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Overall Rating: 4.5 stars - 99 reviews

By:
Date: August 5, 2020
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Hi guys, I like the article and detail. Im looking to not remove my 40year old solid oak 9"parquet 3/8" thick that is black adhiesive glued down on slab. My wife would just like a different wood floor. We did pergo in our cabin over foam and is too clickedity clack loud. She selected a 3/8" hardwood that is hickory birch, 4", 7" wide. My plan is to 40grit sand and float with a fixall the only 20ft sq area that is 1/8" low. Then install 30lb flooring felt. The new floor has 1/8" bull nose, TandG and doesnt click/snap together. Must I 45 degree nail it down, (I dont think the oak will like it and slab is underneath). or instead use a 1/8" tooth trowel with adhesive. Floating it is my preference but it is a non snap floor. Would this be a bad choice and I must get snap together? Im fine with replacing the base and trimming doors. The only other thing is my kitchen is linoulem over slab. Im planning to use a liquid self leveler to get to the existing oak floor height then follow
By:
Date: August 1, 2020
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
I was not aware of cork as an underlayment. After reading this article I will be using cork.
By:
Date: June 25, 2020
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative
By:
Date: April 9, 2020
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
I am pricing out a job that involves engineered flooring installed on top of quicktrack radiant heat over 3/4" advantech subfloor. there is a crawl space underneath. new construction with a good waterproofing system on foundation but no guarantee of not having any moisture present at one time or another. with radiant tubing, what underlayment do you suggest that could perform as some level of vapor barrier but not interfere or react with heat from tubing. do not want a smell issue or a problem with reflecting heat back like a foil face might. I also thought about doing closed cell spray foam under subfloor as a vapor barrier. thoughts?
Reply by HoskingHardwood : We usually prefer using a floating engineered floor system when it comes to flooring for radiant heat,with that we use Silent Stride underlayment Or Cork underlayment which can be used under nail down installations. As far as a moisture retarder we use several coats of Shellac applied to the subfloor first which provide great vapor retarder seal but still allows the heat to transfer.
By:
Date: February 11, 2020
Page Rating: (2.5/5)
Comments:
if installing cork underlayment over concrete, with 6 mil plastic, how do you accomplish glue down installation per this article recommendation?
Reply by HoskingHardwood :  The method you describe would be when using a floating floor system.  If you want to use a glue down installation method over concrete you would want to first use an adhesive that has a moisture block within it like a Bostic Product directly over the concrete. Optional use of cork is fine but would also have to be glued over the slab adhesive then the flooring glued down over the top of the cork. 
By:
Date: February 10, 2020
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
It was very reassuring to read this article to be sure that the installation is done correctly. Thank you so much!
By:
Date: November 30, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
I have a concrete slab floor with hydronic heating in the slab I would like to install engineered wood flooring over What type underlayment is best Thanks
Reply by HoskingHardwood : We would recommend using Silent Stride 
By:
Date: November 8, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Thank you for the valuable information on underlayments. In regards to cork, I understand the need for extra moisture protection over a concrete slab, but what about on the second floor over plywood subfloor, is the cork enough? Thank you
Reply by HoskingHardwood : We wouldn't recommend using "plastic" vapor retarder on wood framing. Cork would be fine to use over the plywood.
By:
Date: October 20, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
In a floating hardwood installation on concrete, can I lay poly, then 1/4"cork AND 1/8" Dura-son on top...to get better acoustic control? Cork has a high compression value...its stiff. Dura-son is cumbled rubber. Helps with height too..3/8"
Reply by HoskingHardwood : Probably could. 
By:
Date: October 13, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
I have plank subfloor (older home) and recently removed the previous hardwood flooring. I am reinforcing the subfloor with 2 1/2" deck screws and then screwing down plywood on top of the plank subfloor. Between the plank subfloor and plywood do I need to use an underlayment paper/material to protect against moisture or only on top of the plywood between finishing surface?
