Is Cement Backerboard Subfloor Needed Under Laminate Flooring?

By: Danny Lipford

My house is on piers with a ¾” subfloor. I would like to install a floating laminate finished floor. Do I have to put down cement backerboard first, or can I just use foam underlayment under the laminate flooring? -Ralph

Hi Ralph,

Cement backerboard is mainly used under tile to provide a stable subfloor that adheres well to thin-set tile adhesive. As long as your existing subfloor is:

  • Firm and in good shape.
  • Well attached to the joists.
  • Level, with no uneven or low spots.

Then you should be fine using just the foam underlayment on your existing subfloor before installing laminate flooring.

Good luck with your project,


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4 Comments on “Is Cement Backerboard Subfloor Needed Under Laminate Flooring?”

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  • mark mcelrea Says:
    June 13th, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I’m getting ready to put travatine tile on a floor over plywood. it is on a second floor. I am using a layer of sound proofing material that says you can lay tile directly on it. Do I still need to put hardy-backer over this layer of sound proofing? What does the hardi-backer do?

  • Kathy Says:
    November 6th, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Can you use cement backboard under laminate flooring? The floor is uneven. The plywood is coming up.


  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    May 18th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Hi D.,
    If your cement backer board is smooth and flat (you may need to tape the seams and fill in any low spots), I can’t see any reason why you couldn’t apply vinyl flooring over it.
    Good luck with your project!

  • D Givens Says:
    May 8th, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Can I put vinyl tiles over my cement board floor? I already have layed the cement boarding but change my mind about using tile

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Is Cement Backerboard Subfloor Needed Under Laminate Flooring?