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Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring: Your Total Guide

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October 26, 2022

So you’ve found the best vinyl plank flooring for your home—but now you need the best underlayment for that vinyl flooring. 

Or maybe you are trying to figure out whether you even need underlayment in the first place? For most vinyl flooring products, you need to spend extra money on underlayment, which we will talk about today, but there are a few brands that sell vinyl flooring with an attached underlayment pad. Those brands are Proximity Mills and Doma. This will help you save money on the total installation job.

Either way, it’s completely understandable! Choosing the proper underlayment for vinyl flooring isn’t nearly as fun as picking the vinyl itself. But we think the hard-working underbelly of your floor deserves just as much attention as its elegant topside!

And really, there is a lot to consider when choosing the proper underlayment for vinyl flooring. The type of floor you buy, the installation style you use, and even your subflooring can play a role.

That’s why below, we’re going to dive into everything you need to know about choosing underlayment for vinyl flooring. We’ll cover common types of underlayments, subfloors, materials, and more. By the time you’re done reading this article, you should have everything you need to find the right underlayment for your vinyl floor!

PS – we reviewed 100+ vinyl plank flooring brands and there was a clear winner.

Table of Contents

What Is Underlayment?

First things first, what is underlayment for vinyl plank flooring and why do you need it? Underlayment is a layer of material underneath your existing flooring that exists between your floors and the subfloor. It acts as a cushion that stabilizes your luxury vinyl flooring, supports it, reduces the noise of the room, helps it remain in place, and allows it to float. 

Is Underlayment Necessary for Vinyl Flooring?

Installing underlayment is necessary for vinyl flooring for a number of reasons. You not only want it under your new flooring for cushion, sturdiness and protection, but you want it to help your floor stay in place and remain durable. Those that do not install underlayment risk their floating floors by putting their LVP flooring directly on their plywood subfloor or  concrete subfloor. This could cause the locking mechanism to slip apart, the floor to damage over time and a number of other issues. 

How to Determine if you Need Underlayment

It is safe to say that you will need underlayment for your luxury vinyl flooring. The only time you may not need  to install underlayment is if there is already a pad attached to the LVP flooring you have purchased. 

The Best Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring Depends on a Lot of Factors

If you’re installing new vinyl floors, you’ve probably spent ages looking into different types of flooring—vinyl, laminate, even different types of wood flooring. So we know that you probably know a lot already.

But choosing the best underlayment for vinyl flooring entirely depends on many different factors—some of which aren’t so obvious. The biggest things to consider are:

  1. The type of vinyl flooring you buy (sheet vs. plank, different types of cores, etc.)
  2. The installation style you use (floating, glue-down, etc.)
  3. Your subflooring material (wood, concrete, etc.)
  4. The specifications of your specific product.
  5. Your specific needs.
  6. The type of vinyl flooring you buy (sheet vs. plank, different types of cores, etc.)
  7. The installation style you use (floating, glue-down, etc.)
  8. Your subflooring material (wood, concrete, etc.)
  9. The specifications of your specific product.
  10. Your specific needs.

We’re going to talk about all of these in detail, but before anything else, we have to make one thing really really clear. Vinyl floors don’t always need an underlayment. In fact, some floors will have their warranties voided if you pair them with the wrong underlayment. 

So: be absolutely sure to check with your flooring manufacturer and installer first.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk basics!

What are the Common Underlayments for Vinyl Flooring?

As you already know, underlayment provides a thin layer between your subfloor (and what is subflooring, exactly?) and the finished floor. It can muffle sound, help control moisture, and even make hard floors a bit more forgiving under your feet. Here are some of the most common materials.


Foam is one of the least expensive underlayments you can buy. If your subfloor is made of plywood, foam is often a good choice. Be sure, however, that you have no moisture issues first. Foam and water aren’t a good mix.

Installing vinyl plank with a foam underlayment
Installing vinyl plank over a foam underlayment

And remember: by “foam”, we’re not talking about packing peanuts. We’re talking about a harder product that’s similarly air-filled. It usually comes in rolls, and can be purchased in a thicker or thinner width (depending on your needs).


Felt is an excellent underlayment for helping with sound issues. It’s denser than foam, so it muffles noise better. It’s also pretty darn insulating. But on the other hand, it’s quite thin—so it doesn’t often help as much with comfort.


Cork is another material that absorbs sound. It’s a good choice if you have minor moisture issues, but not if there’s a lot of water. Moisture causing some mold? Cork is great at combating mold and mildew.

