Laminate flooring has come a long way. Affordable styles at your local big box store can offer a 50 year guarantee on residential use. That’s a great guarantee. And, there are many more options on style than there used to be, so more people are considering this as their flooring option.
If you decide to go with laminate in your home, there’s one thing you need to remember: don’t go cheap on your underlayment! The underlayment is a mat that goes beneath the laminate and because it isn’t something you can see, it’s easy to be tempted by the cheapest roll on the rack. Don’t be deceived. The underlayment, if you select the right one, provides multiple benefits to you including:
- Moisture control/barrier – you don’t want moisture working it’s way up through the slab and into your laminate. It can reduce the lifespan and leave you with blemishes that aren’t easily fixed.
- Sound dampening – laminate has a tendency to give off a louder echo when you walk across it than softer materials like wood. It also doesn’t do much for absorbing natural sounds of the home. Your underlayment can mitigate both issues.
- Structural integrity – a durable and resilient underlayment ensures a durable and resilient tongue and groove system.