2023 Author: Philip Bishop | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 22:24
- Underlay functions
- Right choice
- What is a substrate for
- Substrate thickness
- Cork material
- Polyethylene foam
- Coniferous substrate
- Expanded polystyrene
- Sound-absorbing underlay for flooring Vibroflor
- Combined options
- About the choice of the thickness of the half-lining
Any base of the floor must have a high-quality coating not only to protect it from external manifestations, but also to give the entire room an aesthetic appearance. When laying and choosing a laminate on a concrete surface, all the components of the "pie" will play a role, since it is she who will serve as a support and perform a large number of important functions. It is her choice that should be approached with all responsibility when visiting a hardware store.
The substrate as a material laid under the laminate performs a number of very important functions, among which the main ones can be distinguished:
- Creation of a flat surface. Minor base defects in the form of elevation differences can be hidden with an underlay. This is very important for flooring such as laminate. But you should be careful if someone thinks that even significant drops will be invisible under a thick substrate. In this case, at the joints, the substrate on the concrete floor will bend, thereby creating a danger for damage to the laminate arranged on the concrete surface.
- Soundproofing qualities. With no underlayment on the concrete floor, every step will be heard. Even a thin layer of 3 mm will avoid such troubles. It is worth noting that there are certain classes of laminate (32 and 33) that already have a built-in backing. It is much more pleasant to lay such material and less time wasted.
- Thermal conductivity. This quality speaks of the need for the correct choice of substrate if a floor heating system is arranged. Here you have to pay attention to the special material options for the laminate.
- Moisture protection. The concrete surface, even after complete drying, tends to emit a certain level of moisture from itself. This will negatively affect the laminate, as it is very afraid of high humidity. A properly installed underlay will protect the floor covering from swelling and absorption of excess moisture.
In any store you can find a huge number of options for a substrate for a laminate on a concrete floor. But you should be careful when choosing it.
First of all, you should pay attention to the condition of the subfloor. If the floor is flat enough, a 2 mm thin underlay will be sufficient. If there are minor errors in the base, the floor is laminate, a 3 mm substrate is purchased. It is not worth purchasing thick material, since in combination with a laminate of 8-9 mm, the distance from the ceiling to the floor will be noticeably reduced.
Some may find it worth purchasing both laminate and backing from the same manufacturer. Even specialists do not make such a requirement. These are not materials that have a great combination from one manufacturer. They are vasimchangeable and almost all have a similar structure and list of qualities. Let's consider how to choose a substrate for a laminate and which material is better.
It makes no sense to buy a substrate from the same manufacturer that produced the floor covering itself - the substrates of any manufacturer are completely interchangeable.
What is a substrate for
A laminate underlay is required with floating floor technology. This is due to several factors, which we will talk about.
Soundproofing. If the litter under the laminate is not used, then each step is given with a booming thud. The presence of a soft, even layer will hide minor noises and friction (see the article on soundproofing an apartment).
Sometimes in the 33rd and 32nd class of laminate there is a built-in substrate: a layer of insulation is already glued on the back side. It is more convenient to lay such material than ordinary material, but due to the more difficult production technology, the cost increases significantly.
Leveling the surface. Another function of the underlay is to level out small irregularities. This is very important when laying laminate flooring, because the durability of the locks depends on the evenness of the base. According to the technology, the permissible floor differences should be no more than 2 mm per 1 m. However, too large a thickness of the substrate under the laminate will rather prevent hiding irregularities, because then at the joints when walking it will bend. So that the seams do not creep after six months, the floor surface is carefully prepared before laying the covering (see the article on laying laminate on a wooden floor.
Moisture insulation. The laminate is made of pressed paper, so even moisture-resistant models do not need to be exposed to high humidity, otherwise the panels will swell. Laying the underlayment under the laminate will provide additional moisture protection from the concrete floor. For the same reason, it is better to wait at least a month after installing the concrete screed before laying the pavement.
As a test of the readiness of the screed, you can put polyethylene on the floor overnight. Concrete should be free of perspiration in the morning.
Thermal conductivity. A conventional laminate underfloor underfloor heating reduces the efficiency of its operation, since both the laminate itself and the underlay material have good thermal insulation properties. There are special underlays for underfloor heating, which we wrote about in this article. We also recommend that you read the article on installing a water-heated floor with your own hands, which describes the installation process on a wooden and concrete base with further laminate finishing.
