How to Choose the Perfect Hardwood Flooring Underlayment – Pro Advices


The underlayment needs to install hardwood floors or any other kind of flooring. One of the main advantages of underlayment is its durability and stability. Additionally, it provides the floor with support and assists in smoothing subfloor imperfections and damage. In addition, the installation of underlayment can protect the flooring from water damage. So, this article will help you choose the perfect hardwood flooring underlayment.

How to choose the perfect hardwood flooring underlayment

As numerous wood flooring installation professionals know, selecting the right flooring underlayment can make a significant difference to the final product. A high-quality underlayment helps keep moisture out and reduces the sound issue. The best products can also help ensure the durability of your hardwood floors when installing the wrong kind of flooring could lead to unsafe, unattractive flooring. Read below tips to learn how to choose the perfect hardwood flooring underlayment.

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Consider the hardwood species

The underlayment materials don’t all work perfectly with every species of hardwood. To find the perfect fit, take into consideration the type of flooring you’re looking to put in.

  • Cherry the hardwood species, renowne for its warm and cozy shades. However, you might not be aware that it’s also one of the softest types of flooring made of wood. Cherry is ideal when paired with an underlayment that offers additional padding and support, such as cork or rubber.
  • Hickory is one of the most durable and robust kinds of hardwood. The hickory floor won’t require much assistance to resist wear and traffic. Hickory flooring usually goes well with a flexible foam underlayment.
  • Maple, along with hickory, can one of the most durable floorings made from wood. It is generally the best pair with a rubber or foam underlayment as they both provide moderate insulation and support.
  • Oak If you decide to go with red or white, the oak flooring is softer. Both kinds of oak go perfectly with a rubber underlayment that offers an insulation and absorption capacity both red and white oak require.
  • Walnut, This kind of flooring can appear difficult to penetrate. Still, it is actually one of the softest types of flooring made from hardwood. It recommends to pair it with cork for more support and extra durability.

Think about the subfloor condition

Although the species of hardwood influences the kind of flooring you select, you should remember to think about the subfloor as well. Consider the type of wood and state of the subfloor when making your choice. Subfloors that damage or uneven is most likely to the best served by the most flexible subfloor options since these types of flooring will compensate for any imperfections in the subfloor.

If the floor is plywood, choose an underlayment with a semi-permeable. This kind of flooring allows both the hardwood floor and the subfloor wood to breathe without entrapping mildew and mold or causing the wood to decay. When the floor made of concrete, select an impermeable floor instead. This type of floor can be designed to block the water in its tracks and block water from leaking through the concrete and entering the flooring.

Evaluate the purpose of the room

In most cases rooms, the room determines the right flooring. For instance, a condo or apartment located on a higher floor of a building might require a rubber-based underlayment, which will provide noise insulation and vibration absorption and keep out disturbances from the lower level below. In the same way, an area for family rooms or an entryway that sees high traffic could require an underlayment made of cork, which is more durable and can increase the durability.

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Accommodate radiant heating needs

Suppose the wood flooring you choose is designed to be able to support radiant heating. In that case, you’ll need to be more cautious about the kind of flooring you select. You should stay clear of the options for underlayment made from the asphalt, as it can produce strong scents when heated. Because radiant heating can trigger temperatures that fluctuate, which can cause condensation, it’s important to choose an underlayment that can handle water without causing damage to the floor’s hardwood above or below.

Assess environmental concerns

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to eliminate harmful chemicals from your home or reduce your carbon footprint. It is important to take note of any environmental concerns when choosing an underlayment. A variety of types of rubber underlayment are made of recycled materials which makes this choice more sustainable than many. Additionally, cork is easily recyclable after usage and is one of the greenest alternatives available. When choosing an underlayment option, be sure to check the specifications to verify the quality of the materials used and their environmental impact.

Best types of underlayment’s for hardwood floors

There are not many options for the types of materials used for underlayment for hardwood flooring. It is important to choose the perfect hardwood flooring underlayment material utilized by most homeowners. In the end, you’ll be content to satisfy with the choice. So let’s talk about some of the different materials employed for various types of flooring.


It is the most frequently used floor covering for hardwood flooring. If you don’t have a floating floor or solid hardwood floor, one of the best options for underlayment is felt, as it’s thick and black. It can shield the subfloor from water or water damages. Black felt it is the best for the small areas of your home and appears much like roofing underlay. However, it is not made of asphalt or tar. It’s a good option to offer security and doesn’t come with bells and bells. It’s a thin layer sheet and doesn’t provide the cushioning you need underneath your feet.


