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I am going to install laminate flooring (without attached padding) on the concrete floor in my basement.

Do I need a moisture barrier in addition to the underlayment padding or does the underlayment padding also act as a moisture barrier?

For instance this product

  • This is probably too late to help you, but for others' reference, it might help to double check the instructions that came with the laminate. Mine had specific instructions for above-grade, on-grade, and below-grade installations. – Doresoom Apr 18 '16 at 21:03
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After doing a bit more research the answer appears to be "it depends on the product."

Some pads are designed to also be a moisture barrier and some are not so read the product specifications.

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I'm not a fan of moisture barriers in basements but it likely would be a good thing under the floor. That said, it all depends on the flooring. The flooring will tell you exactly what you need to install it.

Personally, in a basement, I'd definitely add at least the pad...not so much for sound suppression (which is nice) but just to have a small thermal barrier between the cold concrete.

  • No question a pad and some sort of moisture barrier is required. The question is do the padded underlayments also provide the required moisture barrier? Or do I need 2 separate products? – Craig Apr 17 '12 at 20:17
  • ah! Sorry. I misunderstood the question. I suppose that would come down to the spec's of the particular underlayment/pad. The product you link to states that it can be used on below-grade floors. Does that mean concrete? I'm not sure. Maybe contact them directly and ask. – DA01 Apr 17 '12 at 20:35

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