One of the benefits of floating floors is the fact that you can install them directly on to an existing floor surface. They can sit on this surface without needing to be attached to it. This may make you think that you don't need underlay under the floating floor. After all, the floor will sit on top of an established surface. However, there are benefits to putting down underlay before you lay a floating floor. What are they?
Reduce Floor Noise
Even if you take good care to make sure that your underfloor is level and that your floating floor is laid correctly, the new floor may make some noise. It sits on top of your existing surface, but the two surfaces may touch when people walk on the floor.
For example, parts of the floor may creak when you walk on them. They may be noisier if you have young children or pets running around the room. This noise is often caused when the floating floor presses down on the underfloor and scrapes or bangs against it. You have two hard substances touching here.
If you put an underlay material on top of the underfloor, then noise should become less of a problem. The underlay acts as a cushion between the two floors. So, when someone walks or runs on the floating floor, the underlay will damp down the noise and stop the two levels from directly touching.
Protect the Floating Floor
If you lay a floating floor on top of a stone or concrete floor, then you may have to deal with damp or moisture issues. These can come up from the underfloor and damage the floating floor from below. If you install an underlay with a moisture barrier, then it should give your new floor a level of protection. It prevents moisture and dampness from coming into contact with the floor.
Improve Thermal Efficiency
Underlay also has useful thermal retention benefits. If you lay a floating floor straight on to an existing floor, then you may lose heat down through the floor. You may also find that the gap between the two levels lets cold air in.
An underlay may help insulate your floor more effectively. It will trap hot air that comes down through the floating floor rather than letting it seep out of the room. It will block cold air from coming up from the underfloor.
To learn more about the different types of underlay you can use under a floating floor, talk to your flooring company.