What Is The Best Underlayment For Hardwood Floors?

A well-maintained hardwood floor can add beauty and value to any home. But what many homeowners don’t realize is that the key to a long-lasting hardwood floor is a good underlayment.

It provides a buffer against moisture, helps to reduce noise, and provides additional insulation. There are many different types of underlayment on the market, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.

With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you choose the best underlayment for hardwood floors. So check it out and get started on creating the perfect floor for your home.

What is a Floor Underlayment?

Floor underlayment is a thin layer of material that is installed between the subfloor and the finished flooring.

The underlayment provides a smooth, level surface for the finished flooring and helps to reduce noise and vibrations. It also protects the finished flooring from moisture and damage.

There are many different types of floor underlayments available, and the type that is best for your project will depend on the finished flooring that you are using. For example, hardwood flooring requires a different type of underlayment than laminate or vinyl.

Types of Underlayments

Most people don’t give much thought to the humble underlayment, but this essential component plays a vital role in ensuring a smooth, level surface for flooring.

There are many different types of underlayments available on the market, each with its own unique set of benefits. Here are five of the most popular options:

1. Foam: Foam underlayment is a popular choice for many homeowners thanks to its affordability and easy installation. However, the foam does not provide as much sound or heat insulation as other options.

2. Cork: Cork underlayment is another budget-friendly option that is also easy to install. Cork is also environmentally friendly and provides good sound and heat insulation.

3. Rubber: Rubber underlayment is more expensive than foam or cork, but it is also more durable and provides better sound and heat insulation.

Rubber underlayment is more expensive than foam or cork, but it is also more durable and provides better sound and heat insulation.

4. Fiberglass: Fiberglass underlayment is a good choice for areas that require extra soundproofings, such as bedrooms or home theaters. However, fiberglass can be difficult to install and is not as environmentally friendly as other options.

Fiberglass underlayment is a good choice for homeowners who want to reduce noise transmission between floors.

5. Magnetic: Magnetic underlayment is a new innovation that uses magnets to hold the flooring in place. This type of underlayment is ideal for DIY installations or areas where traditional adhesives cannot be used, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

Advantages of Floor Underlayments

Floor underlayments are one of the most important inventions of the 21st century. Here are five reasons why:

  • They help to protect your floor from everyday wear and tear.
  • They provide an extra layer of insulation, helping to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • They can help to reduce noise levels, making your home a more peaceful place to live.
  • They can add an extra level of comfort to your floors, making them more comfortable to walk on.
  • They can increase the value of your home, should you ever decide to sell up.

Best Underlayment For Hardwood Floors

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best underlayment for a hardwood floor depends on the specific needs of the homeowner.

1. Foam Underlayment

Best Underlayment For Hardwood Floors
Creator: Pannonia | Credit: Getty Images

If you’re looking for the best possible way to cushion your hardwood floors, then you need to invest in foam underlayment.

This material is designed to provide an extra layer of support and comfort, and it’s also great at absorbing impact noise. In other words, it’s exactly what you need if you’re looking for a way to make your floors feel softer and quieter.

Plus, foam underlayment is also very easy to install, so you won’t have to worry about spending hours on your hands and knees trying to get it just right.

All in all, foam underlayment is the best way to go if you want to make sure that your hardwood floors are as comfortable as possible.

2. Cork underlayment

 Best Underlayment For Hardwood Floors
Creator: Andrey Gonchar | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cork underlayment is often used in commercial and residential settings to protect hardwood floors. This natural product is made from the bark of cork trees, and it has a number of advantageous properties.

For one, cork is an excellent sound insulator, which can be helpful in both homes and businesses.

In addition, cork is also resistant to mold and mildew, making it ideal for use in damp areas. So, cork underlayment is also helpful in regulating temperature, keeping floors cool in summer and warm in winter.

With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder that cork underlayment is becoming increasingly popular as a way to protect hardwood floors.

Related Topic: How to Remove Hardwood Flooring For Reuse?

How to Choose a Floor Underlayment?

If you live in an area with high humidity, you’ll want to choose an underlayment that is resistant to mold and mildew. If you’re concerned about noise, there are underlayments available that can help to reduce footfall noise.

And if you’re looking for additional insulation, there are underlayments made from recycled materials that can help to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

When it comes to choosing the best underlayment for hardwood floors, there are also many other factors to consider. For example, you’ll need to think about the type of wood you’re using, the climate in your home, and the amount of foot traffic.

You also have to keep in mind the area where you want to install a hardwood floor.

You’ll also need to decide whether you want an underlayment that provides sound insulation or one that’s designed to protect your floors from moisture.


So, what is the best underlayment for hardwood floors? The answer depends, If you have a floating floor system, any good-quality foam will work.

If you have a glued-down floor system, you’ll need an underlayment that can handle moisture like cork or rubber.

As always, we recommend checking with your contractor to see what they suggest. And don’t forget to let us know in the comments section below what type of wood flooring you have! We love hearing from our readers.

Related Topic: How To Remove Haze From Engineered Hardwood Floors? (Guide)


Do I need underlayment for hardwood floors?

There are a lot of benefits of a floor underlayment like it increases the stability and durability of a floor. So, if you need to get these benefits you should install underlayment for your hardwood floor.

Is rubber underlay better than foam?

Rubber underlay is purely made of rubber so it is more waterproof than a foam underlayment. However, we can’t say rubber underlay is better than foam. Because there are many other things to consider like stability and flexibility etc.

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