Reply by HoskingHardwood : I would suggest putting the "Black Felt paper" over the top of the subfloor (under the hardwood) 
By:
Date: October 13, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
I have plank subfloor (older home) and recently removed the previous hardwood flooring. I am reinforcing the subfloor with 2 1/2" deck screws and then screwing down plywood on top of the plank subfloor. Between the plank subfloor and plywood do I need to use an underlayment paper/material to protect against moisture or only on top of the plywood between finishing surface?
By:
Date: September 26, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Im installing a solid stranded bamboo on the second story of my home. What would my best option be for underlayment?
By:
Date: June 17, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Great information and very informative. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there. This lays it out very well.
By:
Date: May 29, 2019
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Great article, thank you. I have a floating engineered hardwood floor that I am guessing is about 600 square feet through my living room, hallway and den. It squeaks quite a bit. It was installed before I bought the home, so I dont know exactly what I am dealing with. I suspect a very thin or no barrier over a concrete slab. How much labor is involved to pull it up, put underlayment and reinstall? Thanks.
Reply by HoskingHardwood :

You should find out why the floor is squeaking first by removing one board to see if the proper undelayment was used and the condition of the subfloor.  If the flooring is a click lock version then you should be able to find out which end of the room the last board was installed and then unclick the floor boards remembering where each one was. If the floating floor boards had their tongue and groove system glued together then the whole floor may have to be replaced. If the concrete slab was uneven with dips and high spots that were never filled prior to the new flooring going over it then the flooring when walked on can depress into these areas and cause squeaks when walked on. 

By:
Date: May 29, 2019
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Great article, thank you. I have a floating engineered hardwood floor that I am guessing is about 600 square feet through my living room, hallway and den. It squeaks quite a bit. It was installed before I bought the home, so I dont know exactly what I am dealing with. I suspect a very thin or no barrier over a concrete slab. How much labor is involved to pull it up, put underlayment and reinstall? Thanks.
By:
Date: May 8, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
The best resource Ive found on the topic. Thanks!
By:
Date: May 7, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Good review of all types of underlayment and what to avoid.
By:
Date: May 4, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative. Still wondering though which underlay to install between plywood and 3/4" engineered hardwood, in our attic: with vapor barrier or not? Not sure if floating the floor or nailing it down yet. Suggestions?
Reply by HoskingHardwood : I would suggest using 15 black felt paper which is a vapor retarder (not a barrier). 
By:
Date: April 30, 2019
Page Rating: (3.5/5)
Comments:
Reply by HoskingHardwood : We install 6 mil. (1/4 inch thick) all the time under hardwood. 1-3/4 to 2 inch nails/staples will still grip the subfloor. 6 MILS DOES NOT EQUAL 1/4 INCH
Reply by HoskingHardwood : Alan I think you mean 6 mm not 6 mil.   6 mm is approx 1/4 inch thick. 
By:
Date: April 15, 2019
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative! My home is on a concrete slab and floor is very cold during winter. I am planning to use 5/8 thick Engineered hardwood. Can I put 1/4 inch cork on top of Silent Stride underlayment pad in order to achieve better thermal insulation?
Reply by HoskingHardwood : Put 4-6 mil plastic directly over the slab to act as a vapor retarder then the cork then the silent stride. Putting the cork over the silent stride underlayment will make it flex too much. Cork is a firmer underlayment and should be put over a solid subfloor first.
By:
Date: March 18, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Great information! I will be laying 3/8 plywood over my 1/2 " plank floor and will be installing either solid hardwood or engineered hardwood floor. Can I lay the 15lb black felt paper and then the 6mm cork over the felt paper? What is your opinion on those felt cushion underlayments.
Reply by HoskingHardwood :  Apply the black felt paper over the plywood first.  Cushion type underlayments are for floating floors. 6mm cork is firm enough to use with either types of flooring. 

 

By:
Date: March 9, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Awesome article! I had glue down engineered hardwood flooring that was replaced with a floating floor. Unfortunately, the new floating floor, including the new underpad, is 1.15 cm lower than the previous one. Our installer said they couldnt find any underpad that met the sound requirement that would have been the same size as the previous underpad. (IIC 65) Now we have multiple gaps due to the floor being lower, most significantly with the door frames. Basically, what Im hoping you can answer, is if the installer was able to do anything to match the height of the previous flooring to ensure there would be no gaps at the door frames.
