Vinyl flooring is a versatile and popular flooring option, and depending on the specific needs of the installation and the type of vinyl flooring being used, there are many different materials and preparations that can go under vinyl flooring. Here are some common options that can be used as an underlayment for vinyl flooring:
Plywood is often used as a subfloor for vinyl flooring. Provides a smooth surface for vinyl installation. The thickness of the plywood underlay can vary depending on the existing basement conditions and the specific needs of the vinyl flooring manufacturer.
Another option that looks like plywood and can also be used as a subfloor for vinyl. It is an engineered wood that is made from compressed and bonded wood fibers.
For areas where moisture may be a concern, such as bathrooms or kitchens, cement backboard can be used as an underlayment. It provides a stable and moisture-resistant surface.
Also, some vinyl flooring manufacturers recommend special underlay plywood designed for their products. This plywood may have special properties such as water resistance or sound-dampening qualities that make it ideal for use with vinyl flooring.
Be aware that in areas with high humidity levels, a moisture barrier or vapor barrier may be needed to prevent moisture from penetrating the vinyl. It can be a separate material or a layer included in the underlying layer.
Also, Luan plywood is a thinner, lightweight option that can be used as an underlay for vinyl flooring in some cases. When using Luan plywood, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Cork underlayment can also be used to add cushioning and insulation to the floor. It also has sound-dampening properties. Commonly used under tile or luxury vinyl planks.
In cases where the existing subfloor is not level or has defects, a self-leveling subfloor can be used to create a smooth surface for vinyl flooring.
It should be noted that some vinyl flooring products have an attached foam or cork backing that eliminates the need for a separate underlayment.
When installing vinyl flooring, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and specific requirements for the type of vinyl used. The choice of underlayment depends on the condition of the floor, the type of vinyl flooring, and special considerations such as moisture resistance or sound insulation. For a successful and long-term installation of vinyl flooring, proper preparation of the subfloor and underlayment is essential.