A vapour barrier might sound like some big piece of equipment, but it just means a plastic film that protects the laminate from swelling. Let us tell you when they’re worth having.
Vapour barriers prevent damage
Damp, which can cause laminate to warp or swell, is the biggest danger facing these floors. A vapour barrier is simply a plastic film designed to prevent that from happening. This film prevents moisture from getting into the laminate from below. The underfloor may seem dry, but it is still worth doing. On the ground floor particularly, damp might only occur at certain times of year, and an area can be damp without you noticing it. The film is particularly worth having in rooms above a cellar. Condensation forms on the cold ceiling of an unheated cellar and in the worst case, this can attack the laminate. A vapour barrier is especially beneficial on top of a mineral base layer (e.g. concrete, asphalt and screed), because water is used in their manufacture. Before fitting the vapour barrier make sure, as always, that the floor is clean and dry.
All-Inclusive vapour barriers
You can buy a sound-insulating vapour barrier film. That saves an entire stage of the work and kills two birds with one stone, but of course this fantastic solution is more expensive. On the other hand, it might be worth it if it saves working time.