Home and Style

Laminate underlay: how to choose the right base


The flooring is an important element of the interior of the room and comfortable movement around the apartment. Laminate deservedly occupies a leading position in the rating of floor coverings. This easy-to-maintain material stands out for a large selection of shades, textures.

High-quality laying of laminated panels depends largely on the choice of substrate, the condition of the subfloor, because sometimes even a fresh subfloor is not suitable for laying the flooring, because when performing the screed, individual base differences can remain that are not acceptable when laying the laminate. It is the substrate that helps to create a perfectly flat surface in the room.

  • alignment - smoothes non-critical unevenness of the base, which extends the service life of the main coating - laminate; the thickness of the substrate under the laminate is determined by the type of material;
  • soundproof - as sound absorption when moving. Noise can be divided into two types: reflected (heard in the room when walking), passing (reaching neighbors below);
  • heat insulating - helps keep the heat indoors (especially important if there are unheated basements, garages, warehouses under the room);
  • moisture absorption.

Laminate substrate: general species descriptions

Before you choose a substrate for laminate, you must be familiar with the characteristics of materials. Different types of laminate underlay will cater to both those who appreciate natural materials and fans of modern technologies.

Natural substrates

Cork (bark of cork tree in compressed form) is produced in sheets (610Х915 mm), rolls (width 1 m, length 10/15 m). Main advantages: high density, low thermal conductivity, resistance to deformation, excellent sound insulation and vibration absorption. Disadvantages: it is impossible to lay in rooms with warm floors and high humidity. It is recommended to lay on a flat base / plywood or on a wooden floor.

Cork backing (kraft paper impregnated from natural bitumen and cork crumb). Produced in rolls. Advantages: excellent sound and heat insulation. Distinctive features: cork crumb prolongs the life of the main coating, and bitumen impregnation protects the laminate from moisture from the concrete coating. It is not recommended to lay in rooms with heated floors.

What are the main qualities that make these coatings very popular? Low cost and excellent performance.

Polystyrene film

The coating is made in the form of sheets with a rigid structure. Advantages: good heat and sound insulation, shape preservation for a long period, excellent waterproofing (due to moisture-proof pores).

Polyethylene substrates

Tuplex is a relatively new material. A distinctive feature - polystyrene granules placed between layers of polyethylene. Advantages - significantly reduces the "shock" noise, promotes the natural removal of moisture (subject to the absence of a waterproofing film).

The main task of any substrate is to prevent the deformation of the laminate. Substrate coatings are pressed when pressed and thus fulfill their purpose. The correct choice of substrate for laminate is determined by the thickness, type of laminate, strength of the substrate material, curvature of the floor, price.

For a laminate with a thickness of up to 7 mm, a 2 mm substrate is selected, and a 3 mm coating is laid under the laminate of 8-9 mm. Ideally, it is better to adhere to the wishes of the manufacturers of laminate, as for some types of coating it is recommended to use a thick 4-5 mm substrate.

Warm floors today is difficult to surprise anyone. Especially since various types of heating elements turn to mount this system under any coating.

The substrate under the laminate for a warm floor is selected from polypropylene / polyethylene with a metallized side. When water / electric heat applied substrate of polystyrene.

Thermal conductivity is the main characteristic of the film (therefore it is made with perforation and thin - 1.6 mm).

How to lay the substrate under the laminate?

Assessment of the condition of the "rough" floor - the most important stage of preparatory work when installing the floor covering.

The base must be flat and cleaned of debris, dust. If there are serious irregularities, use a self-leveling mixture or make a new tie. Wooden floors are leveled with sheets of plywood, which are fastened with screws.

To properly cover, does not require special skills and tools. You will need a knife, ruler, tape (painting or clerical). Laying laminate flooring on a concrete floor with a cork backing requires additional insulation (a layer of polyethylene). Such a measure in the future will keep the floor from moisture.

A prerequisite for a quality floor is that the joints of the substrate sheets and the seams between the lamellae do not coincide. To do this, determine the direction of the location of the lamellae, and the sheets of the substrate are laid with a 45 ° angle.

They begin with a whole sheet from the corner and, moving to the opposite corner, gently cover the entire surface of the room. And the sheets are placed with a slight offset (the “chessboard” pattern does not repeat). When the floor under the laminate is completely closed with whole elements, begin to close the empty space with trimming.

Laying the substrate under the laminate is carried out in compliance with the alternation of directions of coatings. Otherwise, there is a probability of coincidence of the lines of the laminate locks and the joints of the substrate, which will lead to the creak and crunch of the floor covering in the future.

As with the laying of sheet parts, when using cork coatings, an additional polyethylene film is laid.