Pergo Gold Vs. QuietWalk Underlayment: In-depth Differences

If you’re shopping for laminate flooring, you’ve probably spent time looking at the flooring itself – the color, texture, and style that will look best in your home. But the underlayment is just as important as the laminate planks when it comes to comfort, soundproofing, and moisture protection.

In this guide, we’ll compare two popular underlayment options for laminate flooring: Pergo Gold and QuietWalk.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeaturePergo GoldQuietWalk
Designed forPergo laminate onlyUniversal, all laminate brands
Core MaterialClosed cell foamPolyethylene foam
Attached Moisture Barrier?YesYes
IIC Rating72None stated
STC Rating67None stated
Warranty25 yearsLifetime
Radiant Heat Compatible?YesNo
Price Per sq. ft.$0.20 – $0.40$0.15 – $0.35
Sound InsulationSuperiorModerate
Installation DifficultyVery EasyEasy

Overview of Pergo Gold Underlayment

Pergo Gold is an underlayment made by Pergo, one of the most well-known laminate flooring brands. It’s designed for use specifically with Pergo laminate flooring products.

Some key features of Pergo Gold underlayment:

Pergo Gold Underlayment
  • Closed cell foam construction: The underlayment is made from closed cell foam, which helps block moisture from seeping under the flooring. This is important for laminate’s longevity.
  • Attached backing: Pergo Gold comes with a backing layer already attached to the underlayment foam. This makes installation easier since you don’t have to take the extra step of adding a separate plastic sheet.
  • Antimicrobial treatment: The foam is treated with an antimicrobial product to inhibit mold, mildew, and bacterial growth.
  • R-value of 2.2: Pergo Gold has an R-value of 2.2, which indicates good insulating properties. This helps keep floors warmer.
  • Can be used over radiant heat: You can install Pergo Gold over radiant heating systems, allowing laminate floors to be used successfully with radiant heat.
  • 25-year warranty: Pergo provides a 25-year limited warranty on their Gold underlayment when used with Pergo flooring. This covers defects in materials and manufacturing.

The biggest downside of Pergo Gold is that it’s only designed for Pergo and no other brands. So if you want to use a different laminate, this underlayment won’t be compatible.

Overview of QuietWalk Underlayment

QuietWalk is an underlayment made by MP Global Products that can be used with any brand of laminate flooring. It’s one of the most popular “universal” options.

Here are some key features of QuietWalk underlayment:

  • Polyethylene foam core: The underlayment has a high-density polyethylene foam core surrounded by a fabric backing. The foam dampens sound and provides cushioning.
  • Attached vapor barrier: QuietWalk comes with a pre-attached vapor barrier made of recycled plastic film. This helps protect against moisture damage.
  • Antimicrobial treatment: Like Pergo Gold, QuietWalk is treated with antimicrobials to prevent mold and mildew.
  • R-value of 1.0: QuietWalk has an R-value of 1.0, which indicates moderate insulating abilities.
  • Not suitable for radiant heat: QuietWalk cannot be installed over radiant heating systems.
  • Lifetime warranty: MP Global offers a lifetime warranty on QuietWalk underlayment as long as it’s installed with approved laminate flooring.

Since QuietWalk isn’t brand-specific, you can use it with laminate flooring from Pergo, Armstrong, Mohawk, Shaw, and other top brands. This versatility makes it a great choice if you haven’t yet settled on a laminate product.

Key Differences Between Pergo Gold And QuietWalk Underlayment

  • Comparing Sound Insulation
QuietWalk Floor Underlayment

One of the main reasons homeowners choose an underlayment is to reduce noise and add sound insulation.

How do Pergo Gold and QuietWalk compare in this area?

Pergo Gold has an IIC (Impact Insulation Class) rating of 72 and an STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating of 67.

Both of these ratings are at the higher end, indicating excellent sound dampening performance.

In real world use, Pergo Gold does an impressive job blocking noise transfer – especially important for multi-level homes.

QuietWalk doesn’t come with official IIC or STC ratings from the manufacturer. Independent lab tests show it provides moderate sound insulation, but not quite as effective as Pergo Gold.

Users report it makes a noticeable improvement in soundproofing compared to no underlayment. But audible noise like footsteps is still faintly noticeable.

Overall, Pergo Gold is better for sound insulation, while QuietWalk still offers meaningful (but not best in class) noise reduction.

  • Comparing Moisture Protection

Laminate flooring can suffer serious damage if moisture seeps underneath, so effective vapor barriers are crucial in underlayments.

Pergo Gold has a moisture warranty – if laminate planks are damaged by moisture coming through the underlayment, Pergo will replace or repair them. The attached plastic backing provides a reliable moisture barrier.

QuietWalk also comes with a moisture warranty, though user reviews indicate occasional issues with moisture bleed-through. The attached vapor barrier seems to work well in most cases, but may be slightly more vulnerable than Pergo Gold’s backing in very damp basements or on concrete slabs.

