So, you are thinking about installing luxury vinyl flooring and you want to know about underlayment. Do you always need it? Can you get along without it? Should you get along without it? The answer? In short, it is “No, yes, no,” but that can use some explaining.

No, Yes, No…

To begin with, no you don’t always need underlayment below the luxury vinyl tile. In turn, that means you can sometimes do just fine without it. If you can install one without underlayment, should you? That is a different question than the previous one. Just because you can get away with something does not mean that you should. You can drive your car for thousands and thousands of miles without ever changing the oil, but you don’t because that would be bad for the car engine. The same kind of thing goes for your luxury vinyl floor. So, no you oughtn’t, but that raises the question of “why.”


Underlayment does several things for your flooring. First, it adds a degree of softness to the floor. That makes it feel more comfortable underfoot and gives room for the vinyl to give and stretch a little bit with wear and tear. Underlayment helps to deaden the sound, making the floor sound a little “less hollow” when walked upon. Finally, it is a moisture barrier between your subfloor and the finished floor itself. True, luxury vinyl floors are waterproof, but this helps keep all moisture out of the inside of your home.


The location of your luxury vinyl tile has a lot to do with which underlayment you choose. If your floor is located on a concrete slab, you want an underlayment that will add some cushion and function as a moisture barrier. If you have us lay your new floor over a plywood subfloor, then you want an underlayment that will deaden the sound. If you are having us install your luxury vinyl over an existing floor, then you may still want a sound barrier to be included as underlayment.


To every rule, there is an exception. Some vinyl floors are designed to be glued directly to your subfloor; these do not need an underlayment. Some are designed with an underlayment built into the tile itself, so no need to do double-duty.

At Bob’s Carpet Mart, we can walk you through the various questions you might have about vinyl flooring and its underlayments. As your luxury vinyl tile flooring retailer in the Tampa Bay area, we can also provide you with competitive prices and professional installation. So, whether you live in St. Petersburg, Brandon, Largo, Carrollwood, Clearwater, Wesley Chapel, New Port Richey, Sarasota, Lakeland, Venice, Brooksville, or Ocala, FL, give us a call or stop by our showroom. Let us introduce you to all of the options that vinyl flooring can bring to your home.