A lot of homeowners choose vinyl floors because it's a DIY-friendly flooring. If you can't afford to blow money on professional installation costs, vinyl flooring is your best option. But before you rush and get your set of vinyl planks, it's best to know how to install them properly.
Underlayment is an important piece in installing vinyl for your flooring. The underlayment material is placed on your subfloor that serves several functions to make the installation process seamless and better.
Sound deadening, moisture barrier, and comfortable underfoot feeling are just some of the many features that come with an underlayment. So, what is the best underlayment for vinyl plank flooring? Let's look at the most popular underlayment choice of homeowners.
A Quick Comparison: Underlayment for Vinyl Plank Flooring
Several underlayment options are available online or in your local hardware stores. But which of these brands is worth your money? We search the market and come up with our top three underlayment picks.
QEP Natural Cork Underlayment
- QEP uses cork material for their underlayment flooring, which is not a standard for vinyl but still promises good results. Furthermore, QEP is multipurpose. This material is also compatible with stone, ceramic tiles, engineered hardwood, and laminated flooring.
- The cork material increases thermal transmission. This is especially useful when you have an installed heating system on your floor. The cork materials make the heat induction faster, which will prove useful during the winter season.
- This product is one of the best underlayments for luxury vinyl plank flooring on concrete floors. It adds a cushioned membrane that prevents your flooring material from breaking, especially when it comes in contact with heavy objects and foot traffic.
- Cork material is not waterproof. The material can absorb water to prevent it from contacting your floor planks. But cork can only hold so much before the material overloads and expands. We recommend using this underlayment on the dry areas of your house to avoid any damage to your planks or tiles after installation.
FloorMuffler Ultra Seal Underlayment
- This product will help you get rid of the squeaky and loud footfalls on your floor. The FloorMuffler provides superior sound absorption for your flooring so you can walk around your living space without that loud stomping noise. It is the best soundproof underlayment for vinyl plank flooring in the marketplace.
- There's no need to buy an adhesive or special tool for the FloorMuffler flooring underlayment. Just lay it on your subfloors, and you are ready to install your flooring planks next. You can apply underlayment tape on the sides for extra grip to keep the film from moving.
- The FloorMuffler has high compression strength that protects your flooring and helps keep it in place. This prevents your flooring material from moving out of place especially when the floor planks are installed in a high traffic area. This is especially useful when using lock-system flooring.
- The underlayment serves as a moisture barrier to protect your flooring from a liquid transfer from the subfloor. The film also acts as vapor protection to prevent any moisture from creating underneath your flooring. This feature is a must when you intend to place your vinyl flooring to parts of the house that are humid and in contact with water. The moisture barrier will help prevent water damage to your vinyl planks.
- The material is only 2mm thick. You have to be extra careful when laying this product down. Some customers report the material tearing when they accidentally step on it. Make sure not to twist or overstretch the product so you can use it.
- This product is not compatible with vinyl planks with a glue-down system. The film's material is almost similar to plastic, and the adhesive is not strong enough to bond the floor material and underlayment together.
Schluter Kerdi Underlayment
- The Schluter Kerdi is a waterproof flooring underlayment. If you are looking to floor your shower area, basement, or other areas of the house often in contact with water, this is the safest option.
- This product is a great deal of your money because it can cover up to 108 square feet of area. Furthermore, you can cut and customize this underlayment so you can use this in different parts of your house.
- The material of the Schluter Kerdi is soft polyethylene which gives the flooring bounce, so it is comfortable to walk on, even barefoot. Furthermore, the soft material prevents stone floors and tiles from cracking.
- If you have a concrete wall you want to cover with vinyl planks, laminate, or tiles, the Schluter Kerdi is always compatible with the wall area. Many users have reported successfully installing the membrane, proving that they are entirely waterproof and make installing planks and tiles easy.
- As mentioned earlier, the Schluter underlayment can cover a wide area. A roll of this 108 square feet film costs a little over $150. For some homeowners, this is a bit expensive for preparation tools. Other brands can cover the same area for half the price if you're on a budget.
- The underlayment is incompatible with DIY installation. Many first-time users of this product found it hard to install. You must be very precise, or else the membrane will have a lot of air pockets and gaps that can ruin the integrity of your flooring material.
Have you chosen an underlayment for your flooring material? The underlayments above have different merits for different situations. The best underlayment for vinyl plank flooring will depend on what area of the house you need to use it.
Make sure to examine the condition of the area to pick the correct attached underlayment. Some considerations you may want to remember are humidity, temperature, types of subfloor, and installation process you will use for your flooring.
Moreover, there are different types of underlayment: whether for laminate flooring, vinyl plank floor, or hardwood flooring. Choose the correct underlay to achieve a better flooring outcome.
Explore our other blog posts if you need more information on flooring installation, whether it's laminate, tiles, luxury vinyl plank, or hardwood floor.