Cork underlayment


Particleboard is…well, think of it as a cross between wood and foam. It’s inexpensive, but it’s also fragile—so be sure that you have an excellent subfloor beneath it. Just don’t use particleboard anywhere near moisture or it’ll rot.


Plywood underlayment has a lot in common with particleboard, only it’s a lot stronger and does better with water. However, it needs weight to be evenly distributed above it since it can’t handle weight all in one spot.

Oriented Strand Board

Oriented strand board (OSB) is similar to plywood, but isn’t quite as durable. It swells easily when exposed to moisture, so be very sure your subfloor is dry.

Rating Systems for Vinyl Flooring Underlayment

Each underlayment product has a rating that indicates what its best uses may be. This rating will be your best friend in making sure your underlayment is working in the way you need it to. 

  • STC (Sound Transmission Lost Test): The larger the STC score, the more ambient noise (like talking and music) your underlayment will absorb. 
  • IIC (Impact Sound Transmission Test): Just as with STC, the higher the number, the better the underlayment is at absorbing sound. Unlike STC, however, the IIC score refers to impacts like footsteps.
  • R Value: This rating has to do with insulation—more specifically, how an underlayment transmits heat. The higher the number, the less heat movement there is (and the more insulation you have).

Vinyl Flooring Overview

OK! Now that we know what subfloor materials are available, let’s talk about different types of vinyl flooring.

And the first thing we need to talk about is the difference between vinyl plank flooring and vinyl sheet flooring. Because the underlayment you need for these two types of flooring is entirely different.

What is Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVP)?

Vinyl plank is the most popular fake wood flooring choice on the market today. It’s waterproof, it’s affordable, and it’s a great scratch-resistant flooring option. 

Advances in 3D printing and embossing techniques have made today’s vinyl plank brands almost indistinguishable from prefinished hardwood flooring, which is why so many people are buying it as an alternative for everything from pine flooring to teak flooring and beyond. 

Plus, LVP comes in actual planks—which means you can install it in classic wood floor patterns. Herringbone parquet flooring on a budget? Yes, please!

The underlayment you use for vinyl plank is going to vary hugely by brand, subfloor, and installation type—but we’ll get into that more below.

What is Vinyl Sheet Flooring?

Vinyl sheet flooring, on the other hand, is not a hardwood alternative.

While vinyl plank is made of multiple layers, vinyl sheet is exactly what it sounds like—a single sheet of PVC flooring

Installing vinyl sheet flooring

It comes in rolls, and it’s traditionally glued straight onto a subfloor or underlayment in one large piece. While the cost to install vinyl sheet flooring can be cheaper than the cost to install vinyl plank flooring, it really depends on the LVP installation method.

At the end of the day, though, there aren’t many disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring—and buyers love its realism. That’s why those vinyl sheet kitchens and bathrooms of yesteryear are starting to disappear so quickly!

The big takeaway: underlayment isn’t generally needed for vinyl sheet flooring. That said, an underlayment can help solve some problems. You can use particleboard, for example, to smooth out a bumpy subfloor before laying down vinyl sheet.  

LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) vs. LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile)

Wait, you mean there are more types of vinyl flooring than just plank and sheet? Well… yes and no.

LVP stands for luxury vinyl plank flooring, which mimicks wood floor designs. It comes in planks, just like real wood.

LVT stands for luxury vinyl tile, which mimics different types of tile. It comes in stone or ceramic appearances and is shaped like real tile! 

That’s really the only difference. Some people use one term or the other to talk about all luxury vinyl (we prefer the term “vinyl plank”). 

But again: the perks and problems with luxury vinyl tile are the exact same as the perks and problems with luxury vinyl planks. They’re the same material!

Different Types of Vinyl Plank Cores (And Their Underlayment Needs)

However: there are a lot of different types of vinyl plank flooring, all of which need different underlayments. 

Here’s where we enter the obnoxious world of vinyl plank acronyms—PVC, LVP, SPC, etc. Are we making alphabet soup here or what? Here’s how they break down.

Rigid vs. Flexible Vinyl Plank

In general, you can buy luxury vinyl plank in 2 styles: rigid or flexible. 

Rigid core luxury vinyl flooring (also known as EVP flooring, which stands for “engineered vinyl plank”) is almost always the superior type. It’s more durable, it feels better underfoot, and it lasts longer. If you want something temporary (like peel and stick vinyl plank flooring, for example), flexible vinyl is a good choice. Otherwise, you’re going to want rigid vinyl.

