Are you planning to install bamboo flooring in your home or office?
If yes, then selecting the right underlayment is important for a successful installation.
So, in this blog post, we will explore some of the 4 best underlayments for bamboo flooring available in the market today!
Table of Contents
Bamboo flooring can be installed using nail-down, floating (click planks), or glue-down methods.
If you are using a floating or nail method, then you definitely need an underlayment. However, it is not required for the glue-down flooring method.
Why do you need an underlayment?
Underlayment in general is laid between the subfloor and the top floor (usually laminate, vinyl, or bamboo). They generally help in evening out your floor and also makes your floor noise-proof.
They also protect your flooring from fungal damages like mold, or mildew. They provide a cushion to your flooring, making it comfortable to walk.
What subfloor should be used?
If you are using bamboo flooring, you can pretty much have any kind of subfloor. But make sure to have the underlayment in place based on your installation method.
What to look for in an underlayment?
Thermal resistance – If you are looking for an underlayment with thermal resistance properties then you should consider an underlayment with higher tog values. The recommended tog value is around 1.
Sound Proof – If noise or soundproofing is your primary concern, then buy an underlayment with a greater dB value. Underlayment with a decibel rating of around -25 is good for offering better soundproofing and resistance.
Underlayment tips and tricks
- Place the underlayment in the correct position. Make sure the correct underlayment side is faced up, depending on the brand you purchase, you will always find instructions on laying the underlayment on a manual or sometimes even on the underlayment sheet cover.
- Read the instructions properly before proceeding.
- If you need a moisture barrier or waterproof flooring, you can combine a vapor tape or a moisture barrier layer in addition to the underlayment to maintain and protect your bamboo floor.
- Though underlayment help even out minor imperfections, you still have to make sure that the floor is completely leveled even.
Commonly used underlayment for bamboo flooring
If you are wondering what some of the commonly used underlayment types are and what they are made of. Here are some of the commonly used underlayments for floorings;
- Foam: This type of underlayment is very lightweight and easy to install. It provides good cushioning and sound absorption
- Rubber: They are a little heavier compared to other options like foam and cork. But they are more durable making them a good choice for high-traffic areas. They can also be used with hardwood floors to help reduce noise. But they are usually pretty expensive compared to other options.
- Cork: Cork underlayments are made from recycled materials and offer good insulation, it is durable and also provides better sound absorption. They’re also eco-friendly and can be used with all types of flooring.
- Fiberboard: These are made with a mixture of wood fibers, chips, cardboard, and sawdust and offer excellent support for floors. They’re often used with laminate, engineered wood floors, tile, and stone floors.
- Felt: It is the most common type of underlayment, and it is also the cheapest.
- Hybrid: In this type of underlayment, any other type of underlayment mentioned above (cork, felt, foam, etc) usually comes combined with a moisture barrier layer for additional water resistance.
Best underlayments for bamboo flooring
1. Eco Cork foam
This underlayment has a 6 mil moisture vapor barrier. It is a cork flooring that is made of a blend of polyethylene and granulated cork protecting your floors from moisture.
They also offer excellent sound absorption. Corks in general are great at absorbing and diffusing sound vibrations and also provide great thermal insulation.
This underlayment, in particular, has in-built antimicrobial protection to protect your floors from odor, stain, and general wear and tear.
This underlayment is suitable not just for bamboo flooring but also for other flooring options like vinyl, laminate, hardwood, etc.
Since it has an inbuilt water vapor barrier, you don’t need to install an additional moisture barrier.
As you might know, cork in general is eco-friendly unlike other products like foam that is synthetic, this is a completely eco-friendly option.
It comes with a self-sealing that makes the installation an easy DIY. The sheet is about 1/8 inches thick which provides your foot a cushion while walking.
The product also guarantees to carry a load of 17633 lbs/sqft making it a great option for floors with heavy traffic and movements
This underlayment is especially suited for bamboo flooring that is installed using the floating method. And it is compatible with a variety of subfloor types.
It has a foam layer that is 2mm in thickness. This provides your foot with a satisfying level of cushioning. And foam in general is found to absorb sound vibrations and prevent echo. Though it doesn’t have a separate vapor barrier layer, it still is water resistant to an extent.
It is one of the lightweight options on the list and they can easily be installed on your floors with the attached overlapping tape.
This underlayment is made especially for floating floors and primarily to reduce sounds and echoes. It is made of a blend of antimicrobial-treated recycled fibers that provide better protection to your floors.
It also manages water evaporation and offers better protection from water spills with its attached vapor barrier.
If your primary concern is sound absorption and echo reduction, this is your must-go product. Because it is has an impact insulation class rating of 71 (a rating used to measure how much sound impact is reduced after using a floor) and a 66 rating of sound transmission class (it is a measure o how much airborne sound is reduced after using a floor)
They also protect your floors from thermal shock and provide warmth. It is highly resistant to compress and is strong and durable.
4. DMX 1 Step
This underlayment is designed to avoid moisture problems and to prevent your floors from getting affected by fungi.
They keep your floors quiet and guarantee 100% waterproof. It comes with a vapor barrier mechanism that supports moisture evaporation and keeps your floors warm.
They are highly durable and guarantee to withstand more than 12000 lbs/sqft making them a good choice for heavy traffic areas.
They are 100% VOC-free. With easy installation and a mind-blowing 25 years of warranty, this product is a must to consider.
To sum up, choosing the right underlayment for your bamboo flooring is crucial for a successful installation.
When it comes to selecting an underlayment, consider factors like thickness, material type, and compatibility with different flooring types.
It’s always better to consult a professional installer or manufacturer before installing any type of flooring.
Choosing the best underlayment for your bamboo flooring will ensure that you have a stable foundation that can last for years.
So, what is your preferred underlayment option? Which of these options do you think is the best and most suitable for your flooring? Let’s know in the comments!