For the best moisture protection, Pergo Gold seems to have an edge over QuietWalk. But both provide meaningful vapor barriers that offer far more protection versus no underlayment at all.

  • Comparing Insulation Value

Underlayments add an insulating layer that helps keep floors warmer underfoot. Let’s see how Pergo Gold and QuietWalk compare here:

Pergo Gold has the higher R-value at 2.2, meaning it offers very good insulation for laminate floors. This helps make floors feel warmer in the winter or early spring when it’s still chilly out.

QuietWalk has a lower R-value of 1.0. While not as insulating as Pergo Gold, it still boosts warmth over laminate with no underlayment. So QuietWalk does add insulating value, just not to the same level as Pergo’s underlayment.

If your room tends to feel cold in winter and insulation is a priority, Pergo Gold is the better performer. But QuietWalk still enhances insulation moderately.

  • Comparing Prices

Let’s look at the cost differences between these two popular underlayment options:

Pergo Gold costs $0.20-$0.40 per square foot. Buying larger 200+ sq ft rolls brings the price down towards the lower end of that range.

QuietWalk runs $0.15-$0.35 per square foot depending on the retailer. Buying in bulk 200+ sq ft quantities can get the price down to about $0.20/sq ft.

Both are affordable mid-range options – not the cheapest but far from premium-priced. Overall costs are very similar, though QuietWalk generally has a slight price advantage over Pergo Gold.

However, Pergo Gold offers excellent performance for the reasonable price. And the 25-year warranty provides great value.

Which Is Easier To Install?

Installation is another practical factor to consider when choosing underlayment:

Pergo Gold is very easy to work with, since the vapor barrier backing comes pre-attached. You can roll it out and simply butt edges together – no need to tape seams. Pergo flooring is designed to tightly interlock over the Gold underlayment.

QuietWalk requires a bit more work, since the vapor barrier must be separately installed over the foam. The seams need to be taped down. Taking this extra step results in a small increase in installation time. Once the barrier is in place, laminate planks install over it the same way as other underlayments.

Overall, Pergo Gold has a noticeable advantage in installation ease and time savings. But QuietWalk just requires a bit more effort while still being manageable for DIYers.

Which Underlayment Is Best For Radiant Heat Systems?

Radiant floor heating has grown highly popular in recent years. It delivers even warming comfortable for laminate surfaces.

If you have in-floor radiant heating, Pergo Gold is the recommended option here. It’s specifically engineered to be compatible with radiant heat systems. The attached vapor barrier and insulating foam work well over heating elements.

QuietWalk is not designed for use with in-floor radiant heat, so it’s not recommended in those cases. The manufacturer says the underlayment’s insulating properties could interfere with heat transference.

So Pergo Gold has the clear advantage if you’re using radiant floor heat. QuietWalk isn’t suitable for that application.

Which Brand Has the Better Warranty?

It’s wise to consider warranty coverage before buying any flooring product or underlayment. Here’s how the warranties compare:

The Pergo Gold underlayment comes with an excellent 25-year limited warranty when installed with Pergo laminate floors. This is one of the longest warranties among foam underlayments. It covers defects in materials or manufacturing that cause damage to the laminate flooring.

QuietWalk offers a lifetime limited warranty as long as you install it under recommended laminate floors. This is a long warranty, but keep in mind it only covers the underlayment itself. It does not cover damage that might occur to the laminate flooring from an underlayment defect.

Overall, Pergo Gold comes with the stronger warranty, since it directly covers the laminate floor – the more expensive part of the flooring system. But both warranties represent good coverage.

Which Is Better For Basements?

Damp basements present a moisture threat to laminate floors. Mold and mildew can also be issues. An effective underlayment is important in basements.

Pergo Gold performs very well in basements. The closed cell foam and thick plastic backing provide maximum moisture resistance. The antimicrobial additive helps prevent mold and bacteria growth.

It’s a great combination for basements prone to dampness or high humidity.

QuietWalk can also work well in basements as long as moisture issues are minor to moderate. The attached vapor barrier protects from underneath, while the anti-microbial treatment inhibits mold.

But users report occasional moisture bleed-through in extremely damp basements. Pergo Gold may handle these challenging conditions better.

Overall, Pergo Gold is the best underlayment for basements at risk for excessive moisture or humidity. But QuietWalk also performs decently in many basement applications.

Which Is Best For Upstairs/Multi-Level Homes?

Limiting noise transfer is often the priority when installing laminate upstairs or in multi-level dwellings. An underlayment’s sound insulation abilities really matter in these cases.

Pergo Gold offers superior noise blocking, with its high IIC and STC ratings indicating excellent sound dampening. Pergo markets it as their “Quietest Underlayment” – and for good reason.

