Can I Use Carpet As Underlay For Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a popular option because it is easy to clean and maintain and is a durable flooring solution, too, if installed correctly. If You want long-lasting quality for your laminate floor, you need to install it with the right type of underlay.

Using a carpet as underlay on laminate flooring may be appealing, but it can cause problems in the long run.

You cannot use carpet as an underlay for laminate flooring because high-pile and low-pile carpets become uneven as frequently used walking paths are pushed down by passing feet.

Dust and other mites accumulate in carpets, which can cause problems; moreover, laminate can entrap moisture in the carpet, which creates the ideal conditions for mould and mildew to develop.

It is a myth that carpets can replace underlays to reduce sound impact. Instead, it is better to use high-quality underlayment to get the best results from laminate flooring.

What type of underlay should you use for laminate flooring

There are several good options in the market to use underlay for laminate flooring, but first, you need to consider the subfloor type for underlayment.

Suppose the laminate plank is going over a concrete floor. In that case, putting on a vapour barrier against the moisture released by the concrete floor is essential, as moisture can damage the laminate flooring, read the article on how to put laminate flooring over concrete.

If you install the underlayment on a plywood floor, you don’t need to worry about moisture. You can find the underlayment with better noise reduction.

Types of underlayment

The Common mistakes when choosing an underlayment for laminate flooring are to use carpet padding and thick underlayment, thinking that it will increase the comfort of walking on a laminate floor, but that is different. It will only make the floor flex and loosen joints.

The proper underlayments for flooring are thin foam layers that don’t allow noticeable movement underfoot. The thickness of laminate flooring underlayment ranges from 3mm to 6mm, the density of underlayment is typically 1.5 pounds per cubic foot or higher.

The R-value of laminate flooring underlayment ranges from about 0.5 to 1.5. underlayment can reduce sound transmission through the floor by as much as 20 dB. Here are three underlayments for laminate flooring.

Foam underlayment

It consists of a thin layer of foam cushion between the subfloor and the laminate flooring, most commonly used as underlayment for laminate flooring. It is often used on plywood and OSB subfloor types. However, it can not be used in high-moisture areas because it does not provide any vapour barrier.

Combination of foam underlayment

This type of underlayment is a combination of foam and a vapour barrier layer that protects laminate flooring from moisture; it is more expensive than the foam underlayment, it can be used on both concrete and OSB subfloors, but it cannot be used in basements and bathrooms, here is a guide on can you install laminate flooring in bathrooms.

Cork underlayment

Cork underlayment is used on the floor where noise reduction is necessary; It also can be used to level uneven surfaces between the rooms; it is more expensive than the foam underlayment and the combination of foam underlayment. It can add 40% to the cost of laminate flooring installation.

What happens if you don’t use underlayment under laminate flooring

Cutting corners or saving some money on underlayment can lead to serious long-term consequences; floor underlayment provides protection and support for laminate flooring. We will discuss some dangers of opting out of underlayment from your laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring planks rely on tongue and groove edges to provide interlocking between each piece; minor imperfections in the subfloor can cause excess wear to develop. Over the years, footsteps and movement of furniture can begin to wear at groove connections, and temperature can also sap the integrity of your laminate flooring.

Foam underlayment is ideal for creating strong joints between planks; the thickness protects tongue and groove connections for long-lasting performance.

Rough surfaces

Laminate flooring could be better when dealing with uneven surfaces, plywood subfloors can provide long spans for a flooring application, and concrete may be suitable if proper precautions are taken. Laminate underlayment helps to cushion out minor imperfections creating a uniform surface.

Excess Noise

Floors without underlayment can cause an acoustic effect like items being dropped or dragged across the floor, footsteps, random impacts, and everyday noises; these noises can impact your work and home life.

Cold Floors

Many subfloors can become damp during the colder months, especially concrete floors; concrete can also be challenging, leaving the floors uncomfortable to be on the floor. The laminate flooring underlayment is both warm and welcoming.

More Moisture

Subfloors, especially in basements, moisture and vapour can wreak havoc on many flooring materials; installing a vapour barrier with underlayment can protect your laminated flooring as moisture can damage a wide variety of materials, here is a simple guide on how to protect laminate flooring.

Using a 6ml vapour barrier with foam underlayment can save you time and money in the installation process.

Laminate flooring underlay thickness.

Your underlayment sits between the laminate flooring planks and subfloor, the type of underlayment you choose has a significant impact on the comfort of your flooring. Keep in mind that underlayment provides three layers of protection for laminate flooring.

It reduces the sound of footsteps and echoing, adding a cushioning, water resistance layer to keep moisture out, insulating the room so the hot and cold air cannot seep through the subfloor.

Because your laminate flooring is permanently glued to the floor, the underlayment plays an essential role in the comfort and protection of your home.

Some floors have pre-installed underlayment, but you should install a small moisture barrier layer underneath to keep moisture away. Underlayment is usually 3mm thick and can be used on wood subfloors; the three-in-1 underlayment is usually 2mm thick. It keeps vapours and sounds away from your flooring.

How to lay laminate flooring underlay

Once you have chosen the best underlay for your laminate flooring, you can use a professional installer or do it independently. Still, it is advised to use a professional installer to get satisfactory results.

However, if you decide to do it independently, here is the procedure.

First of all, you need to lay the underlay before doing anything. This will allow you to fit the skirting boards over the underlay and laminate boards, resulting in an excellent professional finish.

Step 2 is to clean your subfloor to ensure it is scorched; if you notice that your subfloor is damaged, you should fix it before doing anything further.

Step 3 lay down your and the length of your room; make sure you leave a gap of at least 12mm around any pipes. On Concrete Subfloors, lay the underlay with a vapour barrier; on wooden subfloors, lay the underlay with the rubber side down and use the knife to cut any surplus underlay.

Step 4 Secure the seams of the underlay with vapour tape if you have a concrete subfloor; for wooden subfloors, you can use underlay tape.

Step 5 Once you are happy with your underlay, you can install your laminate flooring on top of it.