Hardwood Floor Underlayment Options and Installation

Hardwood Floor Underlayment

If you are looking for a solid foundation for your hardwood floors and are confused about choosing the right hardwood floor underlayment option for the subfloor, you are landing on the right page.

Of course, every homeowner is looking for a durable and sustainable underlayment set up for their living space.

However, you have to keep in mind tons of terminologies while shopping for underlayments for your laminate floors.

It might be difficult for you to consider every aspect in your mind and select the finished product with all the accurate features.

This guide will help you to choose a perfect underlayment set up for your hardwood floors. Our unbiased underlayment products for hardwood floors will ease up your decision of picking the right one:

 The Best Underlayment for Hardwood Floors – Top Brands of 2022

The underlayment setup is not required for all types of flooring, but it needs a solid foundation from the subfloor for sustainability and durability when you talk about hardwood flooring.

Here you will get the best floor underlayment options for hardwood flooring and you can easily choose according to your floor needs:

TrafficMASTER Polyethylene Foam – Budget Friendly

The underlayment layer of TrafficMASTER foam is 2 millimeters thick. This foamy underlayment is extremely flexible and lightweight in nature.

TrafficMASTER Polyethylene Foam

The self-adhesive strip helps in the installation process, and this cheap breathable underlayment price will reduce to a greater extent.

You can trust this structure for multiple locations in your living space. You will get a solid foundation for your hardwood floors and a moisture barrier advantage.

Roberts AirGuard Floor Underlayment – Best for Laminate

This type of underlinement is sturdy and thin in nature. You will feel the soft cushioning while walking for hours in this underlayment.

It can be considered the best underlayment for laminate flooring because it won’t rip on any subfloor condition and will give you a stable walking experience.

Roberts AirGuard Floor Underlayment

The Roberts AirGuard Floor underlayment is appropriate for wooden floors.

If you have installed a wood floor underlay, it works well on these radiant heated floors, and the sound will also not transmit from one side to another.

DUROCK Cement Backer Board – Best for Tile

The DUROCK Cement Board is an ideal option for ceramic, stone, and porcelain tiles.

The underlayment setup of this brand will give you a smooth sensation with all these concrete flooring options and will fight against moisture and mildew growth.

DUROCK Cement Backer Board

You can install it on your laundry room floor or any countertop of your kitchen, and its pair with the concrete floor will never disappoint you.

The thickness of the underlayment of your tiles is 0.25 to 0.50 inches which are extremely easy to cut and adhesive on any subfloor.

Eco Cork Foam Premium Underlayment – Best for Concrete

The Eco Cork Foam is purely waterproof and highly recommended for concrete flooring options. The thickness is almost 3.2 millimeters, surely ignoring all the additional elements underneath your concrete floors.

The antimicrobial feature of this premium underlayment will discourage bacterial growth and works well in high-traffic areas.

Eco Cork Foam Premium Underlayment

You can consider this option for your basement, family room, and nearly all types of floors with an easy installation feature.

It is also an economical option; you can save more cost and time with a DIY installation.

DMX 1 Step 2.0 Underlayment – Best for Vinyl

The DMX underlayment is suitable for vinyl planks. If you want to install vinyl tiles on the basement or bathroom floor, its underlayment setup is necessary.

If you pair DMX 1 Step 2.0 with any type of vinyl planks, this combination will nicely fight against moisture and heat elements.

DMX 1 Step 2.0 Underlayment

The dimples in this underlayment help you to adhesive it on any subfloor and is a great option for all types of engineered hardwood and laminate floors.

FloorMuffler Ultraseal Premium Underlayment – Best for Noise Reduction

The Floor Muffler underlayment is constructed with polypropylene foam and is suitable for cushioning the engineered wooden and solid wood floors.

FloorMuffler Ultraseal Premium Underlayment

You will never feel any sound while walking on the surface of this setup. The Floor Muffler brand also gives you DIY installation luxury because of its self-sticking adhesive nature.

You can lie down on all concrete flooring options with strong mildew and moisture resistance. If you are residing in any colder state, then trust this brand.

What to Look for in Floor Underlayment – Buying Guide

You may find many terminologies used in hardwood floor underlayment, and if you are a DIY beginner, it will be more confusing for you to choose the best underlayment for hardwood floors.

To keep things easy for you, our expert team flooring has designed a few crucial factors which are essential to consider before choosing a floor underlayment:

Type of Underlayment

The underlayment types for any floor are categorized in terms of their material. There are several kinds of structures available for subfloors which are:

Cork: The cork underlayment is constructed with natural material. This eco-friendly setup is a great temperature insulator in all weather conditions.

You can consider the cork option for all hardwood floors like underlayment wood.

Rubber: The most flexible option is rubber underlayment. If you have a waterproof subfloor, rubber underlayment suits you more than any other choice.

Felt: The simplest form of underlayment setup is felt. It features with moisture fence and sound absorption benefits.

Foam: The foam underlayment is a budget-friendly setup for any floor. You will never feel any sound, even on high-traffic spots with foam underlayment.

You can consider any option from them for your DIY flooring project according to the type of your hardwood floors.

Moisture Barrier

The most important factor while choosing the hardwood floor underlayment is the floor vapor barrier. You have to protect your surface from water damage.

