Floor quality plays a significant role in your home’s structural integrity. Plus, it contributes to the aesthetics of the interior and affects your safety as you move around the house. With the right underlayment material, you can achieve the stylish and stable flooring you want. But are you overwhelmed with all your options?
In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about this aspect of your home. And we have reviewed different products to help you choose the best underlayment for vinyl plank flooring to suit your needs.
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Last update on 2022-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Before we get into product reviews, it is necessary for you to understand what the ratings systems and correlating numbers found for underlayment products mean. This knowledge will help you better understand if the underlayment product you are considering will meet your needs.
STC means Sound Transmission Lost Test. The higher the number you see next to this rating, the better the product is at muffling or dampening sound. The STC rating accounts for types of sounds in the air such as radios, TVs, and talking.
IIC means Impact Sound Transmission Test. As with the STC the same is true for this rating; the higher the number the better the product works to prevent sound transmission. The IIC differs from the STC in that this rating measures the noises made from an impact such as the sounds of someone walking, or an object falling to the floor.
The R Value is a thermal rating. It measures the product’s ability to transmit heat. The higher the number, then the less heat moves through it. R Values typically seen are between .2 and .4.
Is your subfloor concrete?
If your subfloor is concrete, there’s a high likelihood, if not a certainty, that moisture will escape and build up beneath your flooring. Moisture accumulation leads to mold, mildew and other bacterial growth. Moisture can also damage the flooring system by causing buckling, warping, and the tongue and groove connections to fail. To prevent moisture accumulation, you should always use a 6 mil vapor barrier.
Are you concerned with bacterial growth?
As we described above, mold, mildew and bacteria can lead to significant environmental issues within the home. If this is a concern for you, your family or clients, you should certainly consider an underlayment with antimicrobial properties. Eco Cork Foam® (ECF) is infused throughout with antimicrobial protection, not just the top or bottom surface, to ensure a lifetime of protection.
Are you looking to add warmth and comfort to your home?
For many homeowners, adding an underlayment to their floor is a game-changer in terms of comfort. With any flooring, adding a layer of cushion and insulation beneath your flooring can significantly improve the experience. ECF provides thermal insulation beneath your floor, in addition to reducing drafts with the help of the attached vapor barrier.
What are the advantages of vinyl flooring?
One of the main advantages, next to offering a great price/quality ratio, is the hygienic aspect of this type of floor. It's the ideal floor for homes with families or people with allergies. Another great advantage is that it replicates the real natural look of wood and tiles, without the disadvantages (such as hard to clean and maintain) or cost of the material. Vinyl floors are also one of the easiest types of flooring to self-install, and vinyl flooring can last over a very long time.
Is vinyl an environmentally friendly material?
Vinyl is an environmentally friendly material. 57% of vinyl is made from common salt, which is a renewable natural substance. Non-renewable resources, such as crude oil, only account for 43% of vinyl resin. In comparison to various other materials used by the flooring industry, vinyl requires fewer natural resources, uses less energy for manufacture and also releases lower emissions into the environment. On top of that, vinyl is a material that can last for decades. And when its lifetime is nearing an end, the material can be recycled. Our PURE vinyl planks are 100% recyclable.
Is a vinyl floor the right floor for my home?
If you are looking for a durable floor that is easy to clean, silent and comfortable to walk on, then vinyl is the right floor for your home. You can install a vinyl floor anywhere: in the kitchen, bathroom (only GlueDown Vinyl planks), living room, bedroom or hallway. BerryAlloc® has an extensive collection, so you are sure to find a design that matches your taste and the rest of your interior. Because it is quiet underfoot, vinyl is sound absorbing, which makes it ideal for apartments or upstairs bedrooms.
Can I place heavy objects on my vinyl plank floor?
Placing heavy objects, like bookcases or wardrobes on vinyl plank floors is no problem, provided that the subfloor is resistant to pressure. A proper subfloor retains its thickness and pressure resistance over time. Make sure to avoid point loads (a heavy load resting on one point) on your vinyl plank floor. The installation of the floor must be the last operation in the project. Kitchen cabinets, fireplaces, etc., cannot be installed on top of the flooring.
Do I need to wax my vinyl floor?
No, vinyl floors do not need waxing. Unlike hardwood or tile floors, there is no special treatment required for vinyl. For information on vinyl maintenance, check our Installation and Maintenance pages.
Many reviewers can attest to these products being cheaper than the ones at the nearest big box stores. Plus, these products have all the basic features (e.g., sound absorption, cushioning, moisture & vapor protection, thermal insulation) of the best underlayment for vinyl plank flooring. However, each product has unique characteristics, which may be what you’re looking for on top of the basic features.
However, if you really have to choose between all these products, it would be practical to consider your health above everything else and choose either Steico or Amerique. These two products have all the features of the best underlayment for vinyl floor plank, but with the added non-allergenic and antimicrobial features.