Linoleum is considered to be the leader among floor coverings. The universality of the material has been confirmed by the practice of using it for decades. Attract price and ease of installation. At the same time, there is often a dilemma regarding the need to lay a special material on the base. What is a substrate for linoleum, what is its structure and when is its use necessary? To understand these issues will help this article.
Do I need a substrate for linoleum: functional features and structure of the material
Linoleum substrate – an additional building material, which plays the role of a layer between the floor and linoleum. The discussion between builders has long been sharpening the question of whether to use a substrate. Some people believe that it is desirable, and in some cases even necessary, others – supporters of the opinion that laying additional material is a waste of time and money.
In fact, both sides are right: in some cases, the substrate is indispensable, and in some cases it will be an extra element. If you have a question about the need for its application, you must first familiarize yourself with the wide list of functions that the substrate performs:
- Reliable sound insulation. This feature is important in multi-storey buildings, as it prevents the penetration of noise from the rooms located below.
- Additional heat insulation. This function is relevant for apartments with cold floors, for example, located on the ground floor and above non-residential premises that are not heated. That substrate can be an excellent insulation.
- Surface alignment. An additional layer eliminates the tight contact of the main floor material with the floor, eliminates the pits, cracks of the mounds, which helps level the base and prolong the service life of linoleum. After all, the presence of flaws on the floor entails a rapid deterioration of the material.
In the production of substrates, various technologies and raw materials are used, in particular, natural and synthetic. The diversity, advantages and disadvantages of its main types are described below. The name and structure of the natural substrate correspond to the material that was taken as the basis for the manufacture of:
Helpful advice! Now on the building materials market a wide range of multilayer linoleum with a special layer of different sound and heat insulation materials is presented. Their use eliminates the need to lay extra material under the linoleum.
Jute The basis of such a substrate is natural vegetable fiber from jute. In order to prevent rotting and fire, a special fire retardant is added to the raw materials. Such a basis is capable of absorbing and expelling moisture. At the same time, the material itself does not get wet. Its main disadvantage is the high cost.
Corkboard. As raw materials the crushed bark of a pith tree serves. Such a substrate is characterized by environmental purity (100%), because in its composition the use of synthetic substances is excluded. This is a great insulation under linoleum and sound insulation layer. Along with the listed advantages, there are disadvantages. The main one is the high price. In addition, the material has a low degree of rigidity, which leads to pushing the coating under the influence of furniture and subsequently to its deformation.
Linen. The production technology is a double piercing needles of flax fibers. Special treatment prevents the growth of bacteria and insects. The main advantage of the material is the provision of free ventilation between the floor and the floor. Air circulation prevents the increase in humidity and the spread of harmful bacteria and fungi.
Fiber. The main material is conifer trees. Quite a new type of substrate with high sound and thermal insulation qualities. The disadvantage is the same as that of the cork base, the tendency to slash. In addition, pine resin, which protects wood from moisture and pests, has a strong, not very pleasant smell. This inconvenience “disappears” with time.
The combined substrate. It is made by blending linen, jute and wool fibers. Even the thinnest material of 2 mm has a high density – up to 700 g / m ?. This quality significantly increases the insulating properties. At the same time, such a substrate, like all natural ones, is prone to fading, although to a lesser extent. It is believed that this is the most practical basis for any type of flooring.
Foamed. Treats the category synthetic, its basis is made by a porous polymeric material. It has good noise and heat insulation qualities, as well as a relatively low cost. However, experts do not recommend using it under linoleum. Such a substrate is highly permeable and soon loses its shape, all of which have a negative effect on the state of the main coating. This material is better suited for laminate.
Helpful advice! The best option that provides warming and dryness of the floor is an option from a combination of linen, jute and wool fibers. This is a universal substrate with a high degree of wear resistance and insulation.