It is worth remembering that the thickness of the substrate must be matched to the laminate. If the lining material is too thick and the laminate is thin, then most likely its service life will decrease several times, because any substrate is a rather soft material, which means that the entire load will fall on the laminate. Over time, it can lose its appearance and even crack. To avoid mistakes, it is best to purchase exactly the thickness of the substrate recommended by the manufacturer of your chosen laminate.
Despite the fact that cork is a natural material, it is not characterized by the manifestation of the life of microorganisms (fungus, mold). You can find the substrate not only in rolls, but also in sheets, which to some extent facilitates the installation process. During a long period of operation of such a substrate, it will remain unchanged and retain its original shape and dimensions.
Due to the high cost of cork backing, it is not in great demand, especially if a cheap flooring is chosen. It is also worth noting one important drawback of such a material - water permeability. Over the course of the operating period, condensation may accumulate under the substrate.
Materials can be combined with each other, as a result of which a bitumen-cork substrate appeared. It is carried out on the basis of Kraft paper with the addition of a certain amount of bitumen. All this is covered with a small layer of cork chips during the production process. As a result, the resulting product allows you to get rid of the main disadvantage of the cork itself - condensation does not form during the operation of the substrate under the laminate on the concrete floor. The material breathes, does not allow moisture to pass through and, moreover, is able to reduce the sound level. The cost is still at a high level, which is not advisable for budget laminate options.
Advantages: environmentally friendly, almost not compressed under load, durable, increases the sound and heat insulating qualities of the laminate, better than other coatings it hides the roughness of the rough base.
Disadvantages: afraid of moisture, not recommended when installing a warm floor, high cost.
The most demanded material for the backing is polyethylene foam. This is largely due to its low cost.
But, despite this, the substrate for the concrete floor has a large number of positive qualities, among which we can note:
- Thermal insulation.
- Moisture resistance.
- Lack of susceptibility to damage by rodents, as well as the appearance of various microorganisms.
If you combine a polyethylene foam backing with foil-clad compounds, then it is perfect for a laminate built into an infrared warm floor. But the concrete surface will also give up the proximity of such important components.
Like any other material, polyethylene foam has certain disadvantages. The main thing worth noting is that it is made from synthetics. During the operational period, it does not guarantee its original appearance, since it has the property of subsidence under the influence of external loads.
If this substrate is used in dry rooms, there is a possibility of an electric shock to the owners. This is due to the build-up of static electricity. Each of these points suggests that you should think about whether it is worth saving on such material for a laminate on a concrete floor,
- It is moisture resistant.
- It is not afraid of mold, mildew, and is not to the taste of rodents.
- Has good soundproofing properties.
- It is quite easy to lay it, connecting it with ordinary stationery tape, and you can do with almost no waste.
- Sometimes it is produced duplicated with aluminum foil so that it can reflect heat radiation.
- Izolon smooths well on the basis of unevenness.
- Immune to many chemicals.
- Short-lived. After one or two years, it loses its shape, elasticity and ceases to work as a damper, depriving the laminate of support.
- If the isolon was stored for a long time before being sold in direct sunlight, then it undergoes destruction and crumbles to dust.
- A serious drawback of polyethylene foam is its ability to accumulate static electricity, therefore, in dry rooms with the heating on in winter, the laminate often “charges” people with sensitive electrical discharges.
Therefore, you should not especially chase cheapness and save not God knows what a large amount, risking comfort. In this case, the choice remains: to buy imported polyethylene foam, for example, from Quickstep, or to prefer domestic, which costs four times cheaper.
Technologies do not stand still and the manufacturer is constantly offering an ever new range of products that can be used as a substrate for a laminate on a concrete floor. Among these new products are coniferous tiles. Finding such products in stores will be very problematic. This is due to the high cost. Among manufacturers, the most common is a coniferous underlay for flooring under a laminate from Izoplat.
The material is 100% environmentally friendly. It has excellent vapor permeability, which eliminates the possible greenhouse effect. But the strength characteristics are inferior to the cork substrate. It is also worth paying attention to the thickness of the needles substrate. It is 4-5 mm, which is somewhat inconsistent with the requirements that manufacturers make for laying laminate on a concrete floor. In addition, the installation of the substrate itself is performed diagonally relative to the walls in the room.
Another popular underlay material for a laminate on a concrete floor is expanded polystyrene. A substrate for a laminate on a concrete floor is able to cope with the existing irregularities on the floor surface in the room, and at the same time, during operation, it copes very well with the resulting loads. In its composition, the substrate contains a large amount of air, which makes it the most effective in comparison with other options.
