What is a Carpet Underlay?

Apart from choosing the right flooring material, another important consideration is the Underlay. If you are planning to renovate your flooring, installing an underlay will improve the life of your flooring, providing underfoot comfort and sound insulation.

What is an Underlay?

Underlay is a thin layer of cushioning made from materials like sponge rubber, foam, felt, rubber or plastic. The material is laid between the subfloor and the flooring material to ensure the flooring is smooth and flat when the new flooring is laid out. Underlay hides the surface imperfections and smoothens the surface. It also protect the flooring from damage caused by moisture or high temperature.

Types of Carpet Underlay

The most common carpet underlays are:

  • Rubber
  • Felt
  • SBR latex
  • Foam
  • Cork

Carpet underlay is usually 6-10mm. Foam and rubber underlays are preferred by retailers due to their price and comfort.

Felt underlay - Felt Underlay is a type of underlay made from wool. It doesn’t release any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and it is fully recyclable. Felt provides excellent support for carpet floors. However, the underfoot is not as durable as other types of underlays.

Combination underlay - Combination underlay is made from rubber and felt. It provides excellent support for carpet flooring, thermal insulation and durability.

Rubber underlay - Rubber underlay is suitable for areas with low to high foot traffic. It is soft, comfortable and durable. Crumb underlay is a form of rubber underlay made from used car tyres. It provides amazing sound insulation plus it is sturdy, durable and eco-friendly.

Foam underlay - Foam underlay is manufactured using recycled sponged mulched and compressed together. The thickness of the underlay can vary, thicker the foam underlay, the better is its heat and sound insulation. It is soft underfoot and can be perfect for bedrooms.

Carpet Flooring | What is a Carpet Underlay | Impact Floors

Benefits of Carpet Underlay

Insulation - An underlay improves the performance of the carpet flooring. The underlay acts as a noise barrier which means you can walk comfortably on the floor without the sound affecting anyone else. It also acts as a thermal insulator and can help you save money on your energy bills.

Comfortable - The underlay provides comfort when you walk on the floor.

Hides the floor imperfections - the underlay covers the imperfections in the floor and makes the floor smooth and even for the carpet installation.

Extends the life of the carpet - Underlay prevents the carpet pile from crushing by acting as a shock absorber.

Do all flooring types need an underlay?

Not all flooring types require an underlay. For example, vinyl and hybrid flooring doesn’t require an underlay. The main purpose of underlay is to protect the flooring from damage caused by moisture or temperature. It is recommended to use a new underlay when you are installing carpet flooring. This is to ensure the new carpet doesn’t get the wear patterns from the old underlay. Plus your carpet warranty will require the products to be installed over a new underlay.

Speak to our carpet specialists for expert recommendations on the ideal carpet underlay option for your specific flooring and carpet type. Contact us on 1300 253 321 or complete our online flooring enquiry form.

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