In some cases, the substrate under the linoleum is necessary, and when – the excess
There are a number of significant arguments in favor of the substrate under the linoleum. In particular, its use is mandatory in such cases:
- a cold floor is the main precondition for laying an extra base before laying linoleum. A high degree of thermal insulation material serves as a protective barrier against cold, which comes from the basement or lower floors, where there are non-residential premises. Therefore, experts do not recommend saving on comfort and health of loved ones, neglecting the layer between the floor and linoleum. It is worth getting a good substrate, preferably from natural raw materials;
- uneven floor surface. Only an experienced craftsman can make an ideally even screed, so in order to avoid irregularities, it is better to use a backing that will hide all the flaws;
- single layer linoleum. The coating without a base, although it is much cheaper, will not be able to provide the necessary thermal insulation, in such cases a special base is required – the substrate.
You can do without an additional layer in some of the cases listed below:
- linoleum is laid on the old coating. In such a situation, the base should be as flat as possible, without flaws, otherwise it is better to dismantle old material;
- multilayer linoleum with foam or jute base, which by its properties is not inferior to the substrate, greatly simplifies the process of laying. This multilayer material consists of fiberglass, a layer impregnated with PVC paste with a fabric backing, jute, expanded polyvinyl chloride and polyester;
- Despite the fact that linoleum commercial homogeneous Tarkett is single-layered, it creates reliable insulation. This option is the best choice of linoleum in the hallway. Photos show different types of such material.
Before you start laying linoleum, with or without a substrate, you need to study the technical features of the base and prepare it carefully. Linoleum itself – the material is quite flexible and elastic, so you need to take care of fulfilling a number of requirements with respect to the base:
- the surface must be firm and level. Extremely smooth gradients from 2 to 7 mm are allowed, so a preliminary leveling procedure may be necessary by filling the floor;
- hardness of the base of the floor;
- the base should be perfectly dry and clean. If necessary, the surface is cleaned from the old paint, get rid of grease and oil stains.
Helpful advice! When deciding on the expediency of using the substrate, it is necessary to consider exactly where it is planned to lay linoleum. In the corridor you can do without it. Here you can use single-layer commercial linoleum, the thickness of one layer of which will create the necessary insulation.
Meeting the requirements for the preparation of the base contributes to the extension of the service of linoleum. As for the base itself, it is divided, depending on the material, into the following types:
- wooden floor;
- old coating;
- plywood base covering concrete or wooden floor (sheet materials, such as plywood, fiberboard or OSB slabs, can be both the basis for the floor, and serve as a substrate for the floor covering).
Each type of base implies a special preparation and method of mounting linoleum and a substrate under it.
Usually plywood for linoleum is used as a substrate on a concrete base. On wooden floors, this technology is used more often. Also use other wood particle materials – fiberboard and OSB plates. Their main advantage is to provide a perfectly flat surface. In addition, they guarantee the necessary rigidity of the base. The presence of plywood under linoleum does not exclude the possibility of laying an additional layer of any soft substrate, which will give an additional heat and noise insulation effect.
Fiberboard is the thinnest and most affordable material. Its thickness is up to 2 mm. For this reason, fiberboard is not suitable for laying on a very curved floor, as the substrate is quickly deformed, as a result of which defects are reflected on the linoleum.
OSB is much stronger and thicker (from 6 to 12 mm) of the previous material, therefore it is more suitable for the base under linoleum. Such plates will help to level the floor, but before use you need to clearly define the required level. At the same time, the material quickly wears out under the influence of loads, a part of the plate peels off over time, which leads to the formation of defects.
Plywood, based on the characteristics of the coating means described above, is the optimum material for a solid base. Its layered structure does not allow to bend, which contributes to the excellent leveling of the floor. The only drawback of plywood is that it costs an order of magnitude more expensive than other alternative solid substrates.
More flexible types of material to mount is quite simple. It is enough to carefully level the coating, and then lubricate the edges with special glue. Final fixation will ensure the installation of baseboards. If there is uncertainty in the actions and fear of spoiling expensive material, then the work is recommended to be entrusted to professionals.
Thus, it is not necessary to always use a substrate for linoleum, but sometimes you just cannot do without it. As an additional material, it contributes to the qualitative improvement of the floor. The main thing is to decide on the set of functions required from the substrate, and to choose the right option. Laying material is quite simple. As a result, it will give additional heat and noise insulation properties of the main coating. On the concrete floor protects against cold, and on the wooden floor – from damage and squeaking floorboards.