By:
Date: February 8, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Woderful article very informative! I have an installation challenge! I need to float a 3/8 engineered floor over another hardwood floor and the boards will run the same direction? We want to also preserve the old floor without nailing plywood over it . Can I use a premium underlayment or felt and underlayment? Cork? Thanks so much!
Reply by HoskingHardwood : Since you are floating the floor and not "adhering or nailing down" the new to the old. you should be fine to run the new flooring in the same direction as the old as long as the old floor is flat. 1/4 cork can be used as an underlayment and is a firmer type of underlayment than the foam or pad type. Cork will reduce sound transmission also. 
By:
Date: February 1, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Wonderful article. Thank you. Wondering if you need to have an underlayment for floating non engineered hardwood on a second Story with plywood subfloor?
Reply by HoskingHardwood : If the flooring is going to be stapled/nailed down then we would recommend using a 15 lb black felt or kraft paper under the flooring as to help retard any moisture migration up through the subfloor. 
By:
Date: January 13, 2019
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
I wish I saw this article sooner. i recently installed wood floor in my house, one of my main concern is soundproofing. I was told by the installer that with cork underlayment, you cannot do nail down, it must be glued down. Glad to be proven orherwise. Would using 12mm cork underlayment add more soundproofing? Also, how would one tack down the cork underlayment on the plywood subfloor, do we nail it then?
Reply by HoskingHardwood :

We install 6 mil. (1/4 inch thick) all the time under hardwood. 1-3/4 to 2 inch nails/staples will still grip the subfloor.  I would not advise using any thicker cork underlayment unless you are using a "Floating Floor"  which doesn't get nailed down. You can view all of our articles on the site map. 

By:
Date: January 8, 2019
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
I am looking for underlay for 1st floor of by double storey house.i am doing the flooring with pre finished engineered spotted gum flooring,I need a good underlay to prevent the noise,can someone recommend which underlay suits to avoid the noise at 1st floor.Thanks.
By:
Date: October 24, 2018
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Great article. Thanks for the info. I want to use a cork or rubber underlayment under a solid or engineered hardwood floor. Everyone is telling me to nail, not glue, but my primary concern is sound control as Im in an old wood framed multi-unit building and noise is a big issue. What is best for minimizing sound transfer if I dont want to go with the floating option? (Im trying to avoid those annoying transition "bumps" between rooms)
Reply by HoskingHardwood : 1/4 inch cork using 2 inch staples or cleat nails. For thinner engineered flooring thinner gauge and 1-3/4 nails or staples depending on what that particular manufacturer states. 
By:
Date: October 24, 2018
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
very well presented
By:
Date: October 16, 2018
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
Good information but would prefer some brand names so it makes easy to buy. Thanks
By:
Date: September 19, 2018
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very useful information and easy to understand. I noticed some people complaining that not enough info was given about special or very old slat subflooring or no technical specifications. This article gives good and complete info for what to use and why. It is not an installation manual for rebuilding or repairing an old subfloor nor a white paper with complete data for various underpayments. Its a good basic article. Thank you.
By:
Date: September 19, 2018
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very useful information and easy to understand.
By:
Date: September 16, 2018
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
very informative and covers it all in an easy to understand way even if you are not Joe Handy.
By:
Date: July 17, 2018
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
perfect explanation of why underlay is needed in your flooring projects. Thank you.
By:
Date: May 9, 2018
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
This article answered my inquiry regarding use of 6mil vapor barrier of slab to protect engineered hardwood. I read other places that could set up mold growth, but I determined that was for wood subfloor applications. I would like information on what the best slab moisture sealant to use.
By:
Date: March 19, 2018
Page Rating: (2.0/5)
Comments:
Not enough about wood joist floors.
Reply by HoskingHardwood : Jeff, this article explains the underlayments types used for wood flooring. You might find our article "All About Subfloors" to be better suited for you. https://tinyurl.com/y947ren3 you can copy and paste this link in your browser to go there.
