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Hardwood Flooring: When and Why Underlayments are Required?

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Underlayment is required for any installation of laminate flooring or engineered real wood flooring. Both types of flooring are installed by a “floated,” or "free-floating," method, meaning they are not actually attached to the sub-floor. The individual boards are only secured to each other by gluing the mating tongue and groove edges or by simply clicking together the special joints of the “no-glue” type. The underlayment is placed over the sub-floor first then the flooring is assembled on top of the underlayment.

Underlayment is required for any installation of laminate flooring or engineered real wood flooring. Both types of flooring are installed by a “floated,” or "free-floating," method, meaning they are not actually attached to the sub-floor. The individual boards are only secured to each other by gluing the mating tongue and groove edges or by simply clicking together the special joints of the “no-glue” type. The underlayment is placed over the sub-floor first then the flooring is assembled on top of the underlayment.

The function of underlayment is to absorb some of the minor (very minor) imperfections in the sub-floor; to help deaden sound when walking on the floor (since it is not attached to the sub-floor); and to slightly (very, very slightly) soften the feel when walking on the floor. It is very important to understand that underlayment for laminate and floating wood floors is not the same as padding for carpet. Unlike padding for carpet, a thicker underlayment will not make laminate or wood flooring feel softer. It will, however, reduce overhead sound in rooms below the flooring in addition to lessening the affects of sub-floor imperfections.

Solid cork underlayment can be used under most all floating laminate or wood floors. However, as with some foam underlayments, you may need to install a moisture barrier under the cork, if applicable. Most manufacturers accept 6mil think plastic sheeting as a moisture barrier, but to be sure check with your specific flooring manufacturer or with one of our flooring consultants.

Another benefit of cork underlayment is that it can be used with most all wood flooring installations, including glued down, nailed down and stapled down. It can also be used under ceramic tile, cork flooring, and bamboo flooring. One important note: whenever you are installing flooring by a method other than free-floating, the cork underlayment must be glued to the sub-flooring as opposed to simply laying it down.

Note: If you live on the second floor, or higher, of a condo building, there may be rules that dictate the type of underlayment required. The requirement may call for one that reduces sound even more than the modified or upgraded types. In such cases, cork is often the specified underlayment. However, if cork is not specified, then we highly recommend "The Silencer" as a less expensive alternative that will provide excellent sound reduction. If you do live in a condo, we strongly suggest getting a copy of the rules and verifying their requirements before buying any material. We also suggest that you get a letter signed by the condo board, prior to starting any flooring work, stating that your choice of underlayment is acceptable.

The Silencer™ is the finest acoustical underlayment for laminate floors. It is an absolute necessity for every laminate floor.

The Silencer™ HD:

  • Is quiet - shhh!
  • Features CrushprufTM technology. Resists indentation, lengthening floor life like no other
  • rovides cushioned comfort under hard laminate floors
  • Maintains the beauty of your floor
  • Adds value to your home
  • Has over 2 million satisfied customers
  • Has over 400 Million square feet installed with ZERO claims
  • Offers the industry's BEST WARRANTY

The Silencer™ SR:

  • Is quiet - shhh!
  • Contains anti-microbial which inhibit mold and mildew
  • Non-allergenic and odorless
  • Suitable for all floating laminate and engineered wood floors
  • Maintains the beauty of your floor
  • Adds value to your home
  • 100% recyclable
  • Unmatched track record: 400 Million square feet installed with ZERO claims
  • Offers the industry's BEST WARRANTY

The Silencer™ guarantees that your floor stays beautiful.

When you purchase The Silencer™ underlayment you can be assured that you are adding value to your home. If you decide to move, our warranty is transferred to the new owner.

Other underlayments cannot offer you this same protection. With other underlayments you will be spending your hard earned money to replace your laminate floor after only a few years.

Specifications - Silencer Superior (SR)

THICKNESS:

0.085" - fits under all standard floor trim, 3 mil moisture barrier

ACOUSTICAL:

70IIC, 71STC*

WATER RESISTANCE:

Zero moisture penetration

DENSITY:

14 lbs./cubic ft.

DURABILITY:

20% Compression Set

ROLL LENGTH:

33.34'

ROLL WIDTH:

36"

SQ.FT/ROLL:

100'

ROLL WEIGHT:

15 lbs.

PALLET:

42 rolls

PALLET WT.:

700 lbs.

*Statistic may vary slightly depending upon floor assembly.

OFFICIAL WARRANTY - Silencer HD

FPC warrants that The Silencer™ will conform to the published product specifications, subject to manufacturing tolerances, will be merchantable for the ordinary purposes for which such goods are used and will be free of defects in material and workmanship at the time of shipment.

FPC further warrants that it will replace FPC's defective products and will reimburse purchaser the original purchase price of any excessively abraded laminate floor area under which FPC's product was originally installed for any excessive abrasion resulting solely from a defect in FPC's The Silencer™ that caused a substandard performance to any valid warranty of the laminate manufacturer.

This commercial warranty gives the purchaser specific legal rights and the purchaser may also have other rights, which vary from state to state.

This commercial warranty will be effective only if The Silencer™ underlayment is installed and maintained in full compliance with the laminate floor manufacturer's instructions, recommendations and specifications.

FPC does not assume any liability for faulty installation or lack of maintenance or improper maintenance.

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