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Do you need underlay for vinyl flooring?

11 Jul 2021

Vinyl has been a staple floor covering in New Zealand homes for decades; it’s affordability, hardiness and versatility make it an attractive flooring option. While it is almost essential to underlay your carpets, most vinyl flooring does not require underlay.

Vinyl is stuck directly to your flooring and the use cases generally mean that cushioning underfoot isn’t necessary – bathrooms, kitchens, garages and laundries are rooms that generally need to feel practical rather than comfortable. Underlay prevents the vinyl from effectively adhering to the subfloor below.

Floors under 4mm thickness should not be installed with an underlay

Even thin vinyl is very durable, and all comes with a base layer for minor cushioning and moisture management. Particle board has been a common underlay in the past, however we don’t recommend it as it is not necessary and it has very little structural strength.

When would you need an underlay?

There are two main reasons you would need to add underlay to your flooring. If you’re installing it over a concrete subfloor with moisture concerns, you can use a vapor barrier that will not add any cushioning. If the subfloor is very uneven, you may consider a plywood underlay.

If you want to learn more about which type of vinyl is best for your space, we can talk you through your options. Contact us to book a free at-home consultation!

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