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Best Underlays for Vinyl Plank Flooring 2023 Prevent moisture damage, reduce noise and provide thermal insulation with the best underlays for vinyl planks on the market.

Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Underlayment

Vinyl plank flooring is becoming increasingly popular for its ability to recreate the look of hardwood while being inexpensive, durable and water-resistant. However, many people don’t realize that the underlayment is just as important as the floor itself. Shopping for the best underlayment for vinyl flooring online, however, can quickly become overwhelming because there are so many options available at a wide range of prices. This article breaks down what to look for when shopping for the best underlayment for vinyl plank flooring and discusses key considerations to keep in mind when shopping.

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Keep reading for tips on choosing the best option and explore our curated picks for the best vinyl plank flooring underlay.

Although it is easy to assume that all vinyl flooring underlayments provide similar performance, many factors affect its performance. Features such as operating frequency, ground balance, search mode, and item discrimination may make one better suited to a user’s needs than another option. Keep reading to learn about these important features to consider when choosing the best underlayment for vinyl plank flooring.

There are several types of underlayment for vinyl plank flooring, each with unique benefits. Here are some of the most popular:

There are several subspecies of vinyl plank flooring, each with different requirements when it comes to an underlayment. Vinyl plank flooring is generally classified as rigid or flexible.

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The most durable option available is rigid vinyl plank flooring. Engineered vinyl plank (EVP) flooring (also known as rigid core luxury vinyl flooring) can be made with three different cores: stone-plastic composite (SPC), wood-plastic composite (WPC), and pure vinyl. SPC floors are not as comfortable, so they are best paired with soft underlays made from foam, felt and cork. WPC floors are dense, so they often require a thin underlayment. Pure vinyl floors lack durability and comfort, so they require the highest-grade underlayment available.

Flexible vinyl plank flooring is often used as a budget or temporary solution because it comes in a peel-and-stick format and does not offer the same level of quality or durability as rigid vinyl flooring.

Vinyl plank flooring is designed to be waterproof but can warp when exposed to moisture from the subfloor. Damp areas such as basements may require the use of vapor barriers in addition to standard underlayments. Some underlayments are designed with antimicrobial properties so they can prevent the growth of mold spores in damp or wet areas.

Generally speaking, vinyl flooring underlays are between 2 and 3 millimeters thick, although they can be as thick as 1 millimeter or 6 millimeters. It’s easy to assume that a thicker underlayment would indicate a higher level of performance, but manufacturing innovations have made it possible for thinner underlayments to provide top-notch comfort and insulation. Underlayment thickness is primarily a consideration when using different types of flooring in a home. If the kitchen has a tile floor, for example, it’s important to make sure it’s the same height as the vinyl plank flooring when considering the thickness of the underlayment.

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Using an underlayment helps prevent cold floors in the winter by providing an extra layer of thermal insulation. This results in lower heating costs, saving money in the long run. Some types of underlayment will be rated with an R-value, which indicates how much thermal insulation it provides. A higher R-value indicates better insulation. Look for an R-value between 0.2 and 0.4.

One of the key benefits of vinyl flooring underlayment is sound insulation. This is especially important if the vinyl planks are installed on the upper floors of the house or apartment. The level of sound insulation provided by an underlayment can be rated in negative decibels (-dB), or by Impact Insulation Class (IIC) or Sound Transmission Class (STC). Felt and cork are two of the best underlayment materials for providing sound insulation.

Now that you’ve learned more about flooring underlayment, it’s time to start shopping. The following are our top picks for some of the best underlays for vinyl plank flooring. These recommendations were selected due to their quality construction, excellent performance and ease of installation.

This floorlot underlayment is made from polyethylene foam and has a laminated moisture barrier that prevents mold growth, making it particularly suitable for concrete subfloors. This underlayment is a good choice for slightly uneven subfloors as it smooths out any minor imperfections. It provides sound absorption and heat insulation. It is incredibly versatile and suitable for use on hardwood and laminate floors, including vinyl.

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The roll is 3.58 feet by 56 feet, covering a total area of ​​200 square feet. Installation is a breeze because each roll comes with self-sealing tape. An important point to note is that this underlayment will not bond well with flexible vinyl plank flooring or rigid plank flooring less than 7mm thick.

Made from recycled felt, this underlayment is ideal for sound insulation with a 3-millimeter thickness. It holds an STC rating of 66 and an IIC rating of 71, guaranteeing that it will significantly reduce noise. It is Greenguard-Gold certified, ensuring low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in the material.

This underlayment works well with laminate flooring, engineered wood and bamboo. It is even compatible with radiant in-floor heating systems. However, there are some limitations to the type of flooring it is compatible with. This underlayment can only be used on floating floors and will not work on floors that are glued or nailed. It is also suitable for vinyl flooring at least 5 millimeters thick.

Those looking for a budget option will appreciate the low price and high quality of this underlayment from Bestlaminate. It is designed with dual functionality, providing cushioning while protecting against moisture. It is universally compatible, blends well with any type of subfloor and is suitable for use on bamboo, hardwood, engineered wood, laminate and vinyl flooring.

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It is easy to install as it has a self-adhesive design and a built-in tape end. Incorporated with a plastic overlap and self-sealing adhesive roll, this ensures that this underlayment is completely waterproof. Each roll covers 100 square feet of floor space and is 2 millimeters thick.

This 3-millimeter underlay from Roberts is designed to increase comfort and absorb sound at the same time. It has an STC rating of 66 and an IIC rating of 67, both indicating highly effective noise insulation properties. It’s made from recycled felt fibers, making it an eco-friendly option and features a vapor barrier that helps fight moisture and humidity.

In terms of subfloor compatibility, it pairs well with any floor type and, due to its cushioning effect, is suitable for use above concrete subfloors. An adhesive strip and 3-inch overlap help when linking multiple rolls during the installation process, making this underlayment easy to install in large areas.

This underlayment is made from an insulating wood fiber material that is VOC free, making it safe for households with children and pets. The material is super-absorbent, making it ideal for areas prone to moisture damage. There are no gluten additives, making it a completely natural product. It is recyclable, further reducing its environmental impact. It has a rating of -25 dB, which means it reduces by 25 decibels, providing excellent sound insulation. Its high compression strength ensures that the flooring does not feel bouncy and is comfortable to walk on.

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It is important to note that this underlayment only covers 90 square feet. It is sold in sheets rather than rolls, making it easier to lay flat.

Cork underlays offer several advantages: they are naturally hypoallergenic and offer excellent moisture and sound absorption. This type of underlayment also reduces thermal transmission, making it an ideal choice for radiant heated floors. Cork is a renewable resource, so underlayment made of cork is an eco-friendly choice. This particular model offers 200 square feet of coverage and works well for uneven subfloors because it is sturdier than underlayments made from other materials.

At 6 millimeters, this underlayment is much thicker than those made from other materials, so it is important to ensure that all floors are level even with a height of 6 millimeters.

This underlayment from Roberts has Gold Guard antimicrobial protection and provides improved air circulation, which inhibits mold growth. In addition, it helps reduce noise (with an IIC rating of 68 and an STC rating of 67), moisture protection, comfort and even helps level imperfections in the subfloor. It is only compatible with floating flooring and cannot be used with vinyl flooring that needs to be nailed or glued. It is, however, compatible with all types of subfloors.

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This underlayment is available in a much larger roll than many of its competitors, offering 630 square feet of coverage. Because of this, it offers great value when flooring large spaces.

Roberts has two layers to this underlay:

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