Which substrate under the laminate is better to choose?


  1. Laminate, as an
  2. flooring What are the advantages and properties of a laminate substrate?
  • Sound insulation
  • Moisture insulation
  • Thermal insulation
  • Surface leveling
  • What should be the thickness of the substrate?
  • Selection Criteriadecorative and performance properties of this flooring. First of all, it is beautiful, has a large variety of different textures and colors for different types of wood or other natural materials, such as stone or tile. Also, the laminated coating has high strength , which allows it to be used in places with high concentrations of people. These are offices or shops.

    Laminate flooring is simple to install and quite practical to use, without requiring special care. Also, the laminated floor has good moisture resistance and thermal insulation , which gives a few points ahead when choosing this flooring. For laying laminate flooring a special substrate is used, which has several types and has different properties. To choose the best substrate for laminate, let's consider its advantages, properties and basic types. This will help you understand whether you need a substrate for laminate at all.

    What are the advantages and properties of a laminate substrate?


    The minus of the laminate flooring is its echoing, that is, when walking on such a floor, the characteristic will be heard and the sound of .This can occur for the following reasons:

    1. Too is too small laminate thickness, about 8 millimeters, which is the most popular thickness,
    2. Floating laminating method, which creates a kind of membrane between the main floor and laminated panels. This contributes to the formation of a resounding echo from walking across the floor.

    In order to avoid this negative property, a substrate is used under the laminate that is laid on the subfloor. Some manufacturers implement laminated coating with a special noise reduction system. is usually a 32-34 class laminate, which is quite expensive. Therefore, it is sometimes advisable to use simple laminated panels separately with the substrate. This is beneficial, since the substrate under the laminate is inexpensive and can significantly reduce the repair budget.


    To avoid swelling of laminated panels due to moisture accumulation under the floor, use a laminate backing to create an additional barrier between the subfloor and the floor covering that will prevent water penetration.

    In this case, you can use a substrate under the laminate of two types:

    1. The substrate under the laminate of the foil type , which fits the metallized side up. This is a good barrier to moisture coming from the subfloor, which will protect the base of the laminate from swelling and the outer surface from cracking.
    2. combined type substrate with a special structure that allows the room to be ventilated. It consists of several layers and removes excess condensate. This is true for high humidity of the room or area.

    For complete drying of a fresh concrete screed, it may take a whole month, which is often not a permissible luxury, since the next stage of repair work - laying a laminated floor should be carried out, so the substrate will be useful in this case as well. It will maintain the necessary microclimate between the floor and the laminated panels, thus avoiding damage to the laminate.

    Thermal Insulation

    This property of virtually any substrate for laminated panels can significantly reduce costs when operating a heated floor in a room, that is, an additional heating system. The substrate will more effectively retain heat where it will be laid.

    By itself, laying a warm substrate for a laminate can eliminate the installation of a heated floor in general, as it is an excellent material that retains heat, not allowing it to leave the room in the floor covering. Why pay for energy costs and installation of expensive floor heating, if you can use a high-performance and high-quality substrate under the laminate for insulation.

    Surface Alignment

    The following property of the substrate is very important, as it helps to align the minor irregularities of the subfloor. Even a new concrete screed may have some defects and irregularities, which can eventually damage the laminated coating. On an ideal flat cement screed that has recently been poured, a so-called “backlash” may form over time, that is, , a slight subsidence of , which may lead to the separation of the joints of laminated panels.

    Therefore, additional alignment should be provided, which will ensure the laying of the leveling substrate. It should be noted that the use of too thick material under the floor covering should not be, because the joints can sag, which will adversely affect the operation of the laminated floor. The most optimal is the substrate under the laminate 3 mm thick.

    What should be the thickness of the substrate?

    • For an ideal subfloor that has been pre-leveled with a concrete tie, a substrate 2 mm will be suitable.
    • A substrate 3 mm thick is also suitable for a flat surface with minor flaws.
    • If there are significant irregularities, flaws, or laying on an uneven draft floor without special preparation, for example, on linoleum or old parquet, use 4 mm thick .
    • In special cases, a leveling material with a thickness greater than four millimeters is required. If the irregularities are rather large and require an appropriate thickness, then you should ask for a substrate 6 mm or even more, for example, an substrate 10 mm .

    Criteria for choosing a substrate

    Which substrate to choose, because the modern construction market offers many options? You should not choose inexpensive material from obscure manufacturers, as this will ultimately result in additional costs for the restoration of the laminated floor, when a poor-quality substrate will cause swelling and deformation of the floor.

