When looking for basement floor underlayment you will need to look out for key features. We’ll cover those features and our recommendations on what underlayment is best for your basement.
Basement floors present one issue that most other sub-floors do not, Moisture. Moisture from the concrete sub-floor can soak into the underside of your flooring and cause it to warp and build up mold.
This is a common issue and an easy fix. Moisture barriers also known as vapor barriers are used to prevent that moisture from coming into contact with your flooring. You can buy moisture barriers by themselves or you can buy underlayment that have pre-attached moisture barriers.
Insulating Value / R-Value
Concrete floors in basements are often cold to the touch. This means if you want something like laminate or vinyl planks, the concrete sub-floor will actually make your planks colder as well. In the winter time this can be quite the annoyance because who likes cold feet?
R-Value is a rating of how much a material resists the conductive flow of heat. This means the higher the R-Value rating, the better the insulation. Now how does this help your floors? A higher R-value will create a thermal barrier between the room temperature floors and the cold concrete sub-floor. This barrier will block the cold from getting to your floors, keeping them at a comfortable temperature.
What We Recommend
Better to be safe than sorry. Installing new flooring is a long term investment. So why risk the chance of your flooring being damaged from moisture, ruining the look of your floors and costing you extra money.
We recommend using an underlayment with an attached moisture barrier to save you time and energy. QuietWalk is a great underlayment that excels in the large range of features it provides. It provides an attached moisture barrier and has one of the higher R-Values on the market at 0.58. It also has pre-attached tape to help with the ease of installation.
For concrete basement floors that give off large amounts of moisture it might be worth considering installing a 6 mil vapor barrier with an underlayment that has an attached pad. That way you have the extra layer of protection and don’t have to worry about potential leaks.
If you are choosing not to install underlayment with an attached vapor barrier with at least recommend installing a 6 mil vapor barrier. They don’t provide as many benefits as underlayment but do provide complete moisture protection. A good quality 6 mil vapor barrier is Moisture Block. It is made from a high quality material and comes with pre-attached tape for ease of installation.
Other Underlayments with Moisture Barriers
SoundStep XL Premium Foam Underlayment for Laminate, Engineered and Glue-Down Floors
DuoFoam Standard Foam Underlayment w/Moisture Protection and Compression Resistance
QuietWalk Plus Underlayment for Hardwood, Laminate and Vinyl Plank Flooring with Moisture/Vapor Barrier and Sound Absorption (Nail, Glue & Float Applications)
QuietWalk Acoustical Underlayment with Vapor Barrier for Luxury Vinyl Flooring