Are you Using the Correct Underlay for your Wood Floor Installations?

Havwoods Accessories present a series of Talking Technical blog posts to help you avoid common problems and to offer pro tips.

Choosing the right underlay is an essential part of every floating wooden floor installation. Even if your subfloor is prepped to perfection, the underlay serves a variety of purposes within the buildup such as moisture vapour control, sound reduction and even smoothing out any small lumps and bumps.

You don’t need us to tell you that if the wrong underlay is used it can lead to serious issues with the flooring, but you may need our help with choosing the best underlay for your job.

Our Technical Team has been looking at some common scenarios where specific underlays are required and given their recommendations on the best products to use from our range.

What is the best underlay to use with underfloor heating?

With the popularity of underfloor heating on the rise in both residential and commercial properties, it’s important to ensure that you pair it with the best underlay for the job. Using the wrong underlay will prevent the system from working at optimum efficiency and may also cause the temperature to reach unsafe levels, leading to potential problems with the floor covering.

Our Technical Team has picked out the best underlay from our range and here it is…

Duraley Heatflow Underlay is ideal for use with underfloor heating systems.

Duralay Heatflow Underlay

SKU: 150007

Conducting more heat than other underlays, this is the ideal choice for installations with underfloor heating - bringing a warm glowing feeling to any floor.

A lower ‘tog’ rating allows the warmth generated by underfloor heating to efficiently pass through the Duralay Heatflow underlay, evenly distributing across the floor and into the room – saving energy and reducing heating bills.

Key details:

  • 21dB impact sound reduction (delta Lw)
  • 3mm thickness
  • Sponge rubber
  • 0.35 tog

Which floating underlay within our range produces the best impact dB reduction?

With wooden flooring it’s important to reduce the noise levels and vibrations caused by footfall. We have a number of underlays that absorb these vibrations and contribute to a quieter home or work environment for your customer.

You’ll often find that projects in high rise buildings, buildings with high ceilings and high footfall areas will all have a vital requirement for a quality acoustic underlay installation.

Our range of acoustic underlays are all ideal for the job but here’s the expert pick from our Technical Team…

Kingley K-527 Gold Acoustic Underlay provides exceptional sound installation properties.

Kingley – K-527 Gold Acoustic Underlay

SKU: 7594

This underlay is a heavyweight natural rubber, specially formulated for use as acoustic underlay material for engineered wood and laminate flooring, that gives superior performance in any installation. Kingléy K-527 has exceptional impact sound insulation properties of 27dB (∆Lw) and its excellent compressive creep performance makes it suitable for use in any situation.

Kingléy K-527 incorporates gold vapour barrier helping to prevent your flooring from being damaged by moisture vapour from the sub-floor.

Not only is the K-527 Gold Underlay ideal for sound reduction, it’s also:

  • Suitable for underfloor heating
  • Meets BS4790 flammability test (low radius of effect)
  • Suitable for both wood and laminate installations

Key details:

  • 5mm thickness
  • Up to 27dB (∆Lw) impact sound reduction
  • Sponge rubber
  • 0.56 tog

My timber floor needs to be bonded to the subfloor. Which underlay should I use?

When it’s suggested by the flooring manufacturer that the best installation method is glue down and you also have to meet Part E building regulations – creating a fully bonded resilient layer within the floor build-up – it’s important to use the correct underlay.

For these types of installations, you need an underlay that will reduce impact sound and allow for the floor to be fully bonded to the substrate, forming more of a defined layer than a floating underlay.

Here’s our Technical Team’s favourite from our range of underlays…

Marldon Strata Acoustic Underlay is composed of 94% recycled rubber mix.


Marldon Strata Acoustic Underlay

SKU: 7646

Strata is our most robust and efficient way of reducing impact noise where floor height is at a premium.

This underlay is made up of 94% recycled rubber mix which acts as a dense, resilient layer suitable for both timber and concrete construction types and due to its compressive strength, it is applicable to most floor finishes, such as engineered oak, laminate, tile and vinyl which can be laid directly on top.

Available in 3 varieties, the Strata underlay is ideal for most subfloor build-ups and the thickness can be selected accordingly. We can make tailored recommendations of the ideal thickness dependant on your job.

Using the best adhesive for the job is just as important as using the right underlay. The flexible properties of the Marldon MXA 200 add to the strength and sensibility of the build-up making it the ideal solution for bonding both parts of the timber floor installation.

Key details:

  • 3,5,10mm thickness
  • Large range of temperature stability.
  • Significantly reduces impact sound, Up to 22dB impact sound reduction.
  • Low compression under heavy loads.
  • Performance will vary with different floor build ups. Please see performance data for examples.
  • 94% recycled rubber content.

For more information on underlays or for any other advice, contact our dedicated technical team on 01772 696600 or email