Let’s Talk Underlayment (in which I spice up the discussion with a few sneak peeks of our new floors)

Underlayment: definitely a hot topic around these parts. This is going to be a fascinating blog post (nope), so sit back, relax, and enjoy me showing you pictures of the innards of our house.

Backtracking a wee bit first: 1. we bought a house. 2. on the first day in our new house, we ripped out the main floor carpeting. 3. we are now replacing said carpet with this laminate. 4. but first we had to level the floor.

Picking the laminate was fairly easy–just research everything exhaustively, weigh the pros and cons, and pull the trigger.

But for some reason, picking the underlayment was a more difficult task for us. (Underlayment is the fabric/foam-like “cushion” that goes between the subfloor and the laminate). Our main struggle was whether  we wanted to get something cheap because it wouldn’t be seen, or if we should get something more high-end, since we were already getting cheap (yet hopefully durable) laminate.

Our struggle was between this underlayment, for $.12/square foot:

underlayment 1

…and this laminate, for $.35/square foot (almost 3x the cost, yikes!):

underlayment 2

The price of the underlayment doesn’t sound that crazy when you break it down to a square foot, but when you add it up (we needed more than 1000 square feet), it is quite the difference.

My generally cheap nature was rooting for option 1 (which was basically the foam fabric often used in packaging electronics), but we ended up going with option 2 and are so glad we did. Why? It’s thicker, made of recycled materials, and will provide a better sound cushion. And ultimately we felt like this was a “you get what you pay for” situation (though admittedly, both options had great reviews).

Installation was SUPER EASY. One edge of this underlayment has a flap of sorts, and you just line that up with another row of underlayment that has an adhesive edge (that white strip peels off), and you stick the two together, being careful not to overlap at all.

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When the adhesive and flap didn’t line up (like when we pieced the underlayment together the long way or used scraps for odd-shaped areas), we just used masking tape to hold everything together.

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The underlayment had the added benefit of being WAY nicer to walk on than the bare subfloor (think: splinters GALORE), so we laid most of the first floor’s underlayment before beginning to lay the flooring.

And, to tide you over until my blog post on the flooring itself (hopfully soon, buuuut, no promises…it’s slow going), here’s a sneak peek:

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Spoiler: IT LOOKS SO GREAT. Which is good motivation to keep going when my body rebels against kneeling down a bajillion times a day.

Anyone else have a quarter-life crisis over underlayment? Or get QUITE the workout laying over 1000 square feet of flooring? Or spend every.single. date night opportunity at Home Depot? We’re racking up the hours at that place QUICKLY, I tell you.

1 Comment

  • We went through the same decision and also went with the same underlayment as you guys. My cheaper-than-me husband (is that even possible?) was clear that this wasn’t something worth skimping on. And yeah, it’s ridiculous how much time we spend at Home Depot. I wish they had some sorta loyalty program or something…

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