Have you ever heard of installing underlayment?
This topic becomes more transparent when we talk about laminate flooring. There are various types of home flooring, like hardwood, vinyl, tiles, mosaic, etc. But laminate flooring is a more excellent choice for use in the home as well as in official spaces. It is affordable, long-lasting, artistic options of flooring.
Most of the flooring types don’t require underlays. But it’s very much necessary for installing laminate flooring. This content may give you an all-round concept of underlayment for laminate flooring and its installation.
It’s the moisture barrier for laminate flooring over concrete. Underlayment creates a subfloor alike layer for the laminate floor as hardwood flooring has a plywood subfloor.
Laminate underlayment is a must-needed pad that you need to install over a concrete floor. It helps to attach the laminate planks well on the floor. Besides, you may feel soft while walking on the laminate floor with underlayment. This essential pad comes separately or attached to the laminate bottom.
You can find the polyethylene foam, felt or cork underlay in a roll from the nearest stationery store. The strips of underlay are 36-44” wide. They are attached from side to side with seaming tape or glue-like strips. You may buy 30-100 feet long rolls, depending on your demand. Moreover, the thicknesses of underlay can be 6-8mm.
Why have we chosen this topic?
Laminate flooring is a great idea. But the installation of this flooring without underlay is a bad idea. We have selected this topic to make you understood the importance of underlayment for laminate flooring.
Usually, laminate boards are thin, made of fibers. The materials of these boards are less solid than other boards like hardwood, plywood, etc. So, proper underlay is always required to increase longevity.
Here is some importance of underlay for laminate flooring:
Resolves imperfect issues:
Suppose, you have removed the upper flooring such as hardwood from its subfloor. There will be an uneven surface having nail holes, gaps, splinters, etc. Hardwood or engineered wood can cover them up without any need for underlayment. As laminate boards are a thin object, they may imitate the subfloor imperfections. When you install laminate underlayment, it will cover up all those uneven holes, leftovers.
We are not talking about sturdiness. When you walk on hardwood or other floors, it may feel the hard, less comfy surface. Most of the time, we need to use mats or carpets over the flooring to soften footfall. But underlayment for laminate flooring appears great to walk on. You will feel great to put your steps on the floor.
If you install laminate flooring without underlay, it will make sounds while moving on it. In other flooring types, there is no need for sound-absorbent padding. But underlayment beneath laminate can work as a foam pad. There will be no sounds of walking, moving, or running over the surface.
It appears hard when you want to install laminate flooring in such a room having good moisture. Moisture can damage the flooring. The edges of the floor may appear out of their position. Underlayment prevents moisture from damaging the sealing of laminate boards.
Let’s talk about the installation of laminate flooring underlayment:
You can install underlay in some simple steps. Before you start, you should arrange the proper tools and supplies. You should plan the whole project.
Plan to install when the climate is friendly. Experts suggest installing when the room temperature remains at least 65°F, and humidity is less than 65%. However, you can find underlayment less effective when you install it in damp days.
- Pry bar
- Measuring tape
- Tapping block
- Saw (miter)
- Razor knife
- Nailer for finish
- Laminate boards
Once you have these tools and supplies, wear proper safety gear first. Put on hand gloves, masks, boots to cover up the body. You are going to work with a saw; there will be sawdust. Masks will prevent them from entering your mouth or eyes.
How to Install Underlayment
First step: Unroll
You have already known the definition of the underlay. One end of the strip will go along the wall.
On the upper side, it will be covered with the baseboard. The opposite end has a glue-like thing. Now, you unroll a roll; there will be clear plastic end lying on the glue side. There you will see two white foam pieces butting up against them. You should be careful to keep the wide sides closer. It will make sure you are working with the correct side. Follow the same direction from start to end.
Second step: Run
No, we are not asking you to run. Run the underlayment strip close to the longest wall in your room. Run it at 4″ height up the wall.
Third step: Cover the floor
It’s time to cover the whole floor. Bring the second sheet and butt it right against the previous sheet with a plastic edge. It will overlap the edge of the previous sheet. Now, peel back the cover of adhesive tape. Then smoothen the second sheet’s plastic edge down onto the first sheet’s tape. Do the same thing throughout the entire floor to cover up. Remember, don’t keep too much gap between the underlay and wall.
Fourth step: Clear the edges
You can remove all the excess underlayment with a razor knife. If you want to keep everything neat and clean, cut away from the workspace.
Fifth step: Board cutting
All the boards have a tongue and groove side. The tongue side is smaller in size. It will stick out from the board. You should cut it off on the long side. Cut on the short side when you install it in the corners. It will help you to have a place for work.
Sixth step: Use spacers
Put a transition strip when you are installing the boards near the door. Then try to keep the correct spacers place. Calculate the size of the board remains between the front door’s board and board against the wall. You should cut off the board at that size in front of the door.
Seventh step: Protect the front side
You may think the cutting board is a complicated task. But actually, you can find it interesting. Protect the board face throughout the time. In case you are using a jigsaw, then remember blades will go up. This is why you should keep the face down to avoid splintering. Do the opposite when blades are going down.
Eighth step: Work with a shorter piece
Now, you can start working with the next row. You can use a smaller piece so that you can avoid meeting seams. The planks with tongue and groove design are excellent in this case. It helps to snap all of them to stay put.
Ninth step: Keep the planks rightly
Use the pry bar to keep the planks into the correct place. Pry bar will help you to deal with the last planks in the first two rows.
Tenth step: Take care of joints
Do the same processes to work with the third row. Reel the joints properly as it gets a natural look. You can mix different packages’ pieces. The more you make it logical, the more you will get like a beautiful floor.
Last step: Slide the planks
Slide all the three rows together against the wall. Then, bring out the spacers. Next, slide the planks up to the wall. Now, for maintaining the gap, keep the spacers to the correct place.
Underlayment is always a necessary part of complete laminate flooring. If you skip this, inevitably, the floor will get damaged soon. Even it will make you spend more money and time.
All the mentioned steps are easy to follow. You can install the underlayment on your own. Just make a plan and do the job at a suitable time.