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Vinyl Flooring with Attached Underlayment (Pros & Cons)

Here we share the vinyl flooring with attached underlayment pros and cons including what it is, cost and if this type of flooring is best for your interior design.Wood look vinyl flooring with attached underlaymentAmong the flooring options, vinyl is one of the most popular preferences by homeowners. Vinyl flooring is even widely used for commercial buildings, offices, cafes, restaurants, etc. Indeed, vinyl floors are becoming a favorite choice as they do have numerous benefits.

A lot of people are choosing vinyl floors as they are mostly waterproof, durable, long-lasting, and affordable. However, there is one thing that is still not clear about vinyl flooring. Is it better to buy vinyl flooring with attached underlayment? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Well, in this article, we will talk about the pros and cons of vinyl flooring with attached underlayment. We will also answer some of the frequently asked questions in regards to this matter.

What is Vinyl Flooring with Attached Underlayment?

Living room with vinyl flooring sectional couchTypically, vinyl floors are bought by themselves along with a separate underlayment. However, there are also vinyl floors that come with pre-attached underlayment.

Underlayment is a thin layer that covers the base floor, and the top vinyl flooring is placed on top of it. Normally, the attached underlayment is used to give a comfortable underfoot and diminish moisture.

Most of the vinyl floor manufacturers highly recommend the people use underlayment under the vinyl flooring. And luckily, some vinyl floors come with an underlayment that is already attached by the manufacturer under each vinyl board.

Vinyl flooring with attached underlayment helps in eliminating the complicated and tedious task of rolling a separate underlayment to your interior space. It also makes vinyl flooring installation a lot easier and organized as you won’t have to worry about improperly placing a separate underlayment before placing the vinyl floors.

Vinyl flooring with attached underlayment is generally preferred by lots of people as it is likely to be a more affordable option rather than buying vinyl flooring and a separate underlayment.

Vinyl Flooring with Attached Underlayment Pros and Cons

Vinyl flooring with attached underlaymentHere are the pros of using vinyl flooring with attached underlayment:


• It saves abundant installation time. Installing a separate underlayment can be truly time-consuming. If you are working in a huge room, this process can take 45 minutes to 1 hour. But if you are using vinyl flooring with attached underlayment, the installation process will be finished quickly.

• It helps you save money. Purchasing a separate underlayment might cost you more money rather than buying vinyl flooring with attached underlayment. You just have to make sure that you are selecting the ones with thicker padding (4 to 6 millimeters). In some stores, some vinyl floors come with 8-millimeter underlayment.

• It is convenient to install. It is very easy to install vinyl flooring with attached underlayment. It is actually the best option in terms of uncomplicated installation. You can already enjoy your new vinyl floors without exerting too much physical effort.


Here are the cons of vinyl flooring with attached underlayment:

• Tends to absorb less sound than separate underlayment. Most of the vinyl floors with attached underlayment are not superior in terms of absorbing sound. However, to avoid this minor problem, you have to make sure that you are purchasing vinyl floors with thicker underlayment.

• Moisture tends to seep through the attached underlayment gaps. Every vinyl board is attached with individual underlayment. Meaning, there is no continuous or uncut underlayment beneath the vinyl floors that will protect the whole bottom most flooring surface from moisture. The water can possibly seep through the gaps of each vinyl board.

Vinyl Flooring with Attached Underlayment Cost

Modern living room with wood style vinyl flooringThe standard cost of vinyl flooring (either tiles or planks) with attached underlayment ranges from $3 to $8 per square foot. The cost of luxury vinyl floors with attached underlayment may be priced up to $10.

Some homeowners or business owners are busy, that is why they hire people to do the installation process. Normally, the standard cost of vinyl flooring installation is around $30 to $35 per hour ($3 to $10 per square foot).

Do You Have to Have Underlayment for Vinyl Plank Flooring?

It depends on the surface and condition of your current floor. For example, if your current flooring is a cushion-backed vinyl flooring or a standard tile floor, then you won’t have to put an underlayment before installing your vinyl plank flooring.

On the other hand, if your existing flooring is hardwood, uncushioned vinyl, or concrete, that is the time where you will need to have an underlayment before installing your vinyl plank flooring. For more about wood, see our gallery of the types of hardwood flooring here.

But, if your main goal is to increase the comfort of your flooring and make it less noisy when walked on, it is still beneficial to put an underlayment before installing your vinyl plank flooring, whatever the condition of your base flooring has.

Therefore, you don’t have to put a separate underlayment if your vinyl plank flooring already has its attached underlayment. In this case, the most ideal thing you can do to add more protection against moisture is to put a moisture barrier.

Can You Put Padding Under Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl floor with attached underlaymentIf your vinyl plank flooring already has attached underlayment, there is no need to put padding under it. However, if it does not have its attached underlayment, it is highly recommended to put padding under it to provide sound-lessening and cushioning benefits. Read more about soundproof flooring materials here.

Do You Need a Moisture Barrier Under Vinyl Flooring?

Generally, it is highly recommended to install a moisture barrier underneath your vinyl flooring. It is also necessary to install a moisture barrier even if your vinyl flooring has an attached underlayment.

Just like what we have stated earlier, moisture tends to seep into vinyl flooring with attached underlayment. Each vinyl tile, plank, or board has an individual underlayment. So when they’re installed on your floor, they will still have some gaps.

However, if you are installing vinyl flooring but you’re using a separate underlayment, which is normally placed on the base flooring as a whole, there is no need to install a moisture barrier. The separate underlayment already covers the whole base flooring without gaps and cracks. So, it can already help in preventing moisture.

Does Laminate Flooring with Attached Padding Still Need Underlayment?

Laminate flooring with attached padding does not require an underlayment installation. The attached padding can also act as a decent underlayment. It can help in preventing moisture, diminishing sounds, and giving a comfortable underfoot.

Although it is not bad to put an underlayment underneath laminate flooring with attached padding, it might cause an installation overkill. It will make the process more time-consuming and complicated.

But still, it will depend on the condition of your existing flooring. If you think that putting an underlayment will help in absorbing more sound, preventing moisture, and softening the underfoot, then that won’t be a problem at all. Read more about laminate vs vinyl flooring on this page.

Does Waterproof Vinyl Flooring Need Underlayment?

To add more comfort and cushioning benefits, it is best to still put an underlayment underneath a waterproof vinyl flooring. Installing an underlayment before placing your waterproof vinyl flooring will help in making your floors extra-protected against moisture.

Indeed, installing an underlayment can provide much more benefits and it can even enhance the individual features of your waterproof vinyl flooring.

If you have a concrete base floor or subfloor, it is best to put an underlayment that is thick enough to provide a great cushion. Also, there are lots of waterproof vinyl floors that are not that comfortable enough to stand and walk on, that’s why thicker underlayments are more necessary.

Furthermore, if your base floor is hardwood or plywood, it is best to look for an underlayment that offers added insulation and protection against moisture.

For more related content like this visit our page about spc flooring pros and cons here.

Irenka Farmilo

Friday 25th of November 2022

Hi -- Lots of good facts. I'm wondering the underlay material breaks down over time like the underlays for carpets. Some of my underlays have become a pile of yellow dust, which can't be good for the environment or a person's lungs.