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Posted in FAQs

Subfloor VS Underlayment

What’s the difference?

When you think of the flooring in your home, you probably think of just the one layer of visible flooring that your feet are touching. Your flooring is actually a system of layered components that are all essential to make your flooring functional and durable.

What are the layers?

Most residential homes have four layers when it comes to their flooring.

So, what’s the difference?

Subfloor: The subfloor is the important middle layer of a flooring system. The purpose of a subfloor is that it offers a structurally sound flat surface to hold up the underlayment and finished floor.

All houses have a subfloor and it is what rests on top of the joists of the house. Subfloors are a structural part of your home and they provide strength and rigidity to your home’s flooring. When a subfloor becomes loose or warped, it can be the cause of a squeaky floor.

Underlayment: The underlayment is the layer of flooring that sits directly under the finished floor. The underlayment is not considered a structural element and you may not always need an underlayment, because it isn’t always required for your flooring. The underlayment provides a smooth surface on which the visible finished floor sits.

Underlayment is what protects your floor covering from moisture, helps soundproof your flooring, and offers cushioning to your feet. Underlayment is floating and should never be glued down to the subfloor underneath in case it needs any repair in the future.

The Difference Between Hardwood and Laminate

While hardwood flooring is more authentic, laminate flooring is more affordable and better suited for environments with a lot of moisture. Both are very durable, with laminate being less susceptible to scratches and easier to clean.