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The Ultimate Guide to Underlay - Wood Flooring

Underlay is an essential component when it comes to installing wood flooring. It provides a foundation for the flooring, offering stability and support. Additionally, underlay helps to reduce noise transmission and acts as a barrier against moisture. Without proper underlay, your wood flooring may not perform as expected and could suffer from premature wear and damage.

By understanding the importance of underlay for wood flooring, you can ensure that your flooring installation is successful and long-lasting. It is crucial to choose the right underlay that meets the specific requirements of your wood flooring.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Underlay for Wood Flooring

When selecting underlay for wood flooring, there are several factors to consider. First, you need to determine the type of wood flooring you have. Different types of wood flooring may require different types of underlay. For example, solid wood flooring may require a thicker underlay compared to engineered wood flooring.

Another important factor is the subfloor. The underlay should be compatible with the subfloor to ensure proper installation. Additionally, consider the moisture levels in your environment. If you live in a humid area, you may need underlay with moisture-resistant properties.

Noise reduction is another factor to consider. If you want to minimize sound transmission between floors, look for underlay with good acoustic properties. Lastly, consider your budget and choose underlay that offers the best value for money.

Different Types of Underlay for Wood Flooring

There are various types of underlay available for wood flooring. One common type is foam underlay, which is lightweight and easy to install. Foam underlay provides excellent cushioning and sound absorption.  It is affordable and easy to install.

Another popular option is rubber underlay, which offers superior durability and moisture resistance. Rubber underlay is ideal for areas with high foot traffic or where moisture is a concern.

Additionally, there are cork underlay and fiberboard underlay options. Cork underlay provides natural insulation and is eco-friendly, while fiberboard underlay offers excellent stability and moisture resistance.

It is important to research and understand the characteristics of each type of underlay to determine which one suits your wood flooring needs the best.

How to Select the Best Underlay for Your Wood Flooring

To select the best underlay for your wood flooring, start by considering the specific requirements of your flooring. Evaluate factors such as the type of wood flooring, subfloor compatibility, moisture levels, noise reduction needs, and budget constraints.

Next, research different underlay options and compare their features and benefits. Read customer reviews and seek recommendations from professionals to ensure you are making an informed decision.

It is also recommended to consult with a flooring specialist who can provide expert advice based on your unique circumstances. They can help you choose the most suitable underlay for your wood flooring, considering factors such as the room's usage, location, and any specific concerns.

By following these steps and investing time in selecting the best underlay, you can enhance the performance and longevity of your wood flooring.

Available Underlayment from Atkinson & Kirby



New Code

Basic Cushioning and Light Traffic Protection

Moisture Protection

Impact Sound Resistance

Suitable for Underfloor Heating

For advanced comfort

Woodtex Underlay








XPS Foam
















NXT Underlay








Polyfoam White








Polyfoam Vapour Control








Polyfoam Acoustic Gold









The QA QuickTherm impact noise reducing underlay is designed specifically for underfloor heating, in addition to being dense for floor support but also lightweight for ease of installation.

  • 1.8mm thickness
  • 19db impact sound resistance
  • High quality, high density non-crosslinked premium polyethylene
  • Light weight & easy install
  • Suitable with UFH
  • 0.35 Tog

Woodtex Underlay

Is made from a dense rubber material, thick enough to soak up small sub-floor undulations and imperfections.  The density of the rubber will also significantly reduce the hollow sound that can occur when floating flooring, and is suitable for underfloor heating

  • 3mm Thickness
  • Sponge rubber underlay
  • Antimicrobial and Mildew Resistant
  • 20dB Impact Sound Resistance
  • Suitable for Underfloor Heating (water system)
  • 0.32 Tog

XPS Foam

XPS underlay is designed for sub-floors that are quite uneven, and will create a firmer base for your new floor. Not only are the boards lightweight, making them super easy to lay, XPS also provides outstanding insulating properties, reduces noise and is also moisture resistant.

  • 5mm thickness
  • 20db impact sound reduction
  • 2.0 Tog

Benefits of Using High-Quality Underlay for Wood Flooring

Using high-quality underlay for wood flooring offers several benefits. Firstly, it improves the overall comfort of your flooring. Underlay provides cushioning and insulation, making your wood flooring more comfortable to walk on.

Secondly, high-quality underlay helps to reduce noise transfer between floors. This is particularly important in multi-level buildings or areas where sound insulation is desired.

Furthermore, underlay acts as a moisture barrier, protecting your wood flooring from potential damage caused by moisture or humidity. It helps to prevent warping, buckling, and other moisture-related issues.

Lastly, using high-quality underlay can prolong the lifespan of your wood flooring. It provides additional support and stability, reducing the risk of premature wear and tear. This can save you money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs or replacement.

In conclusion, investing in high-quality underlay for your wood flooring is a wise decision that enhances both the performance and longevity of your flooring.

Download our Installation Guide

Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on flooring installation best practices. It provides advice from pre-installation preparation to installation methods to common troubleshooting issues.  Download here

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