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When you’re a homeowner, you’re responsible for all sorts of maintenance duties, from dealing with plumbing and heating issues to keeping your chimneys and gutters clean. One area where many homeowners run into trouble is flooring insulation. There’s a disconnect between what many homeowners call insulation and what it actually is, this is because what most think of as insulation is actually underlayment.
If you’re ready to learn more about the differences between insulation and underlayment and where the two overlap, then let’s dive in!
What Type of Insulation Is Best for Floors?
What is Flooring Insulation?
Simply put, insulation is material used to help your home trap heat and retain warmth during those chilly winter months. If you live in a hot climate, you might be thinking, why do I need insulation? The answer is that insulation can also help keep heat out and cool air in, making your home more energy-efficient — and, as you’re sure to notice on your monthly electric bill, more cost-efficient, too. Plus, insulation can inhibit the growth of mold and mildew, which is always a bonus in hot, humid climates.
Insulation is packed into your building’s structure to provide thermal protection from the elements. Flooring insulation is insulation that is installed under the subfloor between floor joists, which are the horizontal structures that provide a firm framing foundation for a subfloor. This is the same type of insulation that can be found in the walls of a home.
What is Underlayment?
The material that is installed underneath the top layer of flooring is actually called “underlayment.” Underlayment sits just above a subfloor and right below your flooring. Underlayment is applied during the installation of new flooring material. The knowledgeable installer will know how and where to place this material. Underlayment is not only an insulator, but it also has many other beneficial purposes.
The Difference between Flooring Insulation and Underlayment
Insulation is used between joists underneath a subfloor and is often applied during construction of the home. Underlayment (as its name suggests) is layered directly beneath your flooring to help buffer sound, add protection from moisture, and create a smoother flooring surface -- compensating for any unevenness in a subfloor. And yes, it can also help better insulate your floors, but insulation and underlayment are two different products.
Does Underfloor Insulation Make a Difference?
In short: yes! Experts estimate that as much as 15% of heat loss occurs through the floors of your home. By choosing a quality floor underlayment when purchasing your new floors, you can prevent unnecessary heat loss, slashing your energy bills in the process.
Should I Insulate My Floor?
Ultimately, the decision to insulate your floors comes down to each individual homeowner. However, we strongly recommend using underlayment beneath your flooring due to the benefits it can have for your home. Underlayment can help insulate your floors and is critical to saving heat while keeping your home comfortable. With that in mind, it’s often best left to professional installation teams to tackle the project.
What Type of Underlayment Is Best for Floors?
Underlayment comes in a variety of materials, including poly foam, silicone, and even eco-friendly recycled materials (such as rubber and foam composites). Different types of underlayment can also work with your flooring to deliver a quieter tread on your floors when walking, provide insulation, and level out an uneven subfloor. Choosing the right type of underlayment depends on the type of floors and subfloors you are installing it between, and the amount of insulation you require against sound and the elements.
Need Help Installing Floors in Your Home? Ask the Experts at Flooring Canada
What type of underlayment should you use? How many inches thick? How do you install it? And how do you avoid damaging your floors in the process?
When you work with Flooring Canada, you don’t have to worry about these questions. Our team of professional flooring installers will handle all the heavy lifting for you — literally. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the savings on your energy bill.
Need to get more flooring ideas first? Our design blog has dozens of articles to help you get started — or, check out My Design Finder to see visual examples of style in action. Whenever you’re ready to tackle your insulation project, we’ll be here to help. Contact us online to get started, or call Flooring Canada at (844) 332-0462.
“I love the soft, plush feel of carpeting under my feet, especially on those chilly winter mornings — but I hate how tough it is to scrub out spills and stains! If I drop something on the floor, or if my pet has an accident, cleaning will probably be impossible. Maybe I should just choose something different, so that I don’t have to worry about staining.”