The best moisture barrier idea for a concrete floor is to seal it properly.

If you have installed waterproof underlayment, but there is a gap or tiny hole in the planks of your floor and water is sneaking through the surface, then there is a certain chance that the water will soak the underlayment and damage the overall setup.

Comfortability or Stability Level

Sometimes it is unpleasant to walk on hardwood floors for a longer period. You have to maintain the softness and comfortability with the best underlayment for vinyl plank flooring.

This setup allows proper cushioning to your hardwood flooring options and feels your feet like any soft rug.

The underlayment setup is necessary if you invest in floating floors because the floating floors will never attach to the subfloor’s surface.

Hence, the moisture and other elements got the space to grow up underneath this type of floor. To overcome these issues, you have to provide proper cushioning in the form of underlayment for stability.

Noise Level or Sound Reduction

Of course, you want a quiet walk underlayment setup for your floors. Therefore, you have to choose a less noisy flooring option for your living space.

A sound reduction underlayment setup is a great solution to this aspect. This noise factor matters a lot in the bedroom or televisions sitting area.

Your chosen underlayment should absorb the background sound of walking and provide a soundproof ambiance in your living space.

This factor is also important when choosing underlayment for the upper stories of your residential space so that you can’t hear any sound from the lower ground portion.

Think about the Subfloor Condition

It is important to examine your subfloor before going to buy the hardwood floor underlayment. The floor and décor underlayment conditions should be identical to work the best for hardwood floors.

If you have a concrete subfloor, you must install a stronger underlayment that provides a water and heat resistant feature to prevent underlayment at extreme heating and high-moisture conditions.

Many flexible underlayment setups are available in the current market to easily tackle these subfloor imperfections.

Evaluate the Purpose of Living Space

Finally, you can glance through the purpose of your room where you want to install this underlayment.

If you’re going to put it in your bedroom or living space, you can go for a less noisy and comfortable underlayment option.

Similarly, if you have a high-traffic area in your home, you must determine a solid underlayment to support this space.

Where to Install Underlayment?

The underlayment can be installed on any type of subfloor. This layer can easily be attached to all kinds of hardwood floors and provide a solid setup for these floors.

Some of the flooring options are available with attached underlayment, but you have to purchase a separate underlayment structure for other floors where this arrangement is not available.

Install Underlayment

Mostly you will find underlayment in moisturizing areas like a laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom and protect the surface from water damage.

The underlayment layer is made of rubber, cork, felt, or foam materials and can be installed according to the needs of your living space.

The right type of underlayment foundation will surely increase the lifespan of your hardwood floors.

How Thick Should My Underlayment be?

Most consumers of underlayment are worried about its thickness or can’t get the right answer about its width.

A good underlayment is 2 to 3 millimeters thick, but it can be different on uneven subfloors. Nonetheless, this width depends on some other factors, too, like its material, absorption, or density.

It’s a great idea also to check the recommendations of the manufacturer of underlayment.

Once you have confirmed the manufacturer’s approval and the underlayment is compatible with your flooring option, you are free to install an ideal underlayment for your hardwood floors.

Why Do You Need Underlayment?

The underlayment setup is not always necessary, but some emotional benefits will surely improve the overall performance of your hardwood floors. These are:

  • Underlayment provides solid support for any type of floor.
  • You will never feel any hollow sound from underlayment floors because it reduces the noise level.
  • Another great feature of underlayment is protecting the moisture from your flooring.
  • Underlayment will stabilize the floating floors.
  • If there are some imperfections in your subfloor, it will help cover these deficiencies.
  • This setup will protect your floor against friction.
  • Add comfortability and softness to your hardwood floors.

The right underlayment setup with a hardwood floor will fight against mildew and moisture to give your floors a long-lasting effect.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Underlay for Hardwood Floors?

The cork and foam underlayment is considered the best material for hardwood floor underlayment. If you still ask for a single best product, it recommends cork underlayment between these options.

Should You Put Underlayment Under Hardwood Floors?

The underlayment is not necessary for hardwood floors, but this setup has plenty of benefits in the long run. It will provide stability and durability to your floor and protect it from moisture and mold growth.

Should I Put Felt Paper Under Hardwood Flooring?

Felt paper is used underneath any hard surface for moisture protection. It is actually an extra layer that reduces the dampening sound and gives extra cushioning to hardwood planks.

Also, remember that some luxurious models of hardwood flooring already feature dampening foam; in this case, you don’t need to add this felt paper to your subfloor.

What Should I Put Under My Hardwood Floors?

You can put endless options under your hardwood surface for its protection. A most common form of underlayment is foam, cork, and felt for hardwood floors.

Do You Need Plywood Under Hardwood Floors?

If you already installed plywood on your floor surface, it’s a great idea to put hardwood flooring on it. It reduces squeaks in your living space and fits well with this surface.


If you are looking for an ideal pair of underlayments with hardwood floors, you must keep these useful tips.

Here you have seen top industrial underlayment products for every type of hardwood flooring option.

This unbiased hardwood floor underlayment guide will ease your job of choosing the right product and improving your home floors’ performance.

You can also learn more with the help of the factors mentioned in the buying guide section. These decisive elements cover all the concerns of a quality underlayment setup associated with your hardwood floors.

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