Best Underlayment For Vinyl Flooring: Buyer’s Guide

Best underlayment for vinyl flooring -the process of installing vinyl flooring can sometimes be complicated by factors such as damp and irregular foundations. The best way to counteract issues like these when they arise is to install underlayment. Underlayment can be made from a variety of materials, but they all serve the same purposes, give or take additional technologies or features.

What Does An Underlayment Do?

Underlayment is designed to provide extra cushioning, evenness, sound and heat insulation, and water-resistance for your flooring. Underlayment for vinyl flooring, then, essentially enhances the existing properties of the material.

What Are The Types Of Vinyl Floor?

Vinyl is a unique material in more ways than one. It can handle stains and scratches that would damage other styles of flooring in seconds and is ideal in areas where moisture can be a problem. You need the Best Steam Mop For Luxury Vinyl  to take good care of it. Vinyl flooring is also available in a wide variety of form factors as well with sheet, plank, and tile-based vinyl flooring.

Sheet Vinyl

Sheet vinyl has been around for decades. It’s something you’ve likely experienced in an older home and may have even covered up or removed during a remodel. Sheet vinyl is still popular today, and manufacturers have used new techniques to give it a much more modern feel.

That doesn’t mean you don’t need underlayment for sheet vinyl, however. If your subfloor had dips or damage, it could show through the vinyl over time. There are several types of underlayment for this type of flooring, and we’ve seen brands with a thin layer of foam pre-attached as well.

Vinyl Tile

Vinyl tile is available in three main styles with VCT or vinyl composition tiles, peel and stick tile, and luxury vinyl tile. If you’re going to use peel and stick tiles, just follow the directions and make sure the surface you are sticking the tiles to is clean and level – you don’t need underlayment.

VCT are tiles that are made with a percentage of limestone, which adds to their appeal, but makes them porous unless properly sealed. Just like with the peel and stick variety, you’ll want to refer to the experts if you’re dead-set on putting something beneath them as underlayment generally isn’t needed.

LVT stands for luxury vinyl tile, and it’s the most popular style of tile that is made from synthetic materials. While more expensive than your other two options, LVT often comes with an underlayment already attached. It simplifies the installation but will add more to the price.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Most vinyl plank flooring produced today falls into the luxury vinyl plank category. Flooring in this class is usually waterproof and made entirely from vinyl, although some boards are billed as water-resistant as well. You’ll also find two variants of luxury vinyl flooring with SPC and WPC planks, which are unique in their own right

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The important thing to remember with LVP is that it can be a bit noisy unless your subfloor is completely level. While it also often comes with underlayment pre-attached, we’ve seen plenty of installers and salespeople recommended an additional layer of underlay. Unfortunately, that can be a problem as vinyl can be a very finicky product.

Why Use A Vinyl Flooring Underlayment?

You should use one of these underlayment for vinyl flooring to provide extra support to the vinyl flooring. Another reason for using an underlayment for vinyl flooring is that it allows your vinyl plank flooring to sit level on your sub-floor. You won’t have any groaning or creaking when you walk over your floor.

The only time you won’t need underlayment for vinyl flooring is when you are installing your vinyl flooring over an existing floor. This is because the vinyl flooring already has its own underlayment in place. Now that we understand that, let’s see the best options in the market.

Best Underlayment For Vinyl Flooring

Quiet Walk Plus

Sale
QuietWalk Plus QW100PLUS Underlayment for Hardwood, Laminate and Vinyl Plank Flooring with Moisture/Vapor Barrier and Sound Absorption (Nail, Glue & Float Applications), 3' x 33.4', Blue
  • Use with Laminate, Floating Engineered, Nail Down and Glue-Down Flooring.
  • Superior Sound Reduction ‐ Recycled fibers absorb sound and keep it from traveling to other rooms. Makes click-together floating floors sound solid underfoot.
  • Compression Resistant ‐ Dense recycled fiber structure supports the click-together mechanism and will uphold its supportive configuration under the consistent traffic of the overlying floor.

