After recently using the Selitac Aqua Stop wood floor underlay from B & Q for one of my clients, I thought I’d write a few words about my experience. When purchasing any wood type floor covering, be that an engineered wood veneer floor or laminate, one of the most important decisions to make is what underlay to use. I was mightily impressed with the Selitac wood floor underlay for many reasons…Read on to find out why…
Firstly, let’s look at the specifications of this underlay..
- Dimensions : Length 6250 mm x Width 800 mm x Thickness 5 mm
- Incorporated vapour barrier covering you against residual moisture of up to 75% Relative Humidity
- High compression strength absorbing a max load of 6.5 Tonnes per square metre
- Excellent insulation properties
- Made from a high density polystyrene foam
- Great noise reducing properties of up to 22 Db
- Coverage per pack 5 square metres
- NOT suitable to be installed over underfloor heating
- Cost around £3.60 per square metre
Ok, so I generally call the information above, ‘manufacturers fluff’. Although, there’s no miss-information with the fluff, I tend to do my reviews from my hands on experience and there’s a good deal of down to earth and practical reasons why I believe this underlay is worth every penny.
I wanted to talk about the usability before anything else, because it’s the first thing that struck me. Firstly, and I’m not sure why the manufacturers or marketing guys don’t push this more, but this underlay is supper light weight! This may sound like an odd thing to pick up on but believe me when I say, some underlays at this price range can be extremely heavy. Of course that’s not necessarily a bad thing from a quality point of view but considering this underlay has an extremely high compression value just like the heavier brands, the final winner is always how easy is it to move around while transporting it from the store or working with it during the installation. Again, sounds trivial?? Not at all!! Our thoughts used to be ‘if it’s heavier, it’s better’, well I’d like to refer you to the huge advances in technology and leave it at that, because if you’re a traditionalist conventional type of person, nothing I say will sway you..This review is for the modern believers..
On the packaging, they state it has easy cut properties and that statement is so sooo true. Some underlays I’ve used are awkward and half the time they tear (sharp utility blade or not) as I’m trying to cut them. This stuff slices like butter. A real breath of fresh air..
You can see the grid reference lines on the face of the underlay. At first when I saw this, I thought it was a little gimmicky as I’d never seen anything like it before. However, when getting down and working with this underlay, the grid reference lines made total sense. They give you a line to follow as you’re cutting which makes life far easier and the installation faster.
I found the locking mechanism of the underlay a little messy to use at first and frankly, still do. It does look very appealing to the novice installer but considering the underlay requires taping along the seams anyway, I would have much preferred the locking mechanism to be none existent and the edges of the underlay to be straight.
I did get used to this though and it didn’t cause to much of a problem later on but still slowed the installation down slightly as I was faffing about with the mechanism.
Fan-tas-tic! I had absolutely no problems with this underlay from a performance point of view..
As I was installing it, I could literally feel the insulation properties of the underlay at work! No joke or over exaggeration! As I was even unwrapping the underlay I could feel my own body heat rebounding. Straight away, I could tell the manufacturers boast about the insulation properties of this underlay were spot on..
In my recent installation, I was installing a laminate floor over floor boards. The floor boards were slightly cupping which meant I needed an underlay that would absorb the undulations, leaving the surface flat. This new brand of high density polystyrene foam has impressed me so much over the last year. You can test an underlay very easily for it’s absorbing properties. Simply, dig a finger nail into one side of the underlay and look on the other side to see if your nail impression has traveled through the underlay. The polystyrene type underlays DO NOT. The second test is to see if the finger nail impression has stayed as an imprint. If it has, then you know that underlay will truly absorb acute unevenness in a sub-floors within it’s 5 mm tolerance. The Selitac Aqua Stop has these properties! If the impression you made with your nail has disappeared, you’ll know that the underlay is springy and wont do near as good a job.
After the installation of the laminate floor, I felt a slight spongy feeling and you will too. Don’t worry, this is normal. Underlays don’t just absorb unevenness instantly. They need you and your families weight to help it do its job. Over a relatively short period of use, you’ll find the floor really firms up as your weight presses the underlay and essentially imprints any acute undulations.
As mentioned within the specifications at the top of this page, the Selitac Aqua Stop prevents moisture from damaging your new wood floor. However, there are limits to these moisture protective properties so don’t be miss guided. If the sub-floor you’re laying it on is soaking and/or under pressure, this underlay will not solve the issue or protect your floor. The devil is in the detail, and the manufacturers state that it protects against residual moisture. In layman’s terms, lower levels of moisture. In technical terms, anything below 75% relative humidity. Oh and please don’t forget to purchase the seam tape!! Without it you may as well not bother!!
I’ve rattled on enough. Selitac Aqua Stop underlay is simply excellent and genuinely a great purchase to support a quality and long lasting floor covering. It has it’s limits, but don’t we all.
Overall, I was extremely impressed and won’t hesitate for one second to recommend it to my clients in the future. Here’s to making right decisions!!!