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Best Underlay for Thermal Insulation for Laminate

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by devilindisguise, 29 Nov 2017.

  1. devilindisguise

    devilindisguise

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    Hello everyone

    Can anyone recommend an underlay for laminate wood flooring that provides the best thermal insulation? By best I mean one that helps to retain heat in the room as much as possible as our front room floor, the one that is due to be done, has freezing floors. Noise reduction is not so much an issue. I have had a look around but I'm a bit bewildered and notice that every brand claims there's is the best. I'm interested in real world experience from people who have used products as well as professionals' experience.

    Many thanks.
     
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  3. I use 5mm fibreboard, but you can use 10mm XPS insulation as well. But if you want a warm room, don't fit laminate as it sucks the heat out of a room.
     
  4. devilindisguise

    devilindisguise

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    Thank you Doggit. I've checked that out and it looks like it may just do the job. Forgive my ignorance but regarding your last comment - is there a big difference between real wood, engineered wood and laminate in terms of their thermal properties? We don't want carpet downstairs so one of these three are our options.
     
  5. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    The u-value is what you want to look for, the lower the better, but typically this will not be displayed on flooring underlay because the thermal efficiency of the material is negligible, whereas with cavity/loft insulation, there will be all sorts of values mentioned within the specification of the product, because it is used within cavities and lofts and in sub-floors.

    Doggs, I also use the 5mm like you buy did you intend to mean that both can be used or only one or the other ?
     
  6. Real wood is exactly what it says, whereas engineered wood is plywood with a real wood layer. You can sand down real wood several times, but you can only do engineered wood a couple of times due to it's thinner top layer - but that's still fine for most people for the life of the floor. Engineered wood is more stable in that the plywood layers underneath are set at 90 degrees to each other, so stresses more evenly. Real wood expands sideways more than engineered wood and needs more of an expansion gap.

    But both are warm (ish) underfloor, whereas laminate is always much colder. Laminates cheap, and real wood expensive, with engineered wood sitting at the £30 to £35 mark.

    And yes Hawkeye, you can use either fibreboard or XPS under a floating floor, but you need to be a bit more carefull with the XPS, because it's softer and will suffer from knee marks if you don't use a bit of hardboard to protect it as you work backwards.
     
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  7. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    Thanks. The XPS reviews seem to agree with you on that, a lot of comments saying that it is fiddly to fit. I'm happy with the normal 5mm fibreboard.

    In the case of the OP perhaps the difference between the two is negligible?
     
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