WITH click system wood and laminate floors common in commercial and residential installations, it is important to understand the impact of a properly specified underlay.
Smoothing out subfloor imperfections, stopping moisture, supporting joints and minimising impact and airborne noise; the right wood and laminate underlay will help to ensure a reliable and lasting installation.
With any wood or laminate floor, the underlay has multiple objectives:
Wood and laminate floors are susceptible to moisture and exposure can compromise the installation. In the most extreme cases, moisture can cause boards to swell and for the installation to be compromised beyond economical repair. Therefore, even if a proper DPM has been installed as part of the subfloor construction, it is recommended to choose an underlay with a moisture or vapour barrier, as found across the Floorwise wood and laminate underlay range. This can help to prevent residual moisture within the substrate damaging the wood or laminate floor. However, it is not a substitute for installing the floor within manufacturer guidelines for moisture and humidity levels within the subfloor.
Subfloor imperfections & support
Poor condition subfloors can compromise a wood and laminate floor installation and can often be a reason for creaking and other end user problems. A surface that is not smooth and level will also put stress on plank joints which could lead to premature failure, so manufacturers provide specific tolerances for the flatness and smoothness of the subfloor. If a subfloor is in good repair, wood and laminate underlays can help to achieve a smooth and level surface without having to apply other remedial treatments. High-density rubber crumb underlays, such as Floorwise Acoustica Gold Supreme are particularly adept in providing long-term support.
Particularly within multi-occupancy projects, acoustics are a challenge for any wood or laminate floor, both in terms of airborne sound (the noise within the room) and impact sound (the noise transferred from floors above). With ‘Approved Document E: resistance to the passage of sound’ setting out clear minimum requirements for impact noise transmission between floors, due care and attention must be paid to the overall performance of the subfloor, underlay (if required) and floor covering. Both Floorwise Whisper (PE foam) and Floorwise Acoustica (rubber) underlays for wood and laminate perform well in impact sound.
However, when it comes to dealing with both airborne and impact sound, the Acoustica rubber underlay collection should be specified.
Through a specialist range of underlays, Floorwise provides products designed to combat the common issues presented by wood and laminate floors.
Projects needing a value-driven choice should look towards the Whisper collection of lightweight PE foam underlays. From the base-level Whisper that helps to support joints, through Whisper Green Barrier with its excellent cushioning, built-in vapour barrier and good impact sound insulation to 5mm thick Whisper Gold that delivers top-class performance for a PE underlay, it’s a collection built on solid performance and consistent quality.
With the rubber sponge constructions of the Acoustica collection, Floorwise is offering a performance upgrade, as the underlays are capable of absorbing airborne as well as impact sound, something particularly true of the range topping Acoustica Gold Supreme.
Using a high-density rubber crumb construction, this 3.5mm thick product not only delivers impressive impact and airborne noise reduction, but also provides a lasting solution to supporting click joints and coping with subfloor irregularities. With a built-in moisture barrier, this really is a supreme quality wood and laminate underlay that’s ready to take on the toughest challenge.
Manufactured to high standards, all Floorwise wood and laminate underlays exceed relevant British Standards and industry norms, so that you can be sure of a quality, reliable underlay.
The Whisper and Acoustica collections are available at Floorwise distributors across the UK and Ireland.