The best substrate for a laminate on a concrete floor, made of expanded polystyrene, does not pass moisture and has excellent sound-absorbing qualities. While walking, comfort is felt and there are no extraneous sounds. In comparison with polyethylene foam, this material much better retains its original appearance and the most important shape and size.
Among the most demanded and popular manufacturers of underlays for a laminate on a concrete floor are Arbiton and Izoshum. They are recommended by many specialists who have been performing work on laying laminate flooring in various rooms for a long time.
Advantages: Isoise has excellent sound and heat insulating characteristics. Owners of private houses willingly use it when laying laminate flooring, because they are especially interested in saving heat. In apartments of multi-storey buildings, the sound-insulating properties of "isoise" will also be valuable, since it effectively absorbs impact sounds with a force of up to 27 dB.
After walking on polystyrene foam for a long time, it will not be compressed like flimsy polyethylene foam, since it has a denser structure.
Thanks to these qualities, it is excellent for use in rooms with high traffic.
Disadvantages: If at first in some qualities it surpasses even the famous roll cork, then after a few years these qualities are "blown away", that is, we can talk about insufficient durability of the material.
In the event of fire and fire, polystyrene releases a lot of toxic compounds, while also contributing to the rapid spread of the flame.
Sound-absorbing underlay for flooring Vibroflor
Thin backing made of primary processed polyester fiber. It is used as a vibration and sound insulation pad when installing "floating floors", a substrate for a laminate
Appointment for finishing flooring.
Vibroflor consists of primary processing polyester fiber without any binding additives, which makes it absolutely safe for humans. In order to reduce the level of impact noise, Vibroflor is recommended to be used in building structures as a vibration and sound insulation pad when installing "floating floors" made of light materials such as laminate, parquet boards, etc. There are also positive reviews about Vibroflora, used in conjunction with panels Sonoplate as a separating layer that levels the surface and reduces vibration transmission.
Vibroflor is a versatile material with high vibroacoustic efficiency at a relatively low price. Vibroflor is used as an elastic pad for floating floors made of light materials (laminate, parquet board) and floating screeds, to reduce the level of impact noise under the floor slab in residential and public buildings of any purpose.
Some materials have certain drawbacks, which lead them to the worst positions when buying. To avoid this, manufacturers combine the individual components in one to create a truly effective laminate to concrete floor.
You can note such an option as a combination of polystyrene foam and polyethylene. The huge popularity here belongs to the Tuplex products, where polystyrene balls are placed between two layers of polyethylene.
The thickness of such a substrate is 3 mm and is realized in the form of rolls.
Among the main qualities of the combination obtained, one can note the ventilation of the entire room, where the laminate is laid on the concrete surface. Moisture does not get inside because of the top layer. But at the same time, it flows inward to the available granules through the lower layer of the substrate. In addition, there are technological gaps in the upper layer, through which moisture from the granules gets out.
About the choice of the thickness of the half-lining
The permissible thickness of the backing for the laminate is in the range of 2-5 mm (for cork backing - from 1.8 mm.) The optimum thickness is 3 mm. A thinner underlay can be used with thin laminates and installed on the substrate with minimal blemishes. Thicker underlay is typically used with thick, heavy-duty laminates, unless recommended by the manufacturer. A substrate made of dense, slightly crumbling and practically non-caking materials during operation has a thickness of more than 3 mm, usually sheet substrates. The underlay can only smooth out small irregularities in the base, it is unacceptable, instead of leveling the subfloor with significant differences in height, to try to solve this problem by increasing the thickness of the underlay.
It is not by chance that the thickness of the soft substrate is limited to 3 millimeters, and it is by no means possible to increase it by laying the substrate in several layers. The fact is that it crumples and cakes during operation, and over time, its thickness can decrease by half. Due to this, a void is formed under the laminate, a backlash, and the greater the thickness of the substrate, the more this backlash will turn out. And the voids under the laminate have a very negative effect on the castle joints, leading to their premature breakdown.
As a result of the considered substrate options, we can say that the final choice will depend primarily on the quality of the floor base in the room, as well as on the financial component of the issue. After all, natural materials will cost good money. But it is better to immediately purchase high-quality products than to spend money on alteration or revision later. As for the evenness of the surface, in some cases there are permissible norms that allow you to hide the substrate under the laminate. But it's best to host the events yourself.
If you do everything efficiently and choose the appropriate best substrate for the laminate on the concrete floor, then the final structure will serve for at least 10 years. It is also worth noting that during the entire operational period you will not have to think about repairing the subfloor, which, moreover, will be very pleasant to walk on, feeling comfort with every step.
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