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Is underlay necessary for a wooden floor?

Is underlay necessary for a wooden floor?

Ever heard of the saying ‘a job well begun is a job half done’? Before you start to install a new wooden floor, there are certain steps that you should take to get the best results. The most crucial of which is to invest in wooden floor underlay – such as that available at the Carpet Underlay Shop. Here we take a look at some of the main reasons why wood underlayment is so important.

  1. Better laying surface

Wooden flooring ‘floats’ on top of the subfloor. It isn’t secured in place with nails or glue. It just clicks into place and, as a result, imperfections in the subfloor can negatively affect its finish.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to invest in underlay. Before laying the first plank, you need to be sure the subfloor is as flat and even as possible. Wooden underlayment is an easy way to level out any height differences and smooth over cracks and bumps in the surface.

  1. Easier installation

It’s true, laying underlay is an extra step in the installation process – but it can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. In fact, it can sometimes speed the process up. Thanks to its smooth texture, wood floor underlay allows the floorboards to slip easily into place. It also creates the ideal subfloor surface and, as such, can help to avoid common mistakes throughout the installation.

man laying wooden floor underlay

  1. Acoustics

Wooden floors are notoriously noisy. However, it is possible to reduce this noise by adding underlay. The extra high-density layer can diminish impact sounds – such as those made as you walk across the room or drop something on the floor – by 20-30db. It may not seem like a lot, but if you live in an apartment building or flat, this can make a huge difference to both you and your neighbours. Human voice emits approximately 40dB, so you’re not far off blocking talking noise with some underlays.

  1. Thermal insulation

Despite being made from lightweight materials, wood floor underlay is an excellent form of insulation. It limits the amount of heat that can escape through the floor – helping to keep the room at a comfortable temperature and, sometimes, leading to a reduction in your energy bills.

  1. Moisture-resistance

Rising dampness can cause wooden flooring to distort or warp. That’s why, before fitting your first plank, you should check the subfloor carefully. If there’s any sign of moisture, it’s usually worth investing in a foil-backed wood underlayment. This can be sealed into place with barrier tape, creating an effective water-resistant barrier and eliminating the need for a separate damp-proof membrane.

Our wood underlayment recommendations

We’re a big fan of wood floor underlayment, here at Carpet Underlay Shop. It has many benefits and, to achieve the best possible finish for your new floor, we believe it’s an absolute essential.

For home-based renovations and new build properties, we usually recommend the 5mm and 7mm Fibreboard Underlay. This demonstrates superb acoustic properties and is a great option if you need to rectify weaknesses in the subfloor. When moisture is an issue, foil-backed alternatives – such as the 5mm Sonic Gold Wood Underlay and 3mm Acoustic Silver Wood Underlay – are more suitable.

wood underlaynent available at carpet underlay shop

Want to know more?

If you would like to find out more about wood underlayment and the best underlay for your needs, please feel free to get in touch. Our team are experts in this area and they’re always happy to help. Just give us a call on 0203 887 0994 or send an email to

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  • Carl Smith