What is the ‘ideal’ laminate underlay?
Don’t underestimate it’s powers.
By adding an extra layer of protection, it significantly enhances the look and feel of your laminate, and is the key to ensuring it lasts as long as possible. Without it, you’re likely to find it wears at a much quicker rate and is much more susceptible to warping. Which is why, it’s crucial to choose the right one.
Picking out a high-quality laminate underlay is just as important as selecting a high-quality laminate product (if not more so!). So to help, here are five things to keep in mind whilst shopping.
5 beneficial features to look for in your laminate flooring
Laminate underlays vary in terms of how thick they are.
The right thickness for your project will depend on several factors, including where you wish to lay the laminate, the shape of the room, whether you have underfloor heating, your personal comfort preferences and how much you’d like to spend. But as a general rule, the thicker it is, the better.
Those around the 3-5mm mark are a great budget-friendly option and they will make a difference to the look and feel of your laminate. But they don’t offer the same performance as a thicker underlay.
For the best results, it’s better to invest in a laminate flooring underlay measuring 6mm or more.
Another key factor to keep in mind when choosing underlay for laminate flooring:
Does it have a low or high density?
This is a measure of how much foam or wool is packed into each cubic metre (m3). And just like thickness, it’s an indicator of quality. Generally speaking, the higher it is, the better – but it’s important to keep in mind that ultra-high density underlays can often be very firm underfoot.
In our opinion, the sweet spot is 100kg – 110kg per m3.
Around this mark, the underlay will successfully protect your laminate, ensuring it holds up to wear and tear – even in areas of high traffic. Yet without sacrificing any softness or comfort.
3. Noise reduction
All laminate flooring underlays are designed to create a sound barrier.
Whether they’re made from foam or fibreboard, the extra layer of cushioning will always help to absorb both impact and airborne sounds. However, some are specifically designed with soundproofing in mind, and they do vary in terms of how much noise insulation they provide.
To hear a noticeable difference, we recommend choosing an underlay that can reduce sound by 30dB or more. And for the best (quietest) results, pair this with a laminate measuring at least 8mm.
4. Moisture protection
Laminate flooring isn’t 100% waterproof.
Depending on where it’s fitted in the home (e.g. in a kitchen or bathroom), over time, any excess moisture can cause significant damage to the planks – and even lead to distortion or warping.
As such, the best underlay for laminate is one that can protect against this moisture. Ideally, it’s worth purchasing a product that comes with an in-built damp proof membrane – such as a foil backing – that will create an effective moisture barrier and prevent unwanted water damage.
5. Easy installation
Even for an absolute beginner, laminate flooring is quick and easy to install.
It just requires a little prep work, to level out the subfloor and familiarise yourself with the fitting process – and is a fantastic way to keep the overall cost down and save yourself a bit of money.
However, if you do decide to take the DIY route, keep in mind that you will still need to install underlay to get the best results. And before you add an underlay to your basket, be sure to assess exactly how it needs to be fitted and whether it’s simple enough for you to tackle yourself.
Royale Professional Gold: the perfect laminate underlay?
With the features above in mind, there is one particular laminate underlay that ticks every box – Royale Professional Sonic Gold 7mm Underlay.
Thanks to its unique aero foam construction, it benefits from a high density of 110kg per m3.
It provides advanced sound protection – reducing impact and airborne noises by 37dB – and is often specified in architectural projects where a high degree of soundproofing is required.
Backed with thick gold foil, it provides both added insulation and has an in-built damp proof membrane – which protects against excess moisture and helps to avoid any water damage.
It’s designed with easy installation in mind. Simply lay flat, with the gold side facing down, and join the seams using Barrier Pro X tape to prevent any movement.
In our opinion, this is (by far) the best underlay for laminate currently available on the market, suitable for high-end specifications and home projects alike. And yet, it’s still available for an affordable price of just £7.98 per m2.
If you’re looking for the ‘ideal’ laminate flooring underlay, Royale 7mm Professional Gold Underlay is the dictionary definition.
Got a question?
If you’d like to find out more about underlay for laminate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
To achieve the best results and maximise the longevity of your new flooring, it’s important to get it right. And we can help to point you in the right direction, whether that be towards Royale 7mm Professional Gold or one of the other excellent laminate underlays in our collection.
Always on hand to share our flooring expertise, you’re welcome to call us at any time on 0203 887 0994. Or if you prefer, send an email to email@example.com and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.
- Alex Illidge