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Best Underlayment For Hardwood Floors (2024 Update)

If you’re looking for the best underlayment for hardwood floors, there are a few factors to consider before making a purchase. First and foremost, you'll want to consider the type of hardwood flooring you have, as well as the subfloor underneath it. Additionally, you'll want to consider the longevity and durability of the underlayment, as well as its soundproofing and moisture-resistant properties. By taking all of these factors into account, you'll be able to choose an underlayment that not only protects your hardwood floors but also ensures they last for years to come.

When it comes to buying the best underlayment for hardwood floors, it's important to avoid being swayed by low prices. While cheaper options may save you money in the short term, they could end up costing you much more in the long run if they fail to provide adequate protection for your floors. Additionally, you'll want to look for underlayment that is easy to install and can withstand a variety of climates and environmental conditions.

If you're still unsure about which underlayment is right for you, consider asking yourself a few key questions. For example, are you looking for an underlayment that will reduce sound transmission or one that will provide extra insulation during the colder months? Do you need an underlayment that is moisture-resistant or one that is specifically designed for use with radiant heat flooring? By answering these questions, you'll be able to narrow down your options and find the best underlayment for your specific needs.

10 Best Underlayment For Hardwood Floors

# Product Image Product Name Product Notes Check Price
1
The product is ideal for underlayment purposes, providing a smooth and even surface for flooring installations.
2
The product is ideal for soundproofing floors and can be used under laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl flooring.
3
The product is ideal for providing vapor barrier underlayment with overlap and pre-attached tape strip for flooring installation.
4
This product is ideal for use as an underlayment for laminate, vinyl, hardwood flooring, providing sound insulation and natural protection.
5
It is ideal for use as an underlayment for hardwood flooring.
6
This product is ideal as a flooring underlayment padding with tape and vapor barrier for covering an area of 400 sq. ft.
7
The product is ideal for providing cushioning under engineered wood and laminate flooring.
8
The product is ideal for use as premium flooring underlayment padding with tape and vapor barrier, covering an area of 600SQFT.
9
This product is ideal for providing sound reduction, compression resistance, and moisture protection when installing laminate flooring.
10
This product is ideal for providing underlayment for wood floor installation in a 750 square feet area.
The product is ideal for underlayment purposes, providing a smooth and even surface for flooring installations.
The product is ideal for soundproofing floors and can be used under laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl flooring.
The product is ideal for providing vapor barrier underlayment with overlap and pre-attached tape strip for flooring installation.
This product is ideal for use as an underlayment for laminate, vinyl, hardwood flooring, providing sound insulation and natural protection.
It is ideal for use as an underlayment for hardwood flooring.
This product is ideal as a flooring underlayment padding with tape and vapor barrier for covering an area of 400 sq. ft.
The product is ideal for providing cushioning under engineered wood and laminate flooring.
The product is ideal for use as premium flooring underlayment padding with tape and vapor barrier, covering an area of 600SQFT.
This product is ideal for providing sound reduction, compression resistance, and moisture protection when installing laminate flooring.
This product is ideal for providing underlayment for wood floor installation in a 750 square feet area.

1. Roberts 70-026-Xla 70-026-Xl Underlayment, Black

The underlayment is an essential component when installing laminate or engineered wood flooring. The 600 sq. ft. value roll of Black Jack underlayment is an excellent option, saving you money compared to purchasing individual 100 sq. ft. rolls. It is also a popular choice among professional flooring installers, with over 60,000,000 sq. ft. sold.

The Black Jack underlayment has a cushioning effect that provides comfort when walking on the floor. It also helps reduce sound transference, making it ideal for use in multi-level buildings. The underlayment is easy to install, thanks to the plastic overlap and adhesive strip. It is recommended for use over radiant heated floors.

The 600 sq. ft. roll of Black Jack underlayment measures 43 in. by 167.5 ft., making it suitable for large installations. Its IIC (Impact Sound Transmission Test) rating of 70 and STC (Sound Transmission Loss Test) rating of 66 are proof of its effectiveness in reducing sound transference.

2. Soundproof Eco-Friendly Flooring Underlayment

This underlayment is the perfect blend of recycled rubber and cork, offering a solution to both sound and crack issues. With a composition of 95% recycled rubber and cork, this underlayment is designed to neutralize noise and shift with your home, expanding and contracting to provide year-round damage and noise dampening.