Broadly speaking, there are 3 main types of rigid vinyl cores—each with its own underlayment needs.

SPC Cores are The Most Durable—But They’re Not as Comfortable

SPC flooring is one of the most popular types of LVP on the market. The term SPC stands for stone-plastic composite (or stone-polymer composite, depending on who you ask).

These vinyl planks have a core that’s infused with stone powder for extra durability. However, they’re not at thick as some other vinyl planks. And their harder core means they’re not quite as comfortable.

Translation: SPC floors often benefit from softer underlayments like cork or felt.

WPC Cores are A Bit Softer

WPC flooring stands for wood-plastic composite flooring. These products infuse use a bit of wood powder (aka ultra-fine sawdust) into their cores. This creates a more natural, comfortable feeling under your feet. WPC flooring has more give and bounce than SPC flooring does, but the planks are often a bit thicker.

Translation: WPC floors often benefit from thinner underlayments.

Pure Vinyl Cores Aren’t Quite as Strong (or Comfy)

Cores made of pure rigid vinyl (or “vinyl foam”) aren’t generally as durable or comfortable as SPC or WPC cores. For that reason, these might need a more specialized underlayment, depending on the product.

What Kind of Core Does My Vinyl Plank Have?

If you’ve already purchased your flooring (or if you’ve picked it out and are ready to pull the trigger), you might be wondering what type of core it has. Here are some of the most common brands and their core constructions. 

Again: the right underlayment for your vinyl flooring very much depends on the type of core your vinyl flooring has! 

  • SmartCore flooring is Lowes’ in-house LVP brand. It comes in both WPC and SPC varieties, meaning the underlayment for this vinyl floor will depend on what specific product you buy.
  • LifeProof vinyl flooring is Home Depot’s in-house LVP brand. There’s very little information about its construction available online (which is odd, given its popularity)—a common signal that it uses a pure vinyl core
  • The COREtec brand actually invented WPC flooring, so all COREtec floors come with a WPC core. And COREtec flooring reviews are stellar. The only downside? It’s super expensive.
  • NuCore flooring is Floor & Decor’s in-house LVP brand, and it has an all-vinyl core. We’d highly recommend getting a good underlayment for this vinyl flooring brand, since reviews are mixed.
  • Stainmaster luxury vinyl comes with an all-vinyl core. When it comes to underlayment for vinyl flooring, you get what you pay for. And given the poor reviews for this brand, we’d really recommend investing in a high-quality underlayment to help it out.
  • CoreLuxe is the higher-end in-house LVP brand from Lumber Liquidators (sorry, “LL Flooring”). And despite LL Flooring’s many issues, this product does come with a durable SPC core. Just don’t expect its wear layer to hold up for too long.
  • Proximity Mills is one of the fastest-growing brands in the world of LVP. It’s inexpensive, it’s durable, and the company makes only zero- and low-VOC vinyl flooring. It also qualifies as environmentally friendly flooring (at least as far as LVP goes) because it’s recyclable. All Proximity Mills floors come with SPC cores.

Underlayments for Vinyl Flooring Vary by Installation Method

Now that you know what underlayments pair best with different types of vinyl flooring, you’re ready to buy, right?

Not so fast. 

As we said, the underlayment for vinyl flooring also depends (tremendously) on the type of installation you’re going with. 

Floating Vinyl Plank Flooring Installations

What is a floating floor? It’s a floor that doesn’t use any glue or staples to install. Rather, it “floats” above the subfloor.

If that sounds flimsy to you, don’t be alarmed! Floating floors are perhaps the most popular type of flooring installs these days. And we’re not just talking about vinyl here. Many of the best engineered wood flooring brands make floating floors, too. That’s why the cost to install engineered hardwood floors is less expensive than it is for solid.

There are two different ways to achieve a floating setup—click-together and loose-lay—and the best underlayment for vinyl flooring will depend on which you choose.

1. Underlayment for Click-Together Vinyl Flooring

Click-together flooring snaps together like puzzle pieces. These floors make a single sheet that rests upon your subfloor. The big disadvantage of floating floors of this kind: they leave a tiny space between the floor and the subfloor, which can sound hollow when you walk on it. 

For that reason, the preferred underlayment for vinyl floors of this type is foam (or something else that can fill the space). Additionally, they can benefit from harder underlayments if their subfloors aren’t level (to prevent planks from peaking and gapping).

