Is laminate underlay worth the expense?
Laying laminate on a limited budget?
It may be a cheaper alternative to engineered or solid hardwood – but when you factor in delivery, accessories such as new door bars, the installation etc., the cost can soon ramp up.
Which is why, many people ask – is laminate underlay really necessary? Do you really need to spend your hard-earned cash on a layer that won’t even be seen?
For anyone attempting to keep costs down, underlay is often viewed as an optional extra – something that can be omitted to save a little cash. But this is a common misconception.
In truth, it should be deemed as an essential purchase. Something that can make a huge difference to the final look, feel and performance of your new laminate – and a part of the installation that should never be bypassed, no matter how little you have to spend! Let’s take a look at why.
Laminate underlay – too beneficial to leave out
It may be hidden below the surface, but the importance of laminate flooring underlay – and the difference it can make on both a short- and long-term basis – cannot be understated.
Underlay offers a wide and diverse range of benefits. For example, it will:
- successfully correct any imperfections (i.e. bumps and dips) in the subfloor
- make the installation process much quicker and easier
- enhance the final look of your new laminate
- significantly improve underfoot comfort
- increase acoustic and thermal insulation
- boost the durability of your new laminate
Our current recommendation is Royale 7mm Professional Sonic Gold Underlay.
Regarded as the best underlay for laminate available, this is the no.1 choice for both professional fittings and home projects alike.
The underlay is made from a unique foam formula, called AeroFoam, with an advanced gold foil backing. And as a result, it boasts a range of impressive properties and will make a notable difference to the performance of your new laminate – for example, making it much softer to walk on, improving insulation (with its 1.0 TOG rating) and reducing noise by up to 37dB.
A full roll of Royale 7mm is currently available for £59.86 (£7.98 per m2). That certainly isn’t an insignificant amount of money and – depending on the size of the room – it could make a big difference to the overall cost of your project. But given the benefits it offers, and the big difference it’ll make to the final results, in our opinion, it’s excellent value and worth every penny.
In fact, we’d go as far as to say, the addition of high-quality underlay is more important than the quality of the flooring itself. And if your budget doesn’t stretch far enough, it’s often worth investing in Royale 7mm Sonic Gold and offsetting the extra cost with a cheaper, lower-quality laminate.
3 ways that laminate flooring underlay is a long-term money saver
Aside from the benefits outlined above, underlay for laminate flooring can also save you a fair amount of money long-term – making it even more of a savvy and worthwhile investment.
How? There are three main ways in which it can help:
1. By maximising the lifespan of your laminate
Laminate may be known for its durability, but it’s not indestructible.
Sandwiched between the subfloor and boards, underlay offers a much-needed extra layer of protection – absorbing the impact of footsteps, improving the stability of your flooring and maximising its lifespan. Which means it’s unlikely to need replacing for at least 15-20 years!
To put things into perspective, that works out at about £3 a year for Royale 7mm (based on a 7.5m2 room). For laminate that continues to look and feel as good as new – and won’t need replacing for up to two decades – it’s a no-brainer.
2. By helping to avoid any defects or issues
Once installed, any defects that develop in the laminate can be frustrating (and expensive!) to fix. But in most cases, these can be very easily prevented with the addition of laminate flooring underlay.
For a start, underlay will help to level the subfloor – correcting any imperfections and improving the overall stability and sturdiness of the laminate. Consequently, it can help to avoid issues such as bounciness, impact damages (e.g. dents and scratches), squeakiness and underfoot discomfort.
As Royale 7mm Professional Underlay also has an integrated damp proof, it acts as an effective moisture barrier – preventing dampness from reaching your new laminate flooring and reducing the risk of any unnecessary water-based damage (such as swelling, warping and cracking).
3. By reducing energy bills
Did you know, more than 10% of the average home’s heat is lost through the floor?
By adding an extra layer of insulation, underlay can reduce this heat loss – creating an effective thermal barrier and curtailing the room’s reliance on energy-intensive heat sources.
Due to its exceptional TOG rating, again, Royale excels in this area – providing advanced and superior heat insulation. And despite the initial outlay, it’s a relatively affordable way to improve the energy efficiency of the room where it’s laid and can often help to reduce energy bills long-term.
Order your laminate underlay
It may be an additional cost. But for almost all professional and domestic projects, underlay for laminate flooring is a savvy and sensible decision – that is 100% worth the extra expense.
Providing your budget allows, Royale 7mm Underlay is our top choice.
However, any laminate underlay is better than no underlay at all. The most important thing to take from this blog is that you shouldn’t bypass it altogether. And if you’re struggling to make your money stretch, plenty of other – more affordable – options are available, including Royale 6mm Supreme for £34.99 per roll and Royale 5mm Sonic Gold for £29.74 a roll. Both of which are highly beneficial, worthwhile purchases.
If you have any questions or would like advice on the best laminate underlay for your preferences and requirements – including your budget – be sure to take advantage of our expertise. It’s readily available and completely free of charge.
- Alex Illidge