This underlayment is perfect for most hard floors, including hardwood flooring, wood laminate planks, engineered hardwood flooring, vinyl flooring rolls, natural stone, ceramic tiles, and even cork floor tiles. AcoustiCORK has succeeded in providing the perfect cork underlayment for various flooring types.

The AcoustiCORK underlayment offers supportive sound absorption, using 1.2mm of a slightly soft material under any moisture barrier to absorb soundwaves. This feature helps to prevent squeaking, creaking, and speaking noises, making your rooms feel solid, secure, and separated, regardless of the top layer.

This underlayment is made with recycled rubber and renewable cork, a wood bark that can be continually harvested every nine years. This ensures that it is easy on your floors, feet, ears, and the environment. By using recycled rubber and renewable cork, you can build, refurbish, and renovate your home while being environmentally conscious.

For over a decade, IncStores has been providing high-quality floor insulation products in countless styles, using a foundation of quality to outfit every room in your home. By starting from the floor up, you can create a stronger, safer, and smarter looking home. With this underlayment, you can trust that you are getting a high-quality product that will serve you for years to come.

3. Bestlaminate's 3in1 Vapor Barrier Flooring Underlayment – Complete.

This product offers an outstanding value with its price per 100 sq.ft roll. It is a 2mm 3in1 construction that comes with a pre-attached tape strip and plastic overlap, providing an effortless installation process. This product is suitable for both wood and cement subfloors, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of flooring projects.

This product is particularly great for laminate and engineered floating floors, providing a stable and secure foundation. Its unique construction ensures that it is durable and long-lasting, providing exceptional performance over time. The product is fast and free with Fedex Ground shipping, ensuring that it arrives promptly and efficiently.

With these features, this product is a reliable and cost-effective solution for flooring projects of all sizes. Its pre-attached tape strip and plastic overlap make installation quick and easy, saving time and money. With its high-quality construction and versatility, this product is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable and durable flooring solution.

4. Steico 6mm Natural Sound Flooring Barrier

The underlayment being reviewed is a game-changer when it comes to improving the comfort and safety of a living space. With its high-performance sound control and acoustic improving properties, it enhances the overall room comfort and creates a more peaceful environment.

What sets this product apart from others on the market is its US testing and certification, ensuring it meets the strictest acoustic standards. It has even passed tests on a 6” concrete slab without ceiling assembly, providing optimal soundproofing for any space.

Safety is also a top priority with this underlayment. It is made in the EU using pure wood fiber material without any glue additives, making it a natural and eco-friendly product. Additionally, it does not contain any VOC or other poisonous emissions that could be harmful to those living in the space.

Not only is this underlayment beneficial for its comfort and safety features, but it is also easy to handle and install using commonly available household tools. Its user-friendly nature makes it accessible for anyone to use.

5. Asu-15 Hardwood Flooring Underlayment Felt Paper

Looking for a reliable and durable flooring installation paper that can make your installation process easy and hassle-free? Look no further than this amazing product- Flooring Installation Paper.

With 432 square feet of flooring paper, this product is perfect for those who are looking to install a new floor in their home or office. The paper is made of high-quality materials that can withstand the weight of heavy furniture and foot traffic, making it a perfect choice for high-traffic areas.

The installation paper is designed to provide a moisture barrier between the subfloor and the hardwood, laminate, or engineered floors. This helps to prevent any moisture from seeping into the floor, which can lead to warping, cupping, and other issues. Additionally, the paper helps to reduce noise transmission from the floor, creating a more peaceful and comfortable environment.

The product is easy to install and can be cut to fit any room size. It is also compatible with most types of flooring, including hardwood, laminate, and engineered floors. The paper is lightweight and can be easily carried, making it convenient for DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike.

6. Royal Blue Foam Plus – 400 Sq. Ft. Coverage

This product listing offers a heavy-duty Royal Blue padding with a vapor barrier that is 1.5MM thick. This padding provides excellent coverage for up to 400 square feet and is perfect for use with laminate and engineered floating floors. The moisture and vapor barrier, along with the included tape, offer mold and moisture protection, making it a reliable choice for any home.

Furthermore, this padding is non-allergenic and provides sound absorption, ensuring a comfortable and peaceful environment. It is sold in two rolls, with each roll covering 200 square feet, making a total of 400 square feet. This padding is suitable for use with wood, concrete, tile, or vinyl subfloors, providing a versatile option for various flooring types.

With its heavy-duty construction, the Royal Blue padding offers excellent support and cushioning, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas. It is easy to install, ensuring a hassle-free process for even the most novice DIY homeowners. The high-quality materials used in its construction make it a durable option, ensuring long-lasting use.

