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Find out whether you need underlay with LVT flooring below.

Written by: Yarl Christie

Published on: May 15, 2018

Do You Need Underlay for LVT Vinyl Flooring?

When it comes to flooring such as carpets, an underlay is essential to increase the durability of the carpet. An Underlay helps absorb the impact of foot traffic and gives a cushioning effect that makes walking on the floor soft and comfortable.

Given the purpose of an underlay, does the installation of LVT luxury vinyl flooring it? Find out everything you need to know below...

Is Underlay Necessary for LVT?

The design of vinyl flooring prevents the need for an underlay. A vinyl floor usually features a base layer, which serves the purpose of an underlay thereby removing the need for an additional Underlay.

Installing LVT With Underlay

LVT flooring, by its very design, is very stable. As a result, vinyl floors do not wobble or buckle under your feet. Given these reasons, an underlay is rarely necessary.

Luxury vinyl flooring is highly affordable. Given that you don’t have to separately buy an underlay, the final cost is further reduced making this floor one of the most sought-after options for the budget-conscious.

When LVT Does Not Need Underlay

Insulation – You don’t need an underlay for insulation purposes. Adding an insulating layer, in fact, can cause the floor to become unstable. Vinyl floors are designed for a direct installation over the subfloor. The subfloor needs to be smooth, clean, damage-free and in sound condition. This is the only requirement for installing a vinyl floor.

Installing Underlay With LVT

Covering Minor Subfloor Imperfections – If you are installing vinyl floors using the glue down method, and your subfloor has an uneven surface or other minor imperfections, fret not. No underlay is necessary because glue-down approach can adjust to minor imperfections. What it needs is a dust- and debris-free subfloor!

Gluing down LVT Flooring Without Underlay

Vinyl Plank Flooring Using Loose Lay Installation – This type of vinyl flooring comes with a cut-to-fit design. So, there is no adjustment needed to accommodate expansion gaps, which means you will not need an Underlay.

When LVT Might Need Underlay

If you are using a click-lock vinyl floor and your subfloor is made of concrete, an Underlay may be necessary.

Check your subfloor for weak spots that can attract water and moisture. If you find such spaces, a vapour barrier underlay is essential. This underlay prevents moisture from getting trapped in the planks thereby preventing damage to the floor structure.

Quickstep Transit Sound underlay ideal for using with LVT floors

An underlay may be used if you want to increase the height of your floor. Your vinyl floor must have a thickness of 4mm or more in such cases. But, it is strongly recommended that you refer to your manufacturer’s instructions before doing so. Using an Underlay where it is not required can nullify your floor warranty.

You can read more about what LVT is here
You can shop LVT flooring online here.

About The Author

Yarl Christie

Yarl is the Managing Director of Stories Flooring. started his career in the flooring industry by becoming a floor fitter at the age of 18 (2004). Yarl finally decided to move with the times and set up an online flooring store (Flooring Yorkshire, 2018). He works closely with the business managers and resource team to source new products from wholesalers, which in turn brings down the sale price. This enables Stories Flooring to be one of the leading UK flooring retailers.