Installing click together vinyl flooring over a felt underlayment
Installing click-together vinyl flooring over a felt underlayment

Pro tip: if your planks are less than 4mm thick, some installers recommend forgoing an underlayment, as it will weaken the interlocking tabs. 

2. Underlayment for Loose-Lay Vinyl Flooring

Loose lay vinyl plank flooring is simply laid across a subfloor. These planks are generally a bit heavier than normal planks. This weight—plus an attached rubber backing—keeps them in place.

Because loose-lay planks almost always come with an attached rubber or foam backing, you generally can’t use a soft underlayment with them. However, they do need a level subfloor—so harder underlayments can be used for this purpose.

Underlayment for Glue-Down Vinyl Plank Flooring

Glue-down vinyl plank flooring is (wait for it…) glued down to the subfloor. (Were you expecting a twist ending there? Sorry.) 

Glue-down flooring may need a softer underlayment, depending on the type of flooring you buy. While some of the best vinyl plank flooring brands offer SPC planks with attached underlayments, many can benefit from an underlayment that reduces shock.

And Underlayments for Vinyl Flooring Also Vary by Subfloor Type

We’ve mentioned subflooring as another variable to consider when choosing a vinyl flooring underlayment. Let’s dive a bit deeper into common subfloors and their underlayment needs.

Concrete Subfloors

You know that concrete is crazy hard. Underlayment can add some much-needed softness and bounce. Not only does soft underlayment feel better to walk on, but that extra give is better for your joints. 

A cushiony underlayment, such as foam or cork, goes well with concrete subfloors. Additionally, it can really help with insulation. If you live in a cold climate, that’s something to consider!

Fun fact: concrete flooring that looks like wood is another popular wood alternative, but it’s so hard to walk on!

Wood Subfloors

Adding underlayment over a wood subfloor can help with sound and comfort. Even the best vinyl plank floors may sound hollow if they’re put atop wood subflooring. 

To that end, an underlayment that absorbs noise, like felt, will help. 

The underlayment doesn’t need to control moisture or temperature since the wood subfloor takes care of that. Here, you just need a sound-absorbing underlayment for your vinyl flooring.

Existing Flooring-as-a-Subfloor

Again, moisture isn’t likely to be much of a concern here. When placing vinyl planks over existing floors, you’ll most want to focus on comfort and sound. 

Underlayment can also help to cover some imperfections that the existing floor may have, but can only go so far. Be sure the floor is in fairly good shape, otherwise, you’ll be asking for problems. Vinyl planks won’t be able to hide a floor that is wrecked.

If that’s the case, we’d recommend a more rigid underlayment to create a level surface.

Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring: FAQs

Great! We’ve discussed all the big factors that will influence your underlayment needs. But we know: you still have questions. Let’s answer some FAQs about vinyl flooring underlayments.

Does Waterproof Vinyl Flooring Need an Underlayment?

Even waterproof vinyl flooring can benefit from an underlayment. Remember, underlayment does more than control moisture. Noise reduction and insulation may still be needed!

Does Vinyl Plank Flooring with an Attached Pad Need Underlayment?

If the vinyl planks that you’ve chosen already have attached padding, huzzah! You probably won’t need to purchase and install an underlayment. This varies depending on your subfloor and your personal needs, however—so take that into consideration!

Example: the best wood flooring for dogs is generally some type of waterproof hardwood flooring affair (though as always, it depends on you). But: dogs need softer surfaces to be comfortable. After all, no puppy wants to sleep on a cold concrete block! For that reason, you might also consider getting a softer underlayment, even if your LVP has an attached pad.

Can I Get a Soundproof Underlayment for Vinyl Plank?

Of course! Soundproofing is super important for the upper levels of a home, or in apartment buildings. The right underlayment can quiet footsteps; if you’ve ever lived beneath noisy walkers, you know the importance of this.

Can Underlayment be used with Radiant Floor Heating?

It may be possible to pair underlayment with radiant floor heating, but you would need to check with the manufacturer. There are a ton of different flooring options if you use radiant heat however a rule of thumb: if an underlayment is safe to use with heating wood floors, you’re usually good to go.

How Thick Does Underlayment Need to be for Vinyl Plank Flooring?

The underlayment that you’ll use for vinyl plank flooring is typically thinner than it would be for other types of flooring. When shopping for vinyl plank underlayment, you’ll mostly find thicknesses between 1mm–3mm. 