It is a great option for an underlayment since it is very easy to install, has an ideal humidity source, and minimizes noise. This is the 3rd most requested flooring underlayment due to its low cost. The installation of the rubber underlayment is possible without glue since it can be put in place by cutting it, then placing it down. The floor should be measured by adding 5% to allow for cutting allowances for the square footage you will end up with before beginning the installation. The contractors usually include 5% to 12percent as a cutting allowance for square footage to avoid an amount of waste typically left.


Cork underlayment is an alternative, but it isn’t as well-known as rubber and felt. It is the most effective in quality for sound reduction and is utilized in film studios and recordings. This material has properties, the ability to absorb sound, and temperature insulation.


Foam is among the cheapest kinds of wood flooring. It’s easy to put in and provides a good quality of sound insulation. It also prevents loud noises.

Benefits of underlayment for hardwood floors

If you have an interest in knowing why hardwood flooring underlayment is necessary, there are two primary reasons. For the features you’d like to pay for, you must decide on the areas it’s not necessary to utilize. Let’s look at the main benefits of using underlayment to protect hardwood flooring.

Moisture barrier

One of the major benefits of using an underlayment on hardwood flooring is that it functions as a barrier to moisture for floors, keeping them from sustaining damage. It is also possible to search for an underlayment with an additional vapor barrier that will shield your floors from damage caused by water. Therefore, it recommends maintaining your home in the range of 35%-55 percentage or under the installer guidelines.

Subfloor imperfections

One of the primary requirements for uneven flooring is the installation of the underlayment in a sure way. The finish wood will uneven after the nail or glue is used to cause the risk of damage, and a gorgeous wood look is damaged. Large imperfections should take care of before installing hardwood floors. However, small dips and cracks are best to ignore. You can use underlayment with a higher thickness to cover small dips and cracks or even uneven areas. This will save expense and allow.

Noise reduction

Many homeowners are unhappy that a bustling family on any wood floor can cause many sounds. From children and pets running through the house to background noises from voices to the areas of the living room TVs, televisions, and other appliances used in homes, sounds create a lot of noise. So, to rid yourself of this issue, it recommends using the sound absorption underlayment for floors. It can help absorb sound coming from the outside and bounce onto the walls of the room.


One of the biggest disadvantages of flooring made of hardwood is that you cannot stand and walk on them for a long time. Therefore, if you wish to improve their durability and make them durable, it’s better to put the underlayment underneath the floor. It’s a major decision to make to give yourself a little degree of relaxation, particularly during winter when you wish to walk on the floor with no rugs. Underlayment offers a cushion for your feet and shields your feet from the intense temperatures and heat.

Stabilizing floating floors

If your home equips with engineered hardwood floors, it recommends that underlayment installation is a must. This is because the floating floors do not have any connection to subfloors, which means they can easily grow and shrink, particularly when exposed to air, heat, and moisture. Moister can swiftly pass through the gaps between subfloors and floats within the engineered wood and could cause serious damage to the flooring made of hardwood.

How much does it cost for underlayment flooring 

Whether you are using hardwood flooring or another kind of flooring, the price varies based on the type of flooring. Still, it expects to run between 0.50 $ and 1.50$. According to the Home Advisor, most homeowners expect to pay between $4 and 8 per sq ft to install hardwood flooring. The range is $3-10 for engineered flooring made of wood. In many instances, homeowners are likely to recover the costs of their projects up to 9%, according to the impact of remodeling report released from the National Association of the remodeling industry.

Some solid hardwood varieties are less than oak. As per a home advisor, American cherry can range from $5 to %10 for each square foot. Low engineered hardwood costs are between $PS to 5% per square foot. The mid-range price is between 5% to 10$ per square foot, and the higher-end price is between $8 and 13dollars each square. To determine your total expense, work out the total cost per square foot and add 5 to 10 percent for cutting and waste.


It is clear from the previous article that the importance of underlayment is for hardwood flooring. By investing a little and time, you will reap advantages like moisture barrier, sound barrier, and sound. It enhances your comfort and conceals imperfections of the hardwood flooring. Now we hope you understand how to choose the perfect hardwood flooring underlayment.

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