4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hardwood Flooring underlayment?

I am having 3" tongue and groove oak hardwood flooring installed in my family room. The room is over my garage. My question is....
does it matter if an underlayment such as rosin paper or a felt paper is installed over the plywood before the floor is installed.

Re: Hardwood Flooring underlayment?

Back in the day the wax , rosin or tar paper were used as a barrier between the finish floor and the plank subfloor. This was done because the basement or cellars were cold damp spaces and the paper was thought to be a barrier preventing moisture vapor and drafts coming thorough the gaps in the planks .
The thing was there was a zillion tiny holes from all the nails so you have to wonder about the vapor barrier part.

The paper underlayment does provide a seperation between the subfloor and the finish floor allowing some individual movement from expansion and contraction .... the two differnet woods of the subfloor and the hardwood finish flooring will expand and contract at different rates.

Today the rosin paper or tar paper are used by installers since the hardwood slats slide easily when the installer is moving them around. Some installers don't use any underlayment.

There are some people that are overly sensitive to the odor tar paper can emit which can be a problem after the fact.

Hope this helps.:)

Re: Hardwood Flooring underlayment?

It also helps stop squeaks caused by the HW rubbing on the plywood. I always use it and it is recommended by the oak flooring manufacturers.


Re: Hardwood Flooring underlayment?

It helps very much..
Thanks for your responses!!!

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.