Hardwood flooring is right on trend with modern home design. Because of this, the hardwood flooring market grew to $3.49 billion in 2017.

If you’ve decided that wood floors fit your lifestyle and the perfect thing to complete your interior home redesign, then you need to learn a little bit about them.

The first you need to learn about is the underlayment for hardwood floors. Keep reading for a guide to help get you started.

What Is Underlayment for Hardwood Floors?

The underlayment is the material that goes between your flooring material and the bare floor. This middle layer provides protection to the bare floor from moisture and the elements.

It also provides cushioning to your flooring material and levels out any unevenness in the bare floor.

Types of Underlayment

Underlayment can be made out of a variety of materials. The most basic type of underlayment is plastic sheeting. It’s used to block moisture.

If you live in a humid environment, you will want to use a layer of plastic sheeting in addition to the cushioning underlayment you choose.


Foam is your first option. It’s relatively inexpensive and gives a good basic all-around performance. However, you may need to glue lightweight versions down to keep them in place.


A second option is felt. It’s affordable and DIY friendly. Laying it down is simple, requiring no glue and is easy to cut.


Cork underlayment is comparable to felt in performance but offers some savings when it comes to price. It also has the added benefit of being highly shock absorbent and naturally insulating.


For the highest quality performance, you will want to choose rubber. However, it is going to cost you double the price of felt and cork.

Why You Need Underlayment

Laying down a plastic layer of underlayment protects your flooring from moisture. Invest in the plastic now will save you the expense of fixing a warped wood floor later on.

Laying down the second layer of underlayment of material help even out a subfloor that may not be perfectly level. It can also help absorb sound; no one wants their house to have that echo sound when they walk.

Depending on the material you choose, you will have the benefit of thermal insulation. This will help you save on energy costs and prevent you from having to walk on a freezing cold floor.

Walking on a floor with a cushioning underlayment will feel more comfortable under your feet. A more extreme example of this is comparing walking on tile and carpet. Tile has zero cushioning while carpet has a layer of foam underlayment under it.

Lay Your New Floor

Using an underlayment for hardwood floors ensure that your floor looks great, lasts, and feels comfortable to walk on. All you need to do is decide what your budget is and what type of underlayment you want to use.

Keep your hardwood floors looking great by knowing the proper way to dry them when they get wet.