This underlayment is suitable for use under the vinyl plank, laminate, or hardwood flooring. Just make sure that your vinyl plank flooring is at least 5 millimeters thick. It uses recycled fibers to deaden sound, so you’ll get a solid feel when you walk on your floor. And it will also prevent the noise of footsteps traveling into adjoining rooms.

The recycled fibers offer effective protection from moisture. This underlayment can be used over concrete sub-floors. It’s even suitable for use with radiant under-floor heating systems, and will promote even heat distribution to the floor above.

In theory, this will work whether your flooring is designed to float, or to be nailed or glued down. In practice, however, we’ve heard of instances where it’s been less successful with nailed down floors. Here there have been cases where the underlayment has popped and creaked under pressure.

Most vinyl plank flooring using a click-and-lock system, however, so this is unlikely to be an issue. And indeed, we’ve also heard from customers who swear by this product for creating a genuinely silent floor. vEach roll measures 3 feet wide by 33.4 feet long.

Pros

  • Environmentally sustainable option, constructed from recycled fibers
  • Very effective at the deadening sound when used with floating floors
  • Can be used with radiant under-floor heating systems, promoting even heat distribution

Cons

  • Works best if your vinyl plank flooring is at least 5 millimeters thick
  • There are some complaints about it popping and squeaking when used with nailed down floors.

 

First Step 630-Square Foot Roll Underlayment

Sale
First Step 630-Square Foot Roll Underlayment
  • First Step Premium 3-in-1 Underlayment, 100 sq. ft.Roll is designed for use under floating laminate and engineered wood floorings
  • This product is meant for use on concrete slabs and wood subfloors that are on or above grade
  • It is effective for sound reduction, comfort and even helps level minor sub-floor corrections

If you’re looking for top-class features at a price that won’t send your project cost into the stratosphere, Roberts First Step is a product to take a look at.

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This thick 3-in-1 underlayment for luxury vinyl plank flooring features a thick layer of foam flooring material sandwiched between layers of moisture barrier film. The resulting product creates a pocket of constantly circulating air beneath the floor, which inhibits mold and mildew growth. It also has Gold Guard antimicrobial protection to further increase the mold and mildew resistance.

First Step also provides impressive sound reduction, good cushioning, and protection against moisture. It can also correct minor subfloor imperfections, making it ideal for installation when your subfloor is less than perfect.

Pros

  • Antimicrobial and sound absorbent
  • Good cushioning
  • Corrects minor subfloor imperfections
  • It is economical
  • Compatible with radiant luxury vinyl flooring

Cons

  • Styrofoam beads create a bit of a mess

 

FLOORLOT Blue Laminate Flooring Vapor Barrier Underlayment

Floorlot Blue Laminate Flooring Under-layment that come attached Vapor Barrier and minimizes hollow sound made by floating flooring. The vapor barrier provides a superior protection to your vinyl flooring.

The foam is cushioned to provide a lot of comforts, the 3mm is large enough to overcome the sub-floor irregularities and imperfections on your floor. The underlayment comes with peel and stick tape for the overlap system which allows easy installation for DIYs. This underlayment provides exceptional value to your house for decades with its vapor and noise barrier foam.

The blue underlayment is economical and effective to address sub-floor problems in your flooring especially the moisture problem. They can be installed even in the basement. Its also compatible with other floors like laminate, hard. Its also compatible with other floors like laminate, hardwood and engineered wood.

Pros

  • Covers a large area up to 200 sq ft per each roll.
  • It provides moisture and vapor barrier that prevents the formation of mold and mildew.
  • Thick foam of 3mm proving good comfort and able to reduce and absorb sound.
  • Additional tape packed for easy installation.

Cons

  • None

 

Bestlaminate 3in1 Vinyl Flooring Underlayment

3in1 Vapor Barrier Flooring Underlayment w/Overlap and pre-Attached Tape Strip - Bestlaminate- 2mm - Bundle 1,000sq.ft (10rolls @ 100 sf)
  • Bundle of 1000 sq.ft ( 10 rolls each 100 sq.ft. ) roll
  • 2mm thick comes with vapor barrier,overlap and pre-attached tape for easy installation
  • Suitable for wood and cement subfloors

This 3-in-1 underlayment is almost similar to most of the 2-in-1 designs we’ve been looking at above. You get good cushioning, sound reduction, and moisture protection all in one. The high-density IXPE constriction makes this possible without affecting the width.

