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Do I need underlayment for vinyl plank flooring?

Feb 01,20241
The use of underlayment for vinyl plank flooring depends on the specific type of vinyl flooring you have and the conditions of the subfloor. Here are some general guidelines:
Floating Vinyl Plank Flooring:
Many vinyl plank floors are designed to be installed as floating floors,meaning they are not directly glued or nailed to the subfloor.
In floating installations, underlayment is often recommended to provide additional cushioning, noise reduction, and to smooth out minor imperfections in the subfloor.
Glue-Down Vinyl Plank Flooring:
If you are installing vinyl plank flooring that requires adhesive (glue-down installation), underlayment may not be necessary. However, it's essential to follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Subfloor Conditions:
The condition of the subfloor plays a role in determining the need for underlayment. If the subfloor is smooth, even, and in good condition, underlayment may not be required. However, if there are imperfections or irregularities, underlayment can help create a more even surface.
Moisture Protection:
Some underlayments provide a moisture barrier, which can be beneficial in areas prone to moisture. This helps protect the vinyl planks from potential damage caused by moisture from the subfloor.
Manufacturer Recommendations:
Always refer to the manufacturer's installation guidelines and recommendations for the specific vinyl plank flooring you have chosen. Manufacturers often specify whether underlayment is required or optional.
Sound Reduction:
Underlayment can contribute to sound reduction, making the floor quieter underfoot. If noise reduction is a consideration, choose an underlayment designed for this purpose.
Before installing vinyl plank flooring, it's crucial to read and follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. If you're unsure whether to use underlayment or which type to choose, consulting with the flooring manufacturer or a professional installer can help ensure a successful installation.