Even though laminate flooring has come into its own as a separate flooring category, largely because of its new fashion looks and its extraordinary resistance to stains and ware, there are some advancement in things just can’t see that make laminate a great selection for areas of the home such as the nursery or basement playroom or office.
One is the underlayment, a material that is cushiony and sound absorbing. The underlayment assists in keeping the floor which is floating, in place. It also is a barrier to moisture, which makes it a great choice for using it below-grade. Underlayment can be separately purchased and put down like a cushion under carpeting or, more likely, comes already attached to each piece of better brand-name laminates. Many underlayments are showing up featuring antimicrobial properties which help prevent mold from growing should the back every get wet. Although a foam material is what we traditionally see for underlayment, a version with felt padding can be purchased with an R-value to provide insulation for your floors.
When buying underlayment or laminate with pre-attached underlayment, consider purchasing the best you can afford to get the most features and benefits.