This underlayment is 1 millimeter thick with all these properties. Another perk you get with this option is that it’s treated with antibacterial substances to prevent mold growth. The one drawback is that you’ll need to use this underlayment on a subfloor that’s level and smooth. This is because of the small width, which won’t allow you to even out mounds or dips.

Ensure that you’re careful during the installation process to avoid ripping it. Each roll of this underlayment covers 100 square feet, which makes it an economical choice for a smaller floor.

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Pros

  • Provides comfort, sound insulation, and moisture protection all-in-one
  • Treated with an antibacterial substance to keep out mold
  • Economical choice for a small floor
  • Has a high-density IXPE construction

Cons

  • Unsuitable for uneven subfloors due to its small thickness
  • Can tear easily during installation

 

LVT Black Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Underlayment

FLOORLOT SHOP. FLOORS. DELIVERED. LVT Black Luxury Vinyl Tile & Plank Flooring Underlayment with Double Vapor Barrier (200sqft Roll, 1mm Thick)
  • Coverage: 200 SQFT/Roll
  • Sound Reduction: Superior Sound Absorption
  • Protection: Double Sided Moisture Barrier Film

The best part about this underlayment is the double-layer vapor barrier. So if you want an underlayment that is designed for use only with vinyl floors, this is it. The only issue is that it’s a millimeter thick which doesn’t smoothen out all pumps on your subfloor.

Another drawback to this thickness is that you can easily tear this underlayment while placing it. Ensure that you’re very careful to avoid accidental tears. The 200 square feet cover more area than the 100 square feet.

This underlayment is not suitable for glue-down floors. Therefore, only use it if you’re working on vinyl flooring. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to handle this option with ease because of its lightweight nature.

Pros

  • Easy to handle thanks to lightweight nature
  • Helps keep moisture out
  • Comes with grid lines to allow you to install easily
  • Comes with seaming tape to allow you to join other rolls

Cons

  • Can tear easily due to thinness
  • Unsuitable with glue-down flooring

 

Best Underlayment For Vinyl Flooring FAQs

What Use Vinyl Flooring?

One of the main advantages, next to offering a great price/quality ratio, is the hygienic aspect of this type of floor. It’s the ideal floor for homes with families or people with allergies. Another great advantage is that it replicates the real natural look of wood and tiles, without the disadvantages (such as hard to clean and maintain) or cost of the material. Vinyl floors are also one of the easiest types of flooring to self-install, and vinyl flooring can last over a very long time.

Can You Place Heavy Objects On A Vinyl Floor?

Placing heavy objects, like bookcases or wardrobes on vinyl plank floors is no problem, provided that the subfloor is resistant to pressure. A proper subfloor retains its thickness and pressure resistance over time. Make sure to avoid point loads (a heavy load resting on one point) on your vinyl plank floor. The installation of the floor must be the last operation in the project. Kitchen cabinets, fireplaces, etc., cannot be installed on top of the flooring.

What Is The Best Thing To Put Under A Vinyl Floor?

Any material that’s soft like foam can cause the locking system on your planks to separate when it gives. Indentions can be an issue as well, which is why most luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl planks are sold with a backing layer already in place.

There a few companies and product lines that are exceptions, but there is a strong chance that you could void your warranty if you attempt to install foam or cork beneath LVP with pre-attached underlayment.

CONCLUSSION

Best underlayment for vinyl flooring -Floor quality plays a significant role in your home’s structural integrity. Plus, it contributes to the aesthetics of the interior and affects your safety as you move around the house. With the right underlayment material, you can achieve the stylish and stable flooring you want.

If you already have flooring in mind, it’s always a good idea to refer to the manufacturer to see what they recommend beforehand. If the vinyl has a backing layer or pad already attached, 95% of the time, they will not suggest anything at all, aside from a vapor barrier. Vinyl is quite resilient, after all.

That’s a good thing if you’re concerned about your budget, but it can also cause plenty of confusion. If you want to use additional underlayment with vinyl tile or planks that already have padding attached, you’re likely to experience some serious issues.

 

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