WHAT DOES AN UNDERLAY DO?
An underlay does more than just sit between your subfloor and wood flooring. It serves several important purposes, making it all the more crucial to choose the best underlayment for your home.
Here are some of the many things that an underlay does:
PROVIDES SHOCK ABSORPTION AND MOISTURE PROTECTION
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your hardwood floors were laid directly over your subfloor, without any protection in between? Not only would the floors be subject to any moisture seeping up from the foundation of your home that goes through the subfloor (especially in homes without basements), but the probability of your hardwood planks getting damaged by the moisture would go up.
In addition, without this protective layer, the hardwood flooring is directly against the subfloor, making both subject to warping and cracking as they press up against one another. As a result, the lifespan of your subfloor and hardwood floors would be exponentially shorter than they should be.
MAKES YOUR HOME A BIT QUIETER
Hardwood floors are seldom quiet. You can hear everything, from cats running up and down the hall to the footsteps of people on the floor above you.
However, with a good underlayment, your home will be slightly quieter. The underlay takes away some of the noise due to its sound dampening qualities. You’ll be thankful that you can no longer hear every single footstep.
REDUCES YOUR ENERGY BILLS
Energy bills are ridiculously high these days, and they’re even more so without a good underlayment. That protective layer located in between your flooring and subflooring provides some insulation. It keeps the cold air in place during the summer and the warm air from escaping through the floor in the winter.
As a result, your heating and cooling bills will go down as long as the right kind of underlay is properly installed.
LEVELS OUT YOUR SUBFLOOR
In order for your hardwood floor to last as long as possible, it needs to be installed over a level subfloor. This is easier said than done when the subfloor is already imperfect, with spots that are lower or higher than others.
Rather than completely replace the subfloor, which can add to the cost of the installation, you can use the underlayment to level things out. By taking the time to ensure that the underlayment covers and repairs those imperfections, your new hardwood flooring will sit properly on top, and you won’t have to worry about any additional expenses.