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Membrane Underlayment Buying Guide


Cork is a naturally occurring product that comes from the bark of a tree. Within each cubic inch of cork, there are a hundred million cells, each filled with dead air space to create pockets of air. This natural property of cork makes it an excellent sound barrier and extremely effective as an impact noise and sound reduction underlayment. Cork is also a crack isolation membrane that will help to keep stress cracks in the subfloor from transferring to the flooring surface. Additionally, cork also provides thermal insulation and is mildew and moisture resistant.

Cork is a very versatile and resilient underlayment that can be used under a wide range of flooring including ceramic tile, stone, hardwood, and laminate. Cork underlayments come in rolls or sheets with a standard thickness of 6mm that is designed to meet many building codes. Other thicknesses are also available, ranging from 3mm to 12mm, for installations that require a non-standard thickness.

Economical and readily available, cork is also easy to install and can be installed in glue down or floating configurations. Furthermore, cork is also considered environmentally friendly. The trees are unharmed during the harvesting of bark for the cork with the outer bark being harvested every 9 – 12 years.

Information on Other Types of Underlayments

Liquid Polymer Membranes
Sheet Membranes
Uncoupling Membranes