The flooring in our home plays a key role, influencing the appearance, functionality and therefore the comfort of the space. When choosing a floor, many people focus on the type of material, pattern or colour, but forget about an equally important element – the floor underlay. Choosing the right underlay is crucial, especially for the long-term durability of our floor.
We will take a look at two popular options – cheap foam, the so-called ‘packable’, and floor underlays – slightly more expensive products that meet the requirements of flooring manufacturers. We’ll find out why it’s worth noting their differences and what criteria you should consider when making your decision.
This is a flexible material made mostly of polyethylene. It is soft and resilient and gives the impression of being a soundproofing and cushioning material. Foam also has insulating properties, which means that it protects against heat loss and can therefore reduce heating costs. This is a choice dictated only by apparent economic considerations.
It can be made from a variety of materials, such as XPS, polyethylene foam, natural rubber or composite materials. Its main task is to distribute the load evenly and absorb pressure. In this way, it protects the floor from damage such as cracking or deformation. In addition, an underlay can also improve sound insulation, absorb reflected sound or improve the effectiveness of the underfloor heating system.
A key argument for choosing a floor underlay is the durability of the floor. After all, packaged foams do not meet the flooring manufacturer’s basic requirements in terms of load protection, which leads to rapid wear and tear of the flooring and consequently exposes the user to higher costs.
In order to decide which material will better meet our expectations, we need to know what we need. Here are some criteria to consider:
Choosing the right floor underlay depends on individual preferences and needs. Foam will be ideal for those looking for the lowest price and not expecting longevity of the floor. Underlay, on the other hand, will provide many years of satisfaction with a correctly installed floor, will work better for heavier loads and provide protection against damage and sound insulation. Therefore, it is worthwhile to carefully analyse your needs before making a choice and to consult professionals who will help us select the right flooring underlay.