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Do you need underlay for vinyl flooring?

Do you need underlay for vinyl flooring?

Underlay is almost always necessary. We’re often asked by our customers…

Do you need underlay for carpet? Definitely, is our answer.

Do you need underlay for laminate? 100%.

Do you need underlay for hardwood flooring? Absolutely.

In fact, as a leading online supplier, we live by the motto that underlay shouldn’t ever be regarded as an ‘optional extra’. It’s an essential purchase. Something that, nine times out of ten, you will need to buy when updating your flooring. However, there is one exception to this unwritten rule.

Do you need underlay for vinyl flooring? Perhaps surprisingly, the answer to this one is no. Underlay for vinyl flooring isn’t usually required. Let us explain why.


Vinyl – the only flooring that doesn’t require underlay

Providing the surface you’re laying it on is smooth and clean, sheet vinyl (aka. linoleum or lino) should be perfectly fine on its own. No need for an accompanying vinyl underlay. There are three key reasons for this:


1. It has a cushioned base layer

Long gone are the days of cheap, thin lino rolls that provide zero support or protection.

Now, thanks to huge advances in technology, sheet vinyl is made to an exceptional standard – manufactured from the highest quality materials and fitted with a thick, cushioned base.

This is essentially what makes lino underlay unnecessary. Due to its in-built cushioning, vinyl is capable of providing sufficient levels of thermal and sound insulation all on its own. Plus, it’s already very soft and comfortable enough underfoot – therefore negating the need for an additional layer.


2. It’s inherently durable

One of the main benefits of underlay is that it can improve the longevity of your flooring. It successfully protects against the effects of day-to-day wear and tear, such as footfall and other impacts. And as such, can help to extend its overall lifespan – by up to 50% in some cases!

However, with lino, this extra protection isn’t necessary.

Linoleum is an inherently durable and extremely hard-wearing material. Providing that it’s properly maintained, it can last for 20-40 years – even if laid in the busiest areas of your home.


Laying vinyl flooring without vinyl underlay


3. It’s designed for direct installation

Sheet vinyl is specifically designed to be fitted directly onto both concrete and wooden floorboards.

Yes – to ensure the best results – it’s important to ensure the surface is as smooth, level and clear of debris as possible. But thanks to its cushioning, a single sheet of vinyl can usually be rolled out across the subfloor and quickly glued into place, without the need for an additional layer.

Vinyl is also water-resistant; a benefit you won’t find in other flooring options, such as laminate and hardwood. Which means, it isn’t as susceptible to the effects of dampness in the subfloor – and underlay isn’t typically required to protect against potential moisture-based damage.


Sheet vinyl and luxury vinyl tiles – two different stories

The rule on underlay is different for these two very similar yet distinct products.

Unlike sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl tiles are laid as a ‘floating floor’. Therefore, they often require an extra layer of protection – between the tiles and subfloor – to help prevent any post-installation issues.

Some vinyl tiles also come with an in-built layer of cushioning (just like lino), but others don’t. And for those without cushioning, LVT underlay can be a worthwhile investment. This will:

  • improve the stability of your vinyl tiles, preventing any unwanted movement or separation
  • create a damp-proof membrane and protect against moisture
  • introduce additional thermal insulation
  • absorb impact and airborne sounds and reduce noise
  • enhance underfoot softness and comfort


The vinyl flooring range at Carpet Underlay Shop

Ready to get started? Here at Carpet Underlay Shop, we have everything you need.

A new range of Grandismo vinyl was recently added to our flooring collection.

 Sheet vinyl available at Carpet Underlay Shop


All styles in this range are suitable for fitting without sheet vinyl underlay. And thanks to its superior quality and easy installation, it’s a fantastic choice for DIY home projects – particularly the bathroom, kitchen and rooms that experience a high level of daily foot traffic.

Various widths and lengths are available to suit your requirements. And we have a diverse selection of designs to choose from, including everything from oak parquet and herringbone patterns to bold geometric and classic slate tiles – all of which mimic the look of the real thing.

No matter which style you choose, the price is the same – starting from just £52.60 (for a 2m2 roll). Coupled with the fact that no underlay is required, this makes it an affordable and cost-effective option for homeowners on a budget.


LVT and LVT underlay available at Carpet Underlay Shop


We also stock Royale LVT Click Flooring in a variety of colourways and styles. And as a specialist in underlay, of course, we have a selection of high-quality LVT underlays available too.

Our current recommendation is Royale LVT Vinyl Underlay.

Made from impact-resistant toughened foam – with a silver foam backing and high-density construction – this offers a range of fantastic benefits. For example, it can reduce noise by up to 28dB. It provides excellent thermal insulation and will successfully protect against moisture.

Available for just £3.60 per m2, this is by far the best underlay for vinyl flooring – notably improving its final look and feel, whilst offering superb value for money.


Got a question about vinyl or lino?

We’re always happy to help.

Still not sure whether you need underlayment for your vinyl sheet flooring? Can’t decide between sheet vinyl or luxury vinyl tiles? Need advice on the best products for your needs? Whatever it is, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You’re welcome to call us at any time on 0203 887 0994. Or if you prefer, send your enquiry to and a member of the team will respond as soon as possible.

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  • Alex Illidge