What is a Vapor Barrier and Why Do I Need It?

This is a big one. A vapor barrier isn’t an underlayment per se—but it’s often used with or instead of, or in addition to, underlayment to make sure moisture doesn’t find its way between a subfloor and floor.

If that happens, you could have mold growing right under your floors. And if you thought buying low-VOC flooring was important, wait until you learn how important it is not to inhale mold spores.

All of that to say: if you have a concrete subfloor, it’s especially important to put in a vapor barrier. That goes double if you’re installing your vinyl flooring below grade (like in a basement). A vapor barrier acts as a moisture barrier between the subfloor, your underlayment and your luxury vinyl plank flooring, making sure to offer moisture protection. 

What Qualities Should I Look For in Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring?

Again (and we can’t stress this enough), it’s all about your specific situation. We’re talking about the type of vinyl you buy, where you’re installing it, what your subfloor is made of, what installation style you’re using, etc.

However: in general, there are a few things that you should look for in any quality underlayment.

Underlayment Should Absorb Sound

To avoid the daily nuisance of loud floors, get an underlayment that helps soundproof your footsteps. Sometimes it isn’t even about loud footsteps, either—but rather the movement of planks on top of your subflooring. The right underlayment can help turn even the noisiest of floorboards whisper quiet.

Underlayment Should Protect from Moisture

Water-resistant wood flooring is fantastic, but excess moisture can still cause problems for your floors. If enough water seeps into your planks it could cause them to warp. An underlayment that protects from moisture can prevent mold from forming under and between your floorboards.

Obviously, we’d really recommend using a vapor barrier if at all necessary. But still.

Underlayment Should Hide Subfloor Mistakes

Your subfloor may have some problem spots: dents, chips, or perhaps some unevenness. A sturdy underlayment can smooth over that and provide the cover your subfloor needs. Your subfloor needs to be usable; it can’t be in such bad shape that even just walking on it is a chore. If that’s the case, it’s best to just completely redo your subfloor. Underlayment can only hide so much.

Underlayment Should be Insulating

Nobody likes a cold floor. Sometimes, it can’t be avoided—but an insulating underlayment can help. It can also keep some cold out of the home altogether, preventing your room’s temperature from dropping. And of course, better insulation means lower heating and cooling costs.

How to Install Underlayment for Vinyl Plank Flooring

The most important thing you can do when installing your underlayment is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They know their own product best, so listen to the experts. That said, here’s a crash course in installing underlayment.

Installing underlayment
  1. Look ahead before you jump in. Gather all the tools you’ll need and keep them accessible (just like if you were installing do-it-yourself flooring).
  2. Get your subfloor as spotlessly clean as possible. It needs to be completely free from dirt and debris. If there are any major problems like holes, get those fixed.
  3. Roll your underlayment out from wall to wall in the opposite direction the planks will run.
  4. Measure out your strip and cut it; line up the next row exactly along the side of the first. Leave no gaps and make sure nothing overlaps.
  5. Connect the rows using an adhesive. If none is included, duct tape can work in a pinch. Once the whole subfloor has been covered, you’re ready to install your flooring!
  6. Look ahead before you jump in. Gather all the tools you’ll need and keep them accessible (just like if you were installing do-it-yourself flooring).
  7. Get your subfloor as spotlessly clean as possible. It needs to be completely free from dirt and debris. If there are any major problems like holes, get those fixed.
  8. Roll your underlayment out from wall to wall in the opposite direction the planks will run.
  9. Measure out your strip and cut it; line up the next row exactly along the side of the first. Leave no gaps and make sure nothing overlaps.
  10. Connect the rows using an adhesive. If none is included, duct tape can work in a pinch. Once the whole subfloor has been covered, you’re ready to install your flooring!

And Remember: You Don’t Just Need Underlayment For Vinyl Flooring

Underlayment isn’t just for vinyl plank flooring, you know! Many other types of flooring also benefit hugely from a proper underlayment. And we’re not just talking hardwood floor alternatives, either.

Laminate Flooring is a Great Faux-Wood Choice

You’ve definitely heard of laminate flooring, and you may even have some bad associations with it. Think 1970s kitchen floors and the great linoleum vs. laminate debate. But really, today’s laminate is so much more than it used to be—and certainly deserves a second glance!

What is laminate flooring, exactly? It’s remarkably similar to vinyl flooring in that they’re both high-performance composite surfaces that generally mimic wood.