By:
Date: March 2, 2018
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Good article would like to know the IST numbers and recommended glues
By:
Date: February 4, 2018
Page Rating: (1.0/5)
Comments:
No general discussion of IIC or STC measurements for sound reduction or how various products rate.
By:
Date: January 9, 2018
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Steve... This article is referring to the "soft" underlayments pads used under the wood flooring. You want to read the article on this site on "All About Subfloors" which goes over what different (existing subfloors) you may have and what do do with them example - "plywood, Boards, Concrete."
By:
Date: January 5, 2018
Page Rating: (3.0/5)
Comments:
I was reading hoping to better understand what I should put over a subfloor of boards (not plywood). I was thinking tempered masonite, but your article had no discussion at all of underpayments to go over older subfloors.
By:
Date: November 20, 2017
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Can you put a 15 pound tar paper down on click flooring
By:
Date: November 15, 2017
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
very good,loved it.
By:
Date: November 15, 2017
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Thank you for the info.
By:
Date: October 31, 2017
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative!
By:
Date: October 13, 2017
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative; great advice! Thank you! ??
By:
Date: October 6, 2017
Page Rating: (3.0/5)
Comments:
Very helpful and clear.
By:
Date: August 29, 2017
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
very informative especially for a lay person. You give name brands, sizes, details In easy-to-understand terms. Very helpful thank you
By:
Date: August 4, 2017
Page Rating: (3.0/5)
Comments:
While you argue that all floating floors should have underlayment, you do not address an underlayment that works with radiant floor heating, if any. Do you skip underlayment for radiant heat? Say so. Please let me know. william.meisheid@sageline.com
By:
Date: May 27, 2017
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Excellent info and well written
By:
Date: May 9, 2017
Page Rating: (1.5/5)
Comments:
Lacks specifics
By:
Date: May 5, 2017
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very good information for anyone planning to install an engineered wood floor.
By:
Date: March 31, 2017
Page Rating: (3.5/5)
Comments:
We are floating 3/8 bamboo over a concrete slab dining room.i was looking for a brand name of the very best pad,that would be placed over a 6 mil viscune barrier. I still dont have the brand name of the very best,first choice of pad?..
By:
Date: March 31, 2017
Page Rating: (3.5/5)
Comments:
We are floating 3/8 bamboo over a concrete slab dining room.i was looking for a brand name of the very best pad,that would be placed over a 6 mil viscune barrier. I still dont have the brand name of the very best,first choice of pad?..
By:
Date: December 20, 2016
Page Rating: (3.0/5)
Comments:
It says in the article that cork underlayments "CAN" be used in staple/nail down installations. Is this really true? I hear it loses its STC rating b/c of nail penetration.
By:
Date: December 11, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
Thanks for practical advice and not including a lot of advertising in your article.
By:
Date: November 29, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very helpful!
By:
Date: November 23, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Good job very informative
By:
Date: October 28, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Note * please use the underpayment paper, in my case I used a cheap underpayment paper and now some pieces are gaping meaning coming apart. I believe that the underpayment creates a seal as well and if Im wrong please correct me.
By:
Date: October 6, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Just wondering.... What are your thoughts about putting plastic as underlayment with wood subfloor and 3/4 nail down oak hardwood?
By:
Date: September 28, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Excellent article. Really appreciate the information. Thanks
By:
Date: September 28, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Excellent article. Really appreciate the information. Thanks
By:
Date: September 21, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Wow, this is one of the best articles on underlayments. I only had one question which I did not see addressed here, I could have missed it, and that was can I double up on cork subflooring because of a difference in height with the old baseboards from a thinner flooring. How thick could someone go. It did say with cork on concrete to use.plastic.which my installer made no mention of so that was helpful. Its a good article, easy to read and.well spread out. Thank you.
By:
Date: September 16, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
thank you for the detailed info you answered all my questions making my decision much easer cork of course thank you
By:
Date: September 14, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very helpful over view of underlayment especially over concrete.