7. Super Felt Cushion Roll For Laminate Flooring

This roll of underlayment is specifically designed for use with engineered wood and laminate flooring, providing a comfortable cushion over concrete and wood subfloors. With a total coverage of 360 square feet, this roll is perfect for larger projects.

The underlayment has been tested for sound transference using both the IIC and STC tests. The IIC test measures sound caused by activities such as moving furniture and walking, while the STC test measures sound such as voices and television. With a STC rating of 66 and an IIC rating of 67, this underlayment helps to reduce the amount of sound that travels from upper level rooms to lower level rooms.

Each roll measures 60 inches by 72 feet, providing ample coverage for any flooring project. With one roll per case, customers can easily purchase the exact amount needed for their space. This underlayment is a great choice for anyone seeking to reduce sound transmission and increase comfort underfoot.

8. Amerique Am3mm600bl 600sqft Premium Flooring Underlayment Padding With Tape & Vapor Barrier

Introducing the AMERIQUE 3mm Thick Blue Underlayment Padding, now available in a set of three rolls with a total coverage of 600Sqft. Each roll is designed to provide superior performance and protection to your flooring, making it an excellent choice for homeowners and contractors alike.

One of the most notable features of this underlayment padding is its moisture and vapor barrier. This innovative technology provides superior protection against mold and moisture, ensuring that your flooring remains in great condition for years to come. Additionally, the padding is non-allergenic, making it a great choice for homeowners with allergies or sensitivities.

The AMERIQUE 3mm Thick Blue Underlayment Padding is also designed to provide exceptional sound absorption. With a closed foam technology, this padding helps reduce the noise levels in your home, creating a more peaceful and comfortable living environment.

In terms of durability, this underlayment padding is built to last. It features anti-crush technology, which helps ensure that it maintains its excellent performance over the long term. And with its bright blue look, this padding adds a touch of style to any flooring installation.

This underlayment padding is perfect for use with wood, bamboo, and laminate floors. Its 3mm thickness provides ample cushioning and support, while also delivering excellent sound reduction. And with its limited time promotion, there's never been a better time to upgrade your flooring with the AMERIQUE 3mm Thick Blue Underlayment Padding.

9. Quietguard Laminate Underlayment: Soundproof, Moisture-Proof, Durable

This acoustical floating flooring underlayment has been specifically designed for use with a variety of floating floors. It is suitable for laminate flooring, floating engineered wood, floating bamboo, floating rigid PVC core vinyl planks, and wood/plastic composite floors that are 5mm thick or thicker. The roll comes in a large size of 3- by 33.4-feet, providing 100 square feet of underlayment.

One of the standout features of this underlayment is its superior sound reduction capabilities. Made from recycled fibers, it effectively absorbs sound and keeps it from traveling to other rooms, resulting in a more solid sound underfoot for click-together floating floors. Additionally, the compression-resistant underlayment holds its supportive shape over time and helps smooth out any imperfections in the subfloor.

Moisture protection is also a key feature of this underlayment, thanks to its DriWick technology. It prevents moisture damage to your floors by wicking away any harmful moisture, while the attached vapor barrier protects the overlying concrete or wood flooring from any attacking moisture. The "breathable" fibers in the underlayment allow for vapors to evaporate or travel down and away through the subflooring, providing further protection against moisture damage.

This underlayment is perfect for providing great, all-year floor support and protection. It provides insulation, additional comfort, and warmth during seasonal temperature changes. It is also approved for use with in-floor heating systems, as it allows heat to permeate evenly while helping to protect the floor covering material from thermal shock. Additionally, it is a good choice for those who are environmentally conscious, as it is made from reclined materials and certified clean and safe for indoor air quality with no VOCs or off-gassing from materials.

10. Waxed Wood Floor Underlayment – Qep!

The product being reviewed is a 3 ft. x 250 ft. roll of high-quality Kraft paper, weighing 30 lbs. This heavy-duty paper is designed for professional use and provides a total coverage of 750 sq. ft. The purpose of this product is to assist with the installation of nail-down wood floors by minimizing squeaks and allowing boards to slide into place with ease.

The Kraft paper is particularly useful when installing wood flooring between subfloors and floorboards. Its high-quality composition ensures that it provides a reliable barrier between the two surfaces, making the installation process smoother and more efficient. The paper is also perfect for above-grade installations where moisture is not an issue.

