Choosing the correct underlay is an important process when purchasing flooring, however it is often a procedure that confuses many customers. In basic terms, flooring underlay is a slim layer of cushioning that is placed underneath the floor. The purpose of underlay is to provide thermal insulation, increase the comfort of the floor when walked on and reduce the amount of noise that is transmitted through the floor. Underlay is able to have this effect as it is manufactured from extremely insulating materials such as foam, sponge rubber and sometimes even recycled fibres.

There is a variety of underlays available and this is when customers become confused as they have no idea which underlay is best suited for their floor. The type of underlay required all depends on the type of sub floor. A sub floor will either be wood or concrete and if your sub floor is wood then almost any underlay will do the trick. However, if you are installing your floor onto a concrete sub floor then you will require an underlay with a built in Damp Proof Membrane (DPM). A Damp Proof Membrane will prevent any moisture from reaching the planks and damaging your floor as moisture can cause wood flooring boards to expand and potentially buckleNest 8mm Rustic Ferriby Oak 4V Groove Laminate Flooring

The quality of underlay can be measured by the Tog rating and Decibel rating. A Tog rating is used as a unit of measurement to calculate the effectiveness of a materials thermal insulation. The higher the Tog rating the greater the level of insulation, usually a Tog rating around 1.0 will insulate your floor very effectively. A decibel rating demonstrates the effectiveness of sound reduction and a high quality noise reduction underlay will have a Decibel rating of around 40db.

If you are wanting to install underlay on top of under-floor heating, then you will require a floor with a fairly low Tog rating. This will allow as much heat as possible to pass through the underlay and warm up the room. If you were to purchase an underlay with a high Tog rating, then most of the warmth from the underfloor heating will get stored under and within the underlay as it is unable to pass through the dense fibres.

Underlay would be recommended below engineered and laminate products, however underlay is not required when installing solid wood flooring. You can get away by only installing a damp proof membrane and this will protect your floor as solid wood floor is already an extremely sturdy product. However, if you are wanting to spend extra money to increase the durability of the product, then our Acoustic Foam Laminate and Wood Flooring Underlay is a basic underlay that is extremely cheap and even comes free of charge with all orders over £600.

As well as heat and noise insulation there is one final reason you may use underlay. Some flooring underlays are designed to eliminate uneven subfloors, which creates a level base for your floor to be installed on top of. Many of these underlays are manufactured using solid wood fibres to ensure the durability is of the highest quality.

Here at Luxury Flooring we understand that you value our opinions, so here is our recommendation. If you are wanting a high quality underlay at a reasonable price, then an extremely popular product of ours is the Luxury Sonic Gold Laminate and Wood Flooring Underlay 5mm thick. This product has a high Tog rating of 0.9 and has a built in DPM making it suitable for either concrete or wood sub floor. Sonic Gold underlay will offer everything that is required and at a very reasonable price, you really cannot go wrong.

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The image features our: Nest 8mm Rustic Ferriby Oak 4V Groove Laminate Flooring (NEXT629).