You have got this beautiful vinyl plank to layout and just about to do so, but wait, you seem to have something missing, your underlayment. Why do I need it on my concrete floor anyway? You ask. Well, underlayment is like butter or the sandwich to your two pieces of toast (speaking in cooking terms).
Underlayment comes between the sub-floor and the top floor to create perfect and, most significantly, durable flooring. Some sub-floors may not be necessary, but with a concrete sub-floor, it is a requirement. Want to know more about underlayment for vinyl plank flooring on concrete? Read on.
Importance of Underlayment on Concrete Sub-floor
Underlay comes in-between the sub-floor and the top flooring. It comes in different models and designs serving a couple of functions. While using it is overkill and may not be necessary for some subfloors, in subfloors like concrete, it is a necessity. Sometimes in concrete flooring, a combination underlayment (a vapor barrier that is put after the main underlayment before the flooring) is even used. Other times, some use waterproof underlayment for the flooring.
Let’s see some importance of underlayment:
Friction between the feet and the concrete subfloor can cause wear and tear, and as such, the vinyl plank starts filing out. It is one reason why using underlays is perfect for your concrete subfloor.
Cushioning on the Feet
Underlays are designed to cushion the feet and make walking easier.
In concrete subfloors, moisture usually sips from the ground to the concrete, and when this gets to the top flooring, it spells disaster. You begin to see cracks and molds and the vinyl plank starts pulling off or breaking out. No wonder an underlayment, not just any type, one that is waterproof, is highly needed in a concrete subfloor.
When underlays are sandwiched between the subfloor and flooring, it acts to buffer the impact of sound so you can work noiselessly around the room.
Just like moisture gets through concrete to the top for the top flooring. Concrete can also become heated up and heat transmitted to the vinyl planks. The underlay can act as a barrier to prevent too much heat from being absorbed into the top flooring.
Hides Minor Imperfections
Like few bumps and holes, making the final layout of the top floor smooth and level.
What Underlayment is Suitable on Concrete?
- One with a built-in vapor barrier to prevent moisture from entering from the concrete to the vinyl plank.
- An underlayment can absorb heat and keep the floor nice and warm against the feet because concrete gets damp and cold.
- An underlayment that supports the weight and is durable.
- One that can smoothly go over concrete, hiding small imperfections.
Quick Steps on Installing Underlayment over Concrete
- Get all your tools ready (kneepad, scissors, vinyl plank cutter, tape marker, vacuum cleaner are some of the useful tools needed here).
- Calculate the dimension of the space rightly to get the right amount of required underlayment.
- Prep the subfloor by scraping, smoothening out and vacuuming dirt.
- Patch up any holes or open spaces to make it level.
- Roll out underlayment over the concrete floor, give at least two inches up the wall for moisture protection, and tape down the underlayment to the subfloor, smoothening with your hand to avoid any air gaps while you do so.
- Cut off any excess and use a transparent tape to tape down any exposed part.
- Arrange the right flooring transition and set it to the right place.
- Your underlayment is now ready for the layout of the vinyl plank.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Flooring Underlayment
There are various types and makes of underlayment out there serving several purposes like flooring for bedroom, flooring for hall room, flooring for bathroom, kitchen, etc. However, it would help if you looked out for some properties in the underlayment for the vinyl plank flooring in the concrete sub-floor.
Since there will be a lot of foot traffic, you will need to know how much weight will compress the underlayment. Make sure the underlayment you get has passed compression set testing.
It is one of the most important factors you consider in your choice of underlayment on a concrete floor. Because concrete seeps out moisture always, some underlayment is designed with built-in moisture barrier others are not. Be careful to choose one that absorbs moisture or prevent it from getting to the top flooring.
Generally, underlays are useful to buffer the impact of sounds that results from the friction of the soles of the feet and the top floor and flooring.
Made from Non-Toxic Materials
Ensure that the underlayment is not made from toxic materials, hazardous to health.
Ease of Installation
Also, consider this before you make a purchase. It’s best to go for something that is not super complicated to install. Choose something durable, affordable and easy to install.
It should be thick enough to cover up minor unevenness in the subfloor to give a smooth and seamless finish when the flooring is installed.
Much has been said. To wrap things up, let’s hit on some final points: we have talked about concrete properties and how moisture seeps in. While you must have chosen a perfect underlayment, a suitable vinyl plank completes the job. Floating vinyl floors are best recommended for concrete floors. They go well with any reasonable and waterproof quality underlayment.