When you compare vinyl plank vs. laminate flooring, though, you’ll find some major differences. Where vinyl plank is waterproof, laminate is merely water-resistant. (Except for RevWood, the wünder-laminate!) 

On the other hand, laminate is more environmentally friendly than vinyl (since it’s not made out of plastic the way vinyl is) and you can find plenty of non-toxic laminate flooring choices.

These days, the best laminate flooring is incredibly hard to tell apart from hardwood. Even experts have trouble differentiating between high-quality laminates vs. hardwood floors once they’re installed!

Hardwood Floors are Always Classy

Once upon a time, the only material you’d use was solid planks of hardwood. The best hardwood floors were simply the most solid ones, made from a wide variety of hardwood species. Today there are many choices when buying hardwood floors, even a new form of hardwood called engineered hardwood. So, just what is engineered hardwood?

It’s similar to laminate in the sense that it’s made of multiple layers, but that’s where the similarities end. The major difference between engineered hardwood vs. laminate is that engineered hardwood is actually real wood. But instead of being one solid piece throughout (like solid hardwood is) it’s made of a plywood core and solid veneer. 

There’s a lot to love about hardwood (both solid and engineered)—especially their natural beauty. You’ll want to be sure to study up on any hardwood or engineered wood disadvantages before making your decision, of course, but these options are worth serious consideration.

Cork Floors are Truly Unique

Go back and read that again. Yes, we said CORK floors!

Cork is an amazing and unique choice for your floors. It’s insulating as well as noise-absorbing. And it’s quite soft underfoot! Its pliability may work as both a pro and con of cork flooring, as it can be easily damaged.

Cork is water- and mold-resistant, but even the best cork flooring isn’t waterproof. If the disadvantages of cork flooring prevent you from installing it in the space you were considering, perhaps you’ll find a suitable area elsewhere in your home. Wouldn’t it be worth it for the novelty of inviting friends over to check out your cork flooring?

And remember: these great qualities also make cork a great underlayment for vinyl flooring!

Bamboo Flooring is Durable as Heck

Bamboo flooring is shockingly strong. In fact, it’s one of the most durable wood flooring options around! Although technically speaking, bamboo isn’t a wood floor at all—it’s actually grass! But it has many of the same benefits as wood flooring. In fact, you can even refinish bamboo flooring just like wood!

When you’re considering what would be the best bamboo flooring for you, don’t forget to consider engineered bamboo. It’s much like engineered hardwood, only with bamboo as its top layer. 

Naturally, there are some engineered bamboo flooring pros and cons—but when you compare bamboo flooring vs. laminate, vinyl, or even hardwood, you just may be surprised to realize what an amazing floor it is.

Tile Floors are Also a Good Choice

Wait! Don’t scroll past the tile section simply because you’re looking for wood or wood-like floors. Did you know you can get wood-look tiles? There are so many different types of tile to consider, but pause for a moment to compare tile vs. wood floor options.

Tile is completely waterproof, making it a great option for high water areas; it makes great fake wood floor bathroom or mudroom flooring

You can also opt for snap-together tile flooring for an easier install. It’s also incredibly, wonderfully hard, making scratches and dents a thing of the past. These specs make tile vs. laminate comparisons inevitable, though we love them both.

Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring: Our Final Thoughts

Clearly, there’s no single catch-all underlayment that will be the best choice for all situations. As we’ve established, everything depends on your unique situation. Your subfloor, your particular vinyl plank flooring choice, even your personal needs will all influence what your best vinyl underlayment option is. 

Here’s the most important thing we’ll say, though. Whatever you do, DO NOT TAKE BOX STORE EMPLOYEES AT THEIR WORD WHEN IT COMES TO UNDERLAYMENT.

Remember what we said: warranties may be voided if you use the wrong underlayment. And box store clerks are not known for their extensive knowledge of floors—after all, they sell literally tens of thousands of products. 

Additionally: DO NOT GET YOUR FLOORS INSTALLED BY A BOX STORE. Box stores outsource their labor to the lowest bidder and often take zero responsibility if something goes wrong. It’s just not worth it.

Given that the right underlayment for vinyl flooring depends on so many different factors, it’s best to work with a real flooring professional. Find a top-rated flooring retailer in your area instead—any of them will be preferable to a box store!

If you’re not quite ready to shop just yet, read up on more flooring ideas and information below. And good luck with your flooring search.

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John Lahr

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