    The main requirements that must apply to the substrate:

    • . Neutrality of to alkaline substances and materials;
    • Have antibacterial properties of to prevent mold or fungus, as well as microbial foci;
    • Thermal insulation , as we have already found out one of the main properties of the substrate for the laminate;
    • The moisture resistance of is also very important for this material, as it will keep the laminated coating from deterioration;
    • Also important is the obstacle to the spread of such a biofactor as insects and rodents;
    • Micro-ventilation , which will remove condensation that occurs under the floor;
    • Elasticity and elasticity responsible for removing pressure from joints( seams) during operation of the laminate.

    Types of substrates for laminate

    Polystyrene substrate for laminate

    Extruded polystyrene is used quite often, which perfectly levels the floor and eliminates deafness, that is, it creates a good noise insulation. The choice of this material will be the best for rooms with high traffic .The thickness of the substrate under the laminate 3 mm, but may be more.

    The high resistance to vibrations and their suppression, as well as resistance to stresses that arise from pressure when people move along the floor or from furniture standing on the floor, ensures comfortable walking and integrity of the joints and the entire laminated floor in general.

    The polystyrene substrate under the laminate warms the floor well and protects against moisture, thanks to its closed cell structure. The material itself has a high density and will retain its original elasticity and integrity for a long time, which will extend the life of the laminate.

    Polystyrene foam substrate is affordable and easy to install.

    polyethylene foam substrate under the laminate

    This species is probably the most popular because it has high practicality and resistance to various factors, such as physical activity, the biological component( bacteria , mold , fungus ) and has a low cost.

    Also when working with the material there is little waste, which is also an important factor. The polyethylene substrate has excellent moisture resistance and thermal insulation properties , it is also not interesting for rodents and insects, which is important for private homes.

    This type often has a metallized base of aluminum, that is, substrate under the laminate foil .This option has enhanced thermal insulation and moisture resistance.

    Among the many positive characteristics, the should also note the negative sides of this substrate. This is a low density, which over time can lead to subsidence of the material, which will lose its original shape.

    Cork substrate for laminate

    If you ask, which substrate for laminate is warmer? It can be said with confidence that this is a cork substrate, since this material has excellent thermal insulation characteristics. This type also has good resistance to decay and mold. Other positive characteristics are that the substrate is perfect for a floating floor.

    This material is used when installing the indoor floor. Cork material is not deformed and does not lose its shape over time.

    The cost of cork material is quite high, so it is not advisable to lay this substrate under an inexpensive laminate, it is better to use when creating a high-quality expensive laminate floor with high resistance.

    Combined Underlay

    Combined substrates are often used for laying under laminate. These are materials that use both polystyrene foam and polyethylene. The most common and well-known similar material is tuplex( Tuplex), which is an several layers of like a sandwich, where a layer of expanded polystyrene balls is laid between two layers of polyethylene.

    This type of substrate is sold in rolls and is up to 3 millimeters thick. The rather interesting design of this combination film allows to ventilate the space of the .The top layer of polyethylene has a more dense structure and prevents the penetration of moisture, which fell on the surface of the laminate. The lower layer of polyethylene, on the contrary, passes moisture and removes it through the middle layer through polyetherol hollow granules.

    Do-it-yourself installation of the substrate for the laminate.

    Work steps:

    1. Preparing the floor. High-quality laying of the substrate under the laminate will contribute to the durability of the floor laminate coating. Before laying the substrate, clean the surface of the floor from dirt and debris. If the material is placed on a cement or concrete floor, then additional waterproofing should be carried out, putting a plastic film designed for these needs, which has a thickness of 0.2 millimeter or more.
    2. Laying counterfeit material. It is recommended to lay the material transversely to the laying direction of the laminated panels themselves. It is mandatory to get the substrate on the walls to ensure the safety and durability of the floor covering. Fastening joints can be carried out with a mounting construction tape. The substrate itself is glued with glue or double-sided tape. If one surface of the substrate has a corrugated structure, then with a wavy side it fits on the subfloor. If one side is foiled, then it is turned to the laminate to prevent moisture from entering from the side of the floor covering.

    In principle, in laying the substrate for laminate there is nothing too complicated, and even a beginner, who has never taken up tools, will cope with this repair construction work. This article will help to understand the nuances of laying the substrate under the laminate.

    Tags: Laminate
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