When it comes to beautiful hardwood flooring, it’s not just about the wood. Okay… It’s mostly about the wood which is why it costs what it does, but there are other things you need to do to make sure that the flooring is installed properly and will last for years to come.

One of the big extras that most people don’t think about is underlayment. Underlayment is a thin piece of foam that is placed on top of the plywood or concrete subfloor. Why might you ask? Well, it just so happens that I have five good reasons why you might want to install underlayment before you install your brand new wood flooring.

  1. A good, long-lasting floor requires stability. The foundation you put your new flooring on should be rid of all major imperfections when it comes time to install, but it can be really hard to get every small or minor imperfection out. That’s where underlayment can make all the difference. Using underlayment will aid in smoothing out all of your subfloor imperfections and help your new flooring stand the test of time.

  2. Underlayment also acts as a layer of cushioning for your new floors. This helps protect them while also making it surprisingly more comfortable to walk on. If you plan to walk on your new floors for years to come, then this is a great long-term investment in the comfort of your home.

  3. One of the major criticisms of hardwood floors is that they can be noisy. While underlayment won’t erase this issue, it does wonders in addressing and reducing it. If you have kids running up and down your hallways or all around your living room, then this is a must-have for you.

  4. Underlayment will also protect your brand new investment of wood flooring by helping to keep the moisture under control. The underlayment will prevent moisture from building up and causing long-term damage to your new floors from humidity and spills. This is especially true if you also install an attached vapor barrier.

  5. Finally, the underlayment will keep your floors warmer. If your winters get cold, then you are going to really want this option. Nothing is worse than getting up at the crack of dawn and stepping on flooring that has been on top of a cold foundation all night. Now, this isn’t as big a problem in the south, but even in Texas, there are a few days that you’ll be happy you have it.

Putting down a layer of underlayment is a painless job that will add longevity and comfort to your brand new hardwood floor for years to come. Like all preparedness, you’ll find that every minute you put in at the beginning saves hours in the end.