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Old 09-09-2011, 08:54 AM   #1
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Laminate Floor Underlayment Question

I have been thinking about putting down some laminate flooring in my family room. Looking at the options for underlayment have left me with a question on vapour barriers.

The room is high traffic, but we dont spend anytime in it (No chairs) its more a pass through to other areas of the house since the basement was finished. It is located above the crawl space and with the carpet gone is very loud to walk on.

I would like to get some underlayment that will keep the noise down.

Reading about underlayment I found that I should not get a underlayment with a Vapour barrier for on a plywood floor as the wood under it still needs to breath? I am finding it hard to find anything with a decent sound barrier that does not have a vapour barrier also?

The plywood is still exposed to the air below in the crawl space.

Can I use a underlayment with Vapour barrier on a plywood floor or is this going to be a issue down the road?

One other point is the crawl space is cement and never gets damp, so I am not worried about any moisture coming up.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:19 PM   #2
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Laminate Floor Underlayment Answer

Great question. The reason that most high end underlayments with great sound control have a moisture barrier is because you don't have to use it if you don't want to.

What I mean is, if you don't tape the seams the moisture will not be blocked. You can even slice the pad, half way accross the room every three to four feet. Just be certain that their is no moisture or hydrostatic pressure problems. You could save the plywood, but destroy the laminate floor if moisture is consistently getting to it. If you live in a state like Florida, you probably have moisture. States like Arizona and Nevada have hardly any.


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Old 09-12-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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I had not thought of slits in the underlayment providing some air flow.

Thanks you helped me make my choice.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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Its been long coming but I now only have the baseboards left to do in this room. Laminate flooring on stairs was not as hard as I thought it would be.

I ended up installing some cheap steel nose on the stairs and am happy with how it looks. At $26 for 24 feet of the nose it was a huge cost savings over the laminate nose mouldings. I also have bull nose stairs that are not ideal for this, so the steel nose's hide all that and saved me having to rebuild stairs.

I have been tracking the progress on my blog here
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:30 PM   #5
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Looks nice
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lamninate , sound proofing , underlayment , vapour barrier

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