Choosing the right underlay for your home.
The right underlay will improve the comfort of your flooring underfoot as well as offering the additional benefits of improving insulation, sound-proofing and ensure your carpet wears evenly.
Underlay buying guide.
Purchasing underlay is an integral part of buying a new carpet.
New carpets offer a beautifully soft & bouncy surface to walk on, but without the right underlay they can quickly start to feel flat and hard.
Underlay helps extend the lifespan of your carpets (by up to 50%!) and offers further benefits including sound insulation, improving energy efficiency and acting a a shock absorber.
Do I need a carpet underlay?Generally speaking, yes. Most carpets are manufactured to be used with a separate underlay. Underlay offers many benefits: Noise reduction - great for flats or higher floor rooms Improved appearance - it helps stop the pile from flattening Shock absorbsion - protecting your flooring from wear and tear Cushioning - your carpet will feel more luxurious with an underlay Reduce energy bills - keeping your home cosy and draft free Reduce maintenance - it helps protect the carpet pile - making dust & dirt easier to remove If your new carpet has a textile or felt backing, they can be laid directly onto the sub-floor, which may save costs - but this option will compromise significantly on comfort and energy efficiency.
Can I re-use my old underlay?We don't recommend re-using old underlay. It may still be in good condition when replacing your carpet, but over time, it's condition would be likely to deteriorate faster than your new carpet.
How thick should carpet underlay be?Most manufacturers recommend at least an 8mm - 10mm thickness for an underlay in an average home and these are great for spaces such as living rooms, halls, stairs and landings. Generally speaking we use a good quality 9mm PU underlay more often than not which is more than adequate throughout the home. 10mm - 11mm thicknesses are also a popular choice for an added feel of luxury in rooms such as the bedroom, where we are more commonly barefoot.
What's an underlay TOG rating?The thickness, density and composition of underlay dictate what its TOG rating is. TOG stands for 'Thermal Overall Grade', which is a unit of measurement that is used to calculate the thermal insulation of a product. Basically, the higher the TOG rating, the better insulation properties the underlay will offer. Carpet underlays generally vary between 1 - 4 TOG. A higher TOG underlay will ensure greater levels of heat insulation and will keep rooms feeling cosier & warmer for longer. There are some instances where a lower TOG rating is recommended, such as in rooms with underfloor heating, as this will allow the heat to flow into the room more efficiently.
How much should I pay for underlay?We recommend investing as much as you can into the right underlay for your home. Underlay materials, quality and performance do vary, so it's important to choose the best quality you can afford. Please speak to us about selecting the right underlay to go with your chosen carpet - we offer a competitive pricing structure and some of the best value underlay you can find on the market.
What are the different types of underlay?Underlays generally fall into three different categories - Polyurethane, Rubber, and Felt. Polyurethane Underlay is now the most commonly found underlay in the UK. Often referred to as 'PU' it is made from recycled objects and foam and as such is also an environmentally friendly option. It comes in a range of thicknesses and offers densities to suit all floorings and requirements, so it's an obvious choice for many. They're great for bedrooms where you want a really soft & luxurious feel underfoot, but with less traffic. Rubber Underlay is often regarded as a more traditional style of underlay, and the choice has narrowed over the years as PU has become more widely available. Modern rubber underlay is often made from a synthetic rather than a natural rubber. This type of underlay offers a very comfortable feel underfoot, can be found in a variety of thicknesses and is a great option for every room in the home. Felt Underlay is often regarded as an old fashioned product. Made from woolen and/or synthetic waste materials however it;s making a comeback as an environmentally friendly option. With a high wool content, Felt underlay is a great insulator and offers a firm covering which is most suited to higher traffic areas of the home.