It’s great at keeping upstairs noise from transferring downstairs.

QuietWalk still provides meaningful sound insulation, just not to the same level as Pergo Gold. It noticeably cuts down on noise transfer, but not quite as much as Pergo’s underlayment.

Some faint footsteps or voices may still be audible in rooms below.

Overall, Pergo Gold is the better choice if sound insulation is your top priority. QuietWalk also helps but can’t match Pergo’s impressive noise reduction.

Which Is Easier To Clean?

Keeping underlayments clean improves their performance and extends their lifespan. Ease of cleaning may factor into your decision:

Pergo Gold is very easy to clean. You can vacuum it using an attachment or gentle brush head. The vinyl backing can also be wiped down with a damp cloth and mild cleaner if needed. Overall it’s simple to keep Pergo underlayment fresh and debris-free.

QuietWalk can also be vacuumed or gently swept. The attached vapor barrier can’t be wiped down with a wet cloth. But the foam itself is easy to freshen up by vacuuming regularly. With two layers, QuietWalk may require a bit more attention to clean thoroughly.

Pergo Gold seems to have a small advantage in cleanability thanks to the wipeable backing. But both are quite easy to maintain with regular vacuuming and no complicated cleaning methods required.

Which Is More Eco-Friendly?

Pergo Gold Premium Underlayment

Many shoppers consider the environmental impact of flooring products like underlayment.

Here’s how Pergo Gold and QuietWalk compare:

Pergo Gold uses closed cell polyethylene foam, which is recyclable.

However, the attached plastic backing makes it harder to actually recycle at the end of its useful life.

Overall it’s moderately eco-friendly but hard to determine actual recycled content or recyclability.

QuietWalk uses polyethylene foam but also states the vapor barrier is made from recycled plastic film. It’s marketed as an eco-friendly option. However, QuietWalk is still difficult to recycle. It’s also imported from Asia which has a large transportation carbon footprint. But the recycled content is a plus.

There are some marginal environmental benefits to QuietWalk, while Pergo Gold has minimal information about green attributes or recycled materials. Neither are highly eco-friendly options, but QuietWalk may have a slight edge.

Which Is Better For Apartments?

In apartments, condos, and rentals, excess noise transfer is often problematic. Underlayment plays an important role in community living spaces.

Pergo Gold is the better choice for apartments, hands down. With its superior sound insulation, Pergo Gold blocks noise far better than QuietWalk. Upstairs footsteps and voices will transfer downstairs the least with Pergo underlayment. This makes it ideal for apartments and condos.

QuietWalk still provides meaningful sound reduction for apartments. It masks noise better than no underlayment. But audible footsteps and muffled conversations may still travel more than ideal, just not as bad as bare floors. It helps but isn’t an acoustic star.

Pergo Gold is worth the small added cost for apartments, since excess noise annoys neighbors and violates many rental noise policies. Its noise blocking abilities make it the top underlayment for apartments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Pergo Gold a moisture barrier?

Yes, Pergo Gold contains an attached vapor barrier made from plastic film to block moisture from below. This helps protect laminate floors from moisture damage.

Does Pergo Gold need underlayment?

Pergo Gold is an underlayment, so it does not require any additional underlayment. It can be installed directly under Pergo laminate flooring.

What is the difference between QuietWalk and QuietWalk Plus?

QuietWalk Plus is a slightly thicker version (3mm vs 2mm) that provides additional sound dampening over regular QuietWalk. It costs more but blocks a bit more noise transfer.

Is QuietWalk worth it?

QuietWalk provides noticeable benefits like sound insulation and moisture protection at an affordable price point. It offers good performance for the cost. So yes, QuietWalk is worth considering as an underlayment option.

The Bottom Line

Here’s a quick summary of the key differences between Pergo Gold and QuietWalk:

  • Sound Insulation: Pergo Gold blocks noise better
  • Moisture Protection: Pergo Gold has a slight edge
  • Insulation Value: Pergo Gold insulates better
  • Radiant Heat: Only Pergo Gold works with radiant systems
  • Warranty: Pergo has a longer 25-year warranty
  • Basements: Pergo Gold excels in basements
  • Multi-Level Homes: Pergo Gold is better for sound transfer
  • Installation: Pergo Gold is slightly easier
  • Price: QuietWalk is a little more affordable

Overall, Pergo Gold is the superior performer when it comes to noise reduction, warranties, radiant heating, and basement installation. It’s an excellent underlayment.

QuietWalk also delivers great bang for your buck. Although not as high-performing as Pergo Gold, it still enhances moisture protection, sound insulation, and warmth. The lower price makes it appealing for shoppers on a tight budget.

Whichever route you choose, using a quality underlayment is one of the smartest upgrades you can make for laminate floors. Pergo Gold and QuietWalk are two great options that offer the features and durability you want below your new flooring.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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