Does solid wood flooring need underlay?
Hardwood remains one of the most popular flooring solutions among homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — and for good reasons. It provides a timeless and elegant look and feel to any space. It is also extremely versatile; available in various species, finishes, board sizes, and colors, the only thing that is limiting a wood flooring project is your imagination. Although a bit on the expensive side, hardwood floors more than make up for their high initial costs with their durability and longevity (a good quality hardwood floor will last you for decades!)
When it comes to installing a hardwood floor in your McKinney home, however, your success largely depends on an unglamorous yet crucial support element: underlay. Though most homeowners don’t think they need this thin, soft layer of cushioning placed underneath their wood floors, there is a laundry list of good reasons you might want it.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few reasons why your solid wood flooring needs underlay.
1. Underlay provides moisture resistance.
No matter how well installed or maintained, any gap between the floorboards can let water seep under your wood floor and do serious damage. Whether you are installing an inexpensive laminate or a top of the line exotic hardwood like Maple or Oak, you definitely don’t want moisture and dampness to impact your flooring!
Luckily for you, most good quality underlayments come with vapor resistance. These underlayments provide a moisture barrier that helps protect your solid wood flooring against water damage, which is quite common in the humid North Texas climate. Now, you can be confident that the moisture levels from the subfloor will not migrate up and warp or break your solid wood floor.
Installing a wood underlay is an especially good idea if you are installing a floor in areas more prone to wide fluctuations in moisture levels, such as a basement or an attic.
2. Underlay evens out minor imperfections in the floor.
Though you must ensure that all the major flaws in your wood flooring are fixed before you lay it down, a quality underlay can even out the minor dips and cracks to ensure a sturdy, smooth subfloor that helps to deliver long-lasting value and comfort.
An even subfloor can also make it easier (and quicker) to lay the floor. In fact, you can expect to cut your hardwood floor installation time by up to 50 percent with underlays in place.
3. Underlay helps to reduce noise.
One of the biggest drawbacks of a solid wood floor is noise. Wood floors look great and can outlive your home if well maintained, but they have inferior sound absorption qualities. This means that everyday sounds in your home — from kids and pets running around in the living room and door slamming to the background noise of conversations, television or radio — can quickly add up and become overwhelming.
Fortunately, most quality underlays have exceptional acoustic values. Your choice of underlayment can help you soundproof your hardwood floor and ensure you get to enjoy the elegance and timelessness of your floor without the ear-splitting racket. Although most quality flooring products today come with some sort of acoustic insulation, a good underlay can provide an additional sound barrier. When it comes to footfall noise reduction, every little bit helps, right?
The acoustic values of underlays are particularly important if you are laying your solid wood flooring on a second or third floor where noises can be transferred to the floor above or emanated to the floor below, or in a large open space where sounds of the floor will reverberate around the area.
4. Underlay keeps the flooring warm.
Your solid wood floor should not only look good, but it should also provide comfort. And one of the key elements to any floor covering’s comfort is its warmth.
Underlayment also acts as a thermal insulator, minimizing heat escape through the floorboard and keeping the damp cold away from the floorboard and your feet. Investing in underlayment is something you will really appreciate on chilled winter nights.
Another benefit of this thermal insulation is minimized energy losses, with consequent energy and economic savings.
5. Underlay acts as a cushioning agent.
Circling back to the comfort factor, a good quality underlay can make the simple act of walking or standing on your solid wood floor for long periods of time more comfortable by providing a subtle cushioning effect.
As you can see, laying down underlay can allow you to enjoy your solid wood flooring to a greater degree. Given all these benefits, it would be a mistake to skip the underlay when installing your wood floor.
We hope that we have given you a little bit of an insight into why underlays are essential for your solid wood flooring. Have more questions?
Contact Floors Touch of McKinney for complete Flooring Solutions.
Floors Touch of McKinney should be your point of contact for all your flooring needs. We are a trusted flooring company in McKinney, Texas, offering a huge selection of different types of flooring options. We have products matching any specific requirements. Whether you are looking for exclusive hardwood, laminate, tile, or vinyl flooring, we can help.
With Floors Touch of McKinney, you can expect high-quality craftsmanship and extraordinary collections at competitive pricing. We will guide you at every step of your flooring project, right from choosing the best material, designing, your choice, budget and installation. We always strive to exceed the expectations of our customers.
Call us today at (214) 326-0100 to discuss your flooring needs. Our flooring experts in McKinney are on hand to help you with any query or suggestion you want for your flooring project.