Underlay Faqs
You’ve got questions? We’ve got the answers!

An underlay is required for “cushioning” and protection from moisture and noise transfer and it is essential that a premium quality moisture resistant and acoustic underlay be chosen to create a level base for your new floor.  The purpose is to provide an underlay of superior quality for thermal insulation, noise reduction and moisture protection for residential buildings, apartments and commercial building applications, new build or renovation, ground or upper floors?

I’ve been shopping around and retail and online store don’t seem to pay much attention to underlay, why is this?

It is unfortunate that most retailer store do no value the importance of a quality underlay for underneath any floating floor system.  A diligent customer service person should understand their customer’s requirements and guide them toward to best underlay for their particular project.  Another contributing factor is it’s much easier to sell a cheap underlay that in most cases won’t perform adequately for the purpose, it’s much harder to upgrade the customer to a product that will cost more but will be assured they have been provided the best underlay for their particular application.

What type of underlay should I choose?

At all times the choice should be an acoustic underlay with an inbuilt moisture barrier.

Can I save money on buying a less expensive underlay?

Yes you can but remember this underlay will be there for the life of your flooring and will have to support the flooring with cushioning and noise reduction and you won’t get this will inferior quality or less expensive underlay.

How much will I pay for underlay ?

A lot of times the underlay is built into the flooring price but at the cheapest end of the market $2.50m2 will get you a standard 2mm thick foam and up to say $16.00m2 for the premium quality acoustic and moisture barrier underlays.

Is the quality of underlay really important?

Yes absolutely, the quality of the underlay is extremely important.  A premium quality underlay will have a major impact on the life and comfort of your flooring.  Many years ago 2mm thick foam underlay was developed for underneath 8mm thick laminate which is thin and lightweight and is not suitable for underneath the thicker and heavier flooring now available.

Will the cheaper thinner underlay level out any high and low spots on the sub-floor?

No it will not.  A 2mm or 3mm underlay will flatten quickly with the weight of the boards and then the furniture thereby reducing the cushioning and noise reduction to almost nothing.  The cheaper underlay will not hide any high or low spots in the sub-floor, preparation should be expected to either  level or grind to meet the flooring industry standard.