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Choosing the right underlay for your flooring

Selecting the right underlay and damp proof membrane for your room and flooring type is crucial. It not only provides an even surface for you to lay your flooring but it also acts as a moisture barrier and provides soundproofing.

Most laminate, engineered wood and solid wood flooring is laid as a floating floor, meaning it isn’t fixed to the ground beneath. These flooring types will always need underlay.

If you are using cushioned luxury vinyl flooring then you may not require underlay but always check the manufacturer’s advice to be certain.


How to lay a laminate floor

How to lay a laminate floor

To learn more, read our easy-to-follow guide on how to lay a laminate floor.


The table below will give you a good guide.

Which room? Timber or concrete subfloor Smooth or uneven subfloor? Appropriate underlay Appropriate damp prof membrane
Kitchen or bathroom Timber Smooth General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay Bitumen-backed building paper.
Uneven General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay Bitumen-backed building paper.
Concrete Smooth Premium kitchen & bathroom underlay Already built into high performance underlay
Uneven General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay 1000 guage membrane
Other living area Timber Smooth General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay
or
Premium kitchen & bathroom underlay
(but not with 6mm laminate)
Bitumen-backed building paper (only required if risk of moisture).
Uneven General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay
or
Natural fibreboard underlay
(but not with 6mm laminate)
Bitumen-backed building paper (only required if risk of moisture).
Concrete Smooth Premium kitchen & bathroom underlay Already built into high performance underlay
Uneven General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay
or
Natural fibreboard underlay
(but not with 6mm laminate)
1000 gauge membrane