Just like Mom used to say, what matters most is on the inside. While the facade of a floor covering is important for aesthetics, underlayments that cannot be seen from the surface can mean the difference between a three- to five-year installation and a lifetime installation.
Underlayment products can act as many things depending on the finish flooring type. For example, an underlayment can act as a barrier between the subfloor and flooring material to provide a cushion and create space for expansion and contraction from changes in temperature, humidity and natural movements. For tile floors in bathrooms, underlayments are used to provide a flat surface for the finishes and to add support to prevent the tile and grout from cracking when walked on, as well as enough flexibility to absorb movement and expansion with changing temperature and humidity—given this space is regularly wet.