Do these thoughts sound familiar to you? If your answer was “yes,” we have great news: thanks to advances in flooring technology, today’s carpets are available in stain-resistant varieties, that make cleaning and maintenance a breeze. Read on to learn more about how stain-resistant carpet works, which carpets offer the best protection against stains, and what to expect when you’re planning your budget. Then, ask the flooring experts at Flooring America how we can help bring your design dreams to life.
What is Stain-Resistant Carpet and How Does it Work?
What is Stain-Resistant Carpet?
Unfortunately, scientists haven’t yet figured out a way to produce completely stain-proof carpeting. (Apparently, that’s a tougher challenge than sending astronauts into space!) The good news is that stain-resistant carpet, though not guaranteed against all staining, makes it faster, simpler, and easier to keep your carpets looking as fresh and bright as the day they were purchased.
Another advantage of stain-resistant carpeting is that, since it’s less likely to be ruined or damaged, you’re less likely to need replacement carpets in the future. That means you save time and money — while still enjoying the cozy warmth you crave.
How Does Stain-Resistant Carpet Technology Work?
There’s no question that stain-resistant carpeting offers superior stain protection compared to standard carpets. But how does stain-resistant carpet work? Let’s take a closer look at the technological nuts and bolts that make these innovative products, so effective at protecting against spills and other messes.
Today in the United States, most interior home carpeting products are made using nylon, a synthetic “polymer” (plastic) prized for its smooth texture, waterproof qualities, and ability to withstand damage from mold or insects. Taking advantage of nylon’s durability and versatility, some carpet manufacturers go an extra step during the production process, adding a chemical coating that makes it difficult for food, mud, pet urine, and other messes to penetrate the fibers through the coating.
The result? In most cases, you can prevent spills from becoming stains simply by applying soapy water before the stain dries. Of course, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to achieve the best results. For example, most manufacturers warn against using bleach, which can damage the protective coating (or even make stains worse).
While most stain-resistant carpets are nylon-based, there are certainly other options to choose from — not to mention stain-resistant non-carpet options, such as luxury vinyl. Flooring America offers a wide range of fabrics and materials to help you find the perfect fit.
What is the Best and Most Stain-Resistant Carpet?
When it comes to carpets that stand up to stains, you only want the toughest, most popular, best-performing products. At Flooring America, we’re proud to carry a variety of trusted, leading names in quality home carpeting.
Here are a few options to consider when shopping for stain-resistant carpets:
- Resista® Carpet— With advanced fiber technology, Resista carpet repels liquids and make cleaning up easy. Resista Carpet also comes with a 10 year no exclusions warranty against all food and beverages, and in a variety of styles.
- Tigressá® H2O — Beyond offering powerful protection from stains, Tigressa carpet is also made from recycled materials making it better for your home and the environment. This carpet is also waterproof, pet proof, and kid proof, making it’s performance unmatched.
- Stainmaster® — As one of the most recognizable brands, Stainmaster® has a large variety of stain-resistant carpet brands to fit your lifestyle. And with one of the best warranties in the business, you can enjoy your carpet worry-free.
- Innovia Xtreme Clean™ — Crafted to be both plush and stain-resistant, Innovia carpet is easy to clean. Flexible fiber casings also you to clean most stains with just water, while Pet-friendly technology prevents absorption into fibers.
How Much Does Stain-Resistant Carpet Cost?
Without knowing the details of your flooring project, it’s difficult to estimate how much it will cost, because the answer depends on how much carpeting you need and which type of product you choose. That being said, stain-resistant carpet is probably more affordable than you think!
For more information about stain-resistant carpet prices, visit your nearest Flooring America location. We’ll help you compare prices, weigh options, and get a great deal on a quality product.
Find Stain-Resistant Products and More at Flooring America
At Flooring America, we’re committed to providing homeowners with unique products, friendly service, and great prices. That’s why we’re proud to offer stain-resistant carpets , which are available in all sorts of varieties and brands that fit your lifestyle at our convenient locations throughout the U.S.