The 30-lb. weight of the Kraft paper offers additional durability and strength, ensuring that it can withstand the weight and pressure of heavy furniture and foot traffic, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas.

This product is a convenient roll, making it easy to use and store. The roll's dimensions of 3 ft. x 250 ft. provide ample coverage for large areas, eliminating the need for multiple rolls or frequent replacements. Additionally, the paper's thickness helps to minimize sounds and vibrations, reducing the noise levels in the room.

Best Underlayment For Hardwood Floors FAQs

Can I install hardwood floors without underlayment?

It is not recommended to install hardwood floors without underlayment. Underlayment is a thin layer of material that is placed between the subfloor and the hardwood planks. It provides several benefits, including cushioning for the hardwood floor, reducing noise, and preventing moisture from damaging the hardwood over time.

Without underlayment, hardwood floors can be more prone to damage, such as warping, cracking, or separating. Additionally, the lack of cushioning can make the floor feel harder and less comfortable to walk on.

While some types of hardwood floors may not require underlayment, it is always best to check with the manufacturer's guidelines or consult with a professional installer to ensure the proper installation of your hardwood floor. It is important to invest in the proper materials and installation techniques to ensure the longevity and durability of your hardwood floors.

Can underlayment improve the sound insulation of hardwood floors?

Yes, underlayment can improve the sound insulation of hardwood floors. Underlayment is a thin layer of material that is placed between the subfloor and the hardwood floor. It can help to absorb and reduce noise from footsteps, voices, and other sounds. The type of underlayment used can also impact the level of sound insulation. For example, cork and rubber underlayment are known to be highly effective at reducing noise.

It is important to note that underlayment alone may not provide complete sound insulation. Other factors such as the thickness and quality of the hardwood flooring, as well as the construction of the building itself, can also impact sound transmission. It is recommended to consult with a flooring professional to determine the best underlayment and flooring options for your specific sound insulation needs.

How do I choose the right underlayment for my hardwood floors?

Choosing the right underlayment for your hardwood floors is crucial for ensuring a smooth and long-lasting installation. Before selecting an underlayment, consider the type of hardwood flooring you have, the subfloor, and the environment in which the flooring will be installed.

For example, if you have a concrete subfloor, you might want to choose an underlayment with a built-in vapor barrier to prevent moisture from seeping into your hardwood. On the other hand, if you have a wooden subfloor, you might want to select an underlayment with sound-reducing properties to minimize noise transmission.

Another important factor to consider is the thickness of the underlayment. Generally, thicker underlayments provide better sound insulation, but they can also make your flooring feel spongy. Thinner underlayments are more rigid and offer better support for your hardwood.

Ultimately, the right underlayment for your hardwood floors will depend on your specific needs and preferences. It's always a good idea to consult with a flooring professional to ensure that you're making the best decision for your home.

How does underlayment affect the performance of hardwood floors?

Underlayment is a crucial component that can significantly affect the performance of hardwood floors. The quality of the underlayment can determine how comfortable, durable, and sound-absorbing your hardwood floor will be.

Firstly, underlayment provides insulation and helps to regulate the temperature of your home. In areas with colder climates, a good underlayment can keep your feet warm and prevent the hardwood floor from contracting and expanding due to temperature changes.

Secondly, underlayment acts as a barrier between the hardwood floor and the subfloor, preventing moisture from seeping into the hardwood. This can prevent mold and mildew growth, which can damage the hardwood floor and compromise its structural integrity.

Lastly, underlayment can absorb sound, reducing noise levels and making your home more peaceful and quiet. This is particularly important in multi-story homes or apartments where noise can travel easily.

In summary, the right underlayment can make a significant difference in the performance of your hardwood floors. It can provide insulation, prevent moisture damage, and reduce noise levels, ultimately contributing to a more comfortable and durable floor.

How thick should the underlayment be for hardwood floors?

The thickness of underlayment for hardwood floors depends on various factors such as the type of subfloor, the quality of the hardwood, and the level of soundproofing and insulation required. In general, the recommended thickness for underlayment is around 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. However, if the subfloor is uneven or has imperfections, a thicker underlayment may be required to ensure a level surface for the hardwood flooring.

It is important to note that the underlayment should be of high quality and appropriate for hardwood flooring. A poor quality underlayment can cause creaking, squeaking, and damage to the hardwood over time. Additionally, the underlayment should provide adequate soundproofing and insulation to prevent noise transmission and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

Consulting with a flooring professional or manufacturer can help determine the appropriate thickness and type of underlayment for your specific hardwood flooring installation.

