Engineered hardwood flooring in a Baton Rouge, LA kitchen

Does engineered hardwood need an underlayment?

Yes, and it’s especially important when the engineered hardwood is installed with the floating floor technique.

Why is it so important with a floating floor?

When it’s a traditional hardwood flooring installation staples and nails are used. It is always recommended to roll a felt underlayment over the subfloor before this kind of installation takes place. It keeps moisture from being absorbed from the subfloor and makes all the difference between having a hardwood floor that warps and one that maintains its beauty throughout the years.

With a floating floor method, the surface just hovers over the wood or concrete subfloor. They don't attach so no felt is used on the floor. That means the pad needs to be attached to the engineered hardwood boards. Some underlayments come with a plastic covering that holds back moisture. This is almost always recommended when the subfloor is concrete. Ask your flooring pro for more information.

Underlayments are also important for engineered hardwood flooring because:

●It allows the floor to move slightly with no problem. Since it hovers, that will sometimes happen. With an underlayment, there is no problem.
●Provide cushioning. That makes it softer to walk on.
●Evens out the subfloor. The requirements are basically that the subfloor is clean, dry, free of debris, and even. If the subfloor is not even, the surface floor will be crooked.
●Decrease sound. Some underlayments have exceptional sound absorption qualities so footsteps, voices, and beeping devices can be muffled or eliminated.

Solid vs engineered wood floors

As the name implies, solid is one thickness throughout the floor. It can be damaged by excess water and moisture and, unless acclimated, will shrink and expand to adjust to the weather.

Engineered has a slice of authentic wood at the top with three or more layers underneath of genuine wood combined with a little resin. The layers are placed crosswise and that gives it more stability and an increased ability to handle water. No acclimation is needed and it can be installed in some higher-than-normal areas.

For more information about engineered hardwood visit the Wholesale flooring & Granite showroom in Baton Rouge, LA, serving Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Ascension Parish, and Baker.