The Role of Underlayment
Many people are familiar with the beautiful results achieved when a hardwood floor is first installed, or when floor sanding services have been employed to renew it back to its original lovely state. Relatively fewer people are aware of the preparation that must go into the proper laying of such a floor. There is more involved than merely fastening planks down to the subfloor layer. In particular, floor installers must take care to use the proper type of underlayment.
What Is Underlayment?
An underlayment is a layer of padding installed beneath the final top layer of a wooden floor. Such a layer is required when engineered wooden flooring or laminate flooring is used, but can be optional when true hardwood planks are employed to craft a high-quality floor that will last for years before floor sanding and polishing becomes necessary. However, many installers believe that underlayment is of great benefit even when used in conjunction with hardwood floors.
Advantages Of Underlayment
Underlayment has several key benefits. It serves to help deaden sounds in the room because it absorbs some of the noise that can be produced, for example, by people walking across the floor. It can also have a very slight cushioning effect in a tactile sense as well, making a hardwood floor a little more comfortable, though this effect is nowhere near as significant as when, for example, a pad is used beneath carpet. Some kinds of underlayment also provide a vapour barrier; this can help prevent moisture from seeping up from the ground into the hardwood planks of the floor.