Is Cement Backerboard Subfloor Needed Under Laminate Flooring?

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,


Further Information


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

    • 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!

  2. 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?

  3. I have a question regarding the use of Permabase Cement Backer Board as a sound deadening material beneath ceramic floor tile on a second story condominium with a plywood sub floor. Is this cement backer board considered a sound deadening material??


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