decay.
It is very easy to install
Underlays are pretty easy to install as they can be laid directly on to screed, meaning there is no need for any expensive subfloors or any messy adhesives because the boards are simply slotted together and stuck down onto the underlay. Also worth mentioning is that they can be installed in no time. It has been said that by using this method, the time it takes to install the floor is decreased by as much as 50 percent. Time is money as they say, especially if you are paying someone to lay the floor for you – and a quality underlay helps you save a considerable amount of it.
Now that you know about the many advantages of underlays, let’s have a quick look at what you will need to consider when selecting your underlay.
If you have been searching the market for an underlay, you will know that there is a wide range of different underlays out there, ranging in price. However, we always try and deter our customers from settling for cheaper alternatives. The reason being, they are simply not as good. The last thing you want to do is spend good money on a beautiful floor and have the underlay let you down after a couple of years, so make sure you get a quality underlay and not a cheap alternative.
Quality underlays are not cheap, but if you were going to glue the flooring down, you need to keep into account the price of your adhesives – a tub of good adhesive is far from inexpensive. Time saved laying the floor and the fact no adhesives are needed, are both factors that should be considered when comparing prices.
As we already mentioned, some types of underlay are excellent at absorbing sound. This is particularly important to consider if the wooden flooring is on a second or third floor. This is also a consideration in a large open space, where the sounds of the floor will reverberate around the area. If this is an important factor, look for underlay with advanced soundproofing properties.
Density affects how much the underlay will absorb the downward movement of the flooring if there is sporadic or continuous pressure applied. A denser underlay will reduce creaking and noise, and reduce the occurrence of permanently warped boards where heavy furniture is placed on top of them. A softer underlay will not “push back” on the wooden floorboards, leading to a bowing of the wood over some time.
The moisture retarder or vapor resistance is an important component of the underlay that you choose. This is especially important when your floorboards are on the ground floor, due to the rising damp of the earth, or in moist climates, like the humidity of far north Queensland. While some underlays come with a built-in layer or coating of moisture resistance, others do not, which will require an additional layer of moisture repelling material. Be careful to check first whether your underlay includes this or not.
When investing money for buying a quality solid wood floor which will last for years, why not spend a bit more and get a high quality wood flooring underlay?
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and if there is anything you need to ask, please do not hesitate to contact us. Nadine Floor Company is a reliable flooring company in Plano, Texas providing highest level of flooring products and services.
"OUR ONLY MISSION AS A COMPANY, IS TO PROVIDE THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE."
Call East Plano (469) 666-4531, West Plano (469) 666-4530, or Frisco (469) 666-4532 and get the latest flooring designs from the best flooring company.
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2300 Coit Rd Suite 200
Plano, Texas 75075
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1105 E Parker Rd Suite 132
Plano, Texas 75074
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2930 Preston Rd Suite 860
Frisco, Texas 75034