Laminate flooring: Attached underlayment or separate underlayment?

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Old 01-19-08, 08:31 AM
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Laminate flooring: Attached underlayment or separate underlayment?

I am planning an installtion of laminate flooring in my basement. I've performed a test with plastic to see if there is moisture coming up from the floor, and it seems OK (ie, no moisture on the underside of plastic taped down 24 hours).

I am wondering if it is better to get a floor with preattached underlayment or if it is better to go with a separate underlayment? I imagine preattached saves time, but separate means you can get the best underlayment for your own situation. Is that pretty much it, or are there other issues to consider?

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-19-08, 09:30 AM
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The preattached underlayment is more of a marketing pitch than actually performance related. The underlayment costs the factory .02 to .04 cents a square foot, depending on the type used (this does not include cork, but the foams and rubbers). In return, the retailers can mark the flooring up a tremendous amount for a small investment.

The reality is that when put in place, there are gaps in teh underlayment where the material goes together. Put a few peices together and flip over to have a look for yourself. Image this was a boat in water, would you feel comfortable launching in this?

The best solution and recommended method is to put an underlayment down for your situation. If you are on a budget, then the 3 in 1 foams will suffice, although not the greatest. Roofing companies and some flooring retailers carrier a rubber membrane called rain shield (other names across the USA) that comes in a roll like roofing felt. This material cost about $.80 to $1 a SF but is well worth the investment. I have never seen an issue with a floor using this material. You can penetrate the material with a screwdriver, and the rubber seals right around it keeping moisture out.

Hope this helps.

Michael
 
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Old 01-19-08, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mpeterson72 View Post
...Roofing companies and some flooring retailers carrier a rubber membrane called rain shield (other names across the USA) that comes in a roll like roofing felt. This material cost about $.80 to $1 a SF but is well worth the investment. I have never seen an issue with a floor using this material. You can penetrate the material with a screwdriver, and the rubber seals right around it keeping moisture out.

Hope this helps.

Michael

Michael,

Thanks. I did a google search for rain shield, but didn't get the right hits. Can you tell me who manufacturers this product?

Thanks,
Guy
 
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Old 01-19-08, 03:20 PM
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A product that is as good and is gaining a lot of momentum is;

http://www.protectowrap.com/products/flooring.php

Look at the wispermat HW. You will be glad you made the investment.
 
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