Aquabar B Hardwood Flooring Underlayment
Aquabar B is an underlayment that is fast replacing the traditional 15 and 30 pound asphalt felt paper many hardwood flooring professionals have used for years. Some of the advantages and benefits of this product manufactured by Fortifiber include the following.
No Mess Like Roofing Felt
The older asphalt felt paper or what is also used as roofing paper to keep moisture from entering a home was always somewhat difficult to work with. This is especially apparent with homes that have the final painting completed. Often when working with the felt paper while rolling out near walls or cutting around the perimeter black “scuffs” originating from the oily makeup would mark up walls, baseboard, or door trim. To repair, paint touchup became necessary on drywall or trim painted with flat sheens.
Easier To Work With And Much Lighter in Weight
Aquabar made by Fortifiber does not have the course texture older felt paper is characterized by. The construction is based on two layers of standard kraft paper with a thin asphalt membrane sandwiched in the middle. An outer surface feel and appearance is smooth, allowing easier shifting or positioning of boards while doing nailed or stapled hardwood floors over wood sub floors.
Overall weight difference is substantial as well. Fifteen pound felt rolls (432 square feet) will weigh in at approximately 35 pounds while the Aquabar B at 500 square feet per roll about 15 pounds in weight. As an installer I found moving the older felt rolls around more troublesome. Let one get away and there goes your newly painted walls. With Aquabar there’s no concern.
Aquabar is installed by simply rolling out parallel to the installation starting at the longest parallel wall. To insure maximum benefit, overlap the seams by approximately four inches working outwards in the area being installed. My suggestion is to lay only two swaths and fasten with a staple gun to prevent movement. Laying out too much with constant foot traffic back and forth will lead to tearing of the underlayment.
But What’s It Matter? A Few Thousand Holes
Here’s a debate many of us run into when it comes to underlayment with nailed or stapled floors. One wonders what effect any underlayment can have when you punch a thousand holes in it from the actual installation. Common sense says there is no effective barrier after that. However manufacturers stick by their guns on warranties. If per chance you have problems down the road and an inspection is done where they find no underlayment, the warranty can be voided just for that, regardless of the actual cause.