By:
Date: September 11, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative
By:
Date: September 8, 2016
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Being a DIY’er I have installed about 1500 sq ft of maple mail down flooring but with this floating floor with all its idiosyncrasies find myself back at square one. Your article gave me enough information to intelligently talk with supplies and feel confident to go ahead with the project. Thanks
By:
Date: July 13, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
My 38-year old has particle board subflooring, which melts over time if saturated. Want to protect it as much as possible; moisture barrier built into underlayment may not be enough, so will go with a bottom layer of contractors plastic sheeting, then the underlayment-floor laminate.
By:
Date: June 15, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
On underlayment with a plastic moisture barrier: the article didnt mention whether the plastic should be down or up. This is for 1/2" click bamboo (MorningStar).
By:
Date: June 12, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
INSTEAD OF FELT PAPER I USED FLOATING FLOOR UNDERLAYMENT FOR NAILED DOOR SOLID HARDWOOD. WOULD THAT CAUSE A PROBLEM?
By:
Date: May 4, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
On plastic moisture retarder between cork and cement. you dont say whether it can be glued.
By:
Date: April 12, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Great information it answered several questions.
By:
Date: April 11, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Was somewhat confused about this part of the installation but your article cleared it right up!
By:
Date: March 15, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Just what I needed to get a basic understanding of the various types of underlayment. Thanks!
By:
Date: March 5, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
This information is very helpful.the parts about vapor barrier and the cork for sound
By:
Date: February 20, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative. ..
By:
Date: January 27, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
I knew next to nothing before reading your article but I now I am well informed. Your article has helped me decide to purchase cork as my underlayment. Thanks
By:
Date: January 6, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
Great info. Building house with wooden subfloor. No mention about tile floor on a wooden subfloor
By:
Date: December 21, 2015
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
for a cement floor with water radiant heat system, wnich underleyment can be installed with floating engineered hardwood??? your article dose not mention
By:
Date: September 2, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Fantastic
By:
Date: August 11, 2015
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
Because nobody gives a shit about your crappy tiles Brenda
By:
Date: August 3, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
perfect. explained what an underlay is and the different kinds
By:
Date: July 30, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Excellent!
By:
Date: June 21, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
COMPLETE ANSWER TO MY QUESTION....WHY UNDERLAYMENTS?
By:
Date: April 22, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
I like the article very helpful explain what i needed to now to understand about underlayment. I ask at the and they did tell about the cork underlayment they were selling there brand
By:
Date: April 22, 2015
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Hi there, please can you tell me, should moisture barrier underlay under a floating bamboo floor always be placed right to the edges - ie up to the skirtings, or even wrap a tiny bit up the wall before the floors and skirtings are laid? Many thanks
By:
Date: March 16, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative, just what I was looking for. Thanks.
By:
Date: March 8, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Saw this page and read about underlayment for solid wood flooring. Very informative! Thanks!
By:
Date: February 28, 2015
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
I felt the article is very informative. The only thing I would add is what some of the underlayments are made of for people with allergies.
By:
Date: February 7, 2015
Page Rating: (1.0/5)
Comments:
You didnt even mention vinyl floating click tiles as to whether they needed underlayment or not. Why???
By:
Date: January 4, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
very well done
By:
Date: January 2, 2015
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
I have thin comercal carpet down as a temporary covering can I leave it and staple a bamboo floor over it.
By:
Date: December 14, 2014
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
need list with BCA rating
By:
Date: November 3, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Stuff here Ive not read elsewhere. 6mm plastic sheeting? That thick!! My only quibble is with the American English install instead of installation (and so we have invite as a noun instead of invitation, etc.) Sigh. But thank you for the article.
By:
Date: October 27, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
If you are gluing down cork underlayment, do you forget the moisture barrier ?
By:
Date: September 24, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
all of my underlayment questions we answered
By:
Date: September 22, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative easy read and very easy to understand. Thank you.
By:
Date: August 9, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very informative and useful
By:
Date: August 8, 2014
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Thank you for such a clear, condensed information. I wish it elaborated also on the mentioned rubber underlayments, as well as pros / cons.
By:
Date: June 15, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
thank you so much I found this article very informative, great information.
By:
Date: March 25, 2014
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Very informative. Well laid out. Thanks for whoever took the time!