Hardwood Floor Underlayment?


Is it necessary or desirable to use a soft underlayment when installing 3/4" nail-down hardwood flooring on 3/4" plywood sub-flooring? The floor is above ground level.
A Google search turns up a bewildering array of underlayments, but details on applications are often hazy. If you have used an underlayment such as I described I would be obliged if you could name the brand and/or type (material, thickness, means of attaching to the sub-floor, e.g.)
Many thanks!
Davoud
--
usenet *at* davidillig *dawt* com

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No. It is necessary to be sure the plywood is good quality and nailed firmly to prevent squeaks. My old home has a hardwood rough plank base and then harwood flooring nailed onto that. Jumping up and down on it is like jumping up and down in the paved driveway ...solid.
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Davoud wrote:

Do any of them describe the purpose of the soft underlayment?
I have read that years ago heavy roofing felt (tarpaper) was sometimes used between hardwood flooring and solid timber underlayment. The result was a non-squeaking floor. The felt acted as a cussion, glue and vapor barrier. It is not clear which of the three was the original purpose.
If you understand _why_ something is done the way it is, then probably you can decide what and how to do it for yourself. If you _misunderstand_ why something is done the way it is, you can produce a real disaster.
--

FF


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On 16 Apr 2006 14:36:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

I use 15lb felt or rosin paper, just because that's what all the good local installers do. The paper or felt is cheap and easy to install before the floor, and very difficult to install after the fact.
Am I wasting my money? Maybe. But I'd HATE to get a whole room done and find that I should have used it. <G>
An average room needs maybe $10 worth of rolled material, a few staples, and maybe an extra 30 minutes to roll it out and cut it.
You decide...
Barry
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All of the installers we work around use felt (tar paper) under solid hardwood flooring. Under the laminate flooring they use some kind of thin blue foam pad which I think is recommended (if not required) by the manufacturer.
Mike O.
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Never liked tar paper used inside a house. Offgassing of the tar or pitch, whatever they use, is not for me. I used a special heavy waxed paper that is made for under hardwood floors. Certainly made it easier to slide the boards together, and to drive them home.
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