Is cork underlayment suitable for hardwood floors?

Yes, cork underlayment is suitable for hardwood floors. In fact, cork is an excellent material for sound insulation and moisture resistance, making it a popular choice for underlayment in hardwood flooring installations. Cork is a natural and sustainable material that is easy to install and has superior sound-dampening qualities. It can also help to reduce the transmission of noise from one room to another, making it a great choice for multi-story buildings or apartments. Additionally, cork underlayment is resistant to mold, mildew, and bacteria, making it an ideal choice for areas with high humidity or moisture. When installed correctly, cork underlayment can help to prolong the life of your hardwood floors by providing a cushioning layer that absorbs impact and prevents damage from foot traffic. Overall, cork underlayment is a smart and eco-friendly choice for anyone looking to install hardwood floors in their home or commercial space.

Should I use a moisture barrier underlayment for my hardwood floors?

Yes, it is highly recommended to use a moisture barrier underlayment for hardwood floors. Moisture can easily seep through the subfloor and damage the hardwood flooring over time. A moisture barrier underlayment acts as a protective layer between the subfloor and the hardwood flooring, preventing moisture from reaching the wood. Additionally, it also helps to reduce noise and provides added insulation.

There are different types of moisture barrier underlayment available in the market such as plastic sheeting, asphalt felt, and specialized underlayments made of foam or rubber. It is important to choose the right type of underlayment that is compatible with your hardwood flooring and installation method.

Installing a moisture barrier underlayment also helps to prolong the life of your hardwood flooring, saving you money in the long run. Therefore, investing in a good quality moisture barrier underlayment is a wise decision to protect your investment in hardwood flooring and ensure a long-lasting, beautiful finish.

What are the different types of underlayment for hardwood floors?

When it comes to installing hardwood floors, underlayment is an essential component to ensure a smooth and long-lasting finish. There are several types of underlayment you can use depending on the specific needs of your project.

The most common type of underlayment for hardwood floors is foam padding, which is made of polyethylene foam and comes in various thicknesses. Foam padding helps to reduce noise transmission, provides thermal insulation, and enhances the comfort underfoot.

Another type of underlayment is cork, which is an eco-friendly option and offers excellent sound absorption and moisture resistance. Cork underlayment is also durable and can resist the growth of mold and mildew.

Felt underlayment is another popular option and is made of recycled fibers. It provides excellent sound absorption and helps to smooth out any minor subfloor imperfections.

Finally, there are also rubber underlayments, which are highly durable and provide excellent sound absorption and moisture resistance. Rubber underlayment is also ideal for use in high-traffic areas and can resist compression over time.

Ultimately, the choice of underlayment will depend on your specific needs and preferences, as well as the type of hardwood flooring you are installing. It's always best to consult with a professional to determine the best underlayment for your project.

What is the best underlayment for hardwood floors?

The best underlayment for hardwood floors depends on several factors such as the type of hardwood flooring, the subfloor, and the environment. Generally, the most commonly used underlayment for hardwood floors is felt paper or rosin paper. Felt paper is a thick, durable, and water-resistant material that helps to protect the hardwood flooring from moisture and reduce noise. Rosin paper is a thinner, less expensive material that also provides some moisture protection and sound absorption.

Another popular option for underlayment is foam underlayment, which is made of foam or cork. Foam underlayment provides superior sound insulation, cushioning, and moisture protection. Cork underlayment is an eco-friendly option that provides excellent sound insulation, moisture protection, and thermal insulation.

It's important to note that some hardwood flooring manufacturers may require specific types of underlayment for warranty purposes. It's always best to consult with the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations before choosing an underlayment for your hardwood floors. Additionally, it's recommended to hire a professional installer who can help you choose the best underlayment for your specific situation and ensure proper installation.

What is the cost of underlayment for hardwood floors?

The cost of underlayment for hardwood floors can vary depending on several factors. The type of underlayment, the size of the room, and the quality of the material used can all affect the cost. On average, the cost of underlayment can range from $0.25 to $0.50 per square foot. However, this price can increase if you opt for higher-quality materials or if you hire a professional to install the underlayment for you. It's important to note that underlayment is an essential component of any hardwood flooring installation, as it helps to protect the floor from moisture, reduces noise, and provides a smoother surface for the hardwood to be installed on. When considering the cost of underlayment, it's also important to factor in the long-term benefits it can provide in terms of protecting your hardwood flooring investment.