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Quick Guide to Underlay for Bamboo Floors

Underlay is a barrier or cushioned layer that sits between your floor and the subfloor in your property. You will need an underlay if you choose to float your bamboo floor.  All of our bamboo floors, with the exception of parquet block, can be floated over an underlay.  This is the quickest and easiest method of installation, and means that you don’t need any glue, nails or screws if you choose click flooring. The underlay goes straight on top of your subfloor, then you would float your bamboo on top of that.  Underlay acts as a cushioned layer for your bamboo to sit on. Different underlays are available and you will need to think about the right one for your needs.  Here is a quick guide to underlay for bamboo floors.

Bamboo flooring laid over underlay

Which underlay should I use?

There are a few different types of underlay so make sure that you choose the correct one to meet your needs.

If you require thermal resistance, you should look at the tog rating.  The higher the tog, the better the thermal resistance. A good tog rating for a standard underlay would be around 1.0 tog.  We would recommend Silver Bam Underlay.

If you require sound proofing, you should look at the decibel (dB) rating.  The higher the rating, the more sound resistance it gives. A good quality sound proofing underlay should have a rating of around -25 decibels. We would recommend Cush N Wood Underlay.

If you have underfloor heating you should look for specialised underlay.  They are designed with low tog ratings to allow the transfer of heat to come though to your bamboo floor. We would recommend our Classic Underfloor Heating Underlay.

If you decide to use laminate floor or luxury vinyl tiles, they have underlays specifically designed for them.  Have a look at either Laminate Underlay or Vinyl Underlay.

roll of underlay

Things to remember about underlay:

  • Choose the right underlay for your project.
  • Make sure you roll out the underlay the correct way – it usually has writing on to let you know which side should be face up or down.
  • You can join the underlay together using Vapour Tape.
  • Underlay should not be used to level out an uneven subfloor. You will need to properly prepare your subfloor in advance.  Have a look at the following article: How do I prepare my subfloor before installing bamboo flooring?
  • Both solid and engineered bamboo can be floated over an underlay. Parquet block bamboo cannot – it must be fixed directly to the subfloor.
  • You cannot use underlay over joists, as you need a solid base for it to go over.
  • Bamboo flooring going into commercial areas should always be fixed to the subfloor, so you would not need an underlay.
  • If you are unsure which underlay is best for you, please contact one of our sales team, who will be happy to give technical advice.