What is the best underlayment for ceramic tile?

Underlayment for Ceramic Tile

The most common type of underlayment used for ceramic tile is polyurethane (PU). PU is widely used because it’s easy to work with, durable, and resistant to chemicals. However, there are other types of underlays such as vinyl or urethane. These materials have different properties than PU and they’re better suited for certain applications.

Vinyl Underlayment for Ceramic Tile

Urethane Underlayment for Ceramic Tile

What is the Best Underlayment For Ceramic Tiles?

When choosing the right underlayment for your ceramic tiles, you need to consider several factors: thickness, durability, and flexibility. You will also want to consider how much time you’ll spend working on your project.


You may think that the thicker the underlayment, the easier it is to install. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily true. Thickness does not matter if you don’t use a screwdriver to apply pressure. If you do have to use a screwdriver, then you will need something stronger than PVC pipe or wood screws.

The thinner the material, the less likely it is that it will crack when installed correctly. There are two main types of underlayments:

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Plastic underlayment. Plastic underlayment is made from plastic and is very flexible. It doesn’t absorb water like traditional PU underlayers do, but it does allow moisture vapor to pass through it. The downside of using plastic over PU is that it can crack if exposed to high temperatures or extreme pressure, so you may want to use a silicone sealant instead.

Foam underlayment. This type of underlayment is very similar to plastic underlayment; it is flexible and lets moisture vapor pass through it. However, unlike plastic underlayment, it doesn’t lose its shape as easily and it’s better at insulating your floors.


When installing an underlayment, you want something that will endure foot traffic, changes in temperature and humidity, and other potential issues. You can expect plastic and foam underlayments to be very durable. Just make sure that you are using the right screws when installing these materials. If you aren’t, they are more likely to crack.


Just as there are various types of underlayment, there are also various types of subfloors. The type of subfloor you have will determine the flexibility that you need. For example, if you have plywood subfloor, then you don’t want to install a highly rigid underlayment because it can cause buckling when the temperature or moisture in the air changes.

You also want to think about expansion and contraction. This happens when materials heat up and cool down. As the materials expand, they can put pressure on the underlayment and cause cracking. If you have a rigid underlayment and a flexible floor, then you run the risk of buckling.

If you have a flexible underlayment and a flexible floor, then you run the risk of cracking.


While underlayment is important, it isn’t the most glamorous of projects. If you are looking to save some time and effort, then you might want to go with a thinner underlayment. The thicker the underlayment, the more time it takes to lay down and the longer it takes to cut around obstacles in your floor.

While you can do it yourself if you have the time and the experience, you might want to hire a professional or invest in an underlayment that doesn’t take as much effort to set in place.

What is Your Budget Like?

The amount of money you have to spend affects your decision in several ways. If you have a limited budget, then you won’t be able to afford the higher-end underlayments that are made from durable materials and require little effort to set in place. You will have to go with the thinner, cheaper underlayments that are more susceptible to damage and give off an inconsistent sound.

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On the other hand, if you have a bit of extra money to spend, you might want to consider spending a little extra on a higher-end underlayment; it really can make a difference in the long run.

If you are looking to save some money, then you might want to consider installing a floating floor. Yes, this means no underlayment at all. The theory behind a floating floor is that you simply lay your flooring on top of your subfloor without attaching it at all.

While this does save you time and money, it can be problematic in the long-term. Namely, your floor isn’t as stable and can cause an inconsistent sound. There is also a greater risk of buckling and damage if the wood swells when it gets wet.

When it comes to underlayment, you have several options from which to choose. Some of them are cheap and easier to install, while some of them are more expensive and durable. It all depends on your priorities and what your long-term goals are with the flooring.

Underlayment can be a great help in protecting your floor and ensuring that it lasts as long as possible. By taking the time to choose the right underlayment for your particular floor type, you can ensure that your floor not only looks great, but that it also has the support it needs to stand the test of time.

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Published: 22-05-2018 07:30

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