Underlay is an essential part of any carpet installation – it helps to support the carpet pile and prevent it from flattening, while also acting as a moisture barrier. It can be made from a number of different materials, including foam, felt and even underfloor heating underlay.
Depending on what type of carpet you’re laying, underlay can have different properties. It’s important to select the right one for your specific requirements. For example, if you’re installing carpet over concrete, an underlay that is thicker will help to reduce thumping and impact noise that could be caused by the flooring itself.
You might find that an underlay can make a difference to how your carpet feels, too. A good quality underlay will also help to increase the lifespan of your carpet by reducing the wear and tear it experiences.
An underlay can be created from a variety of different materials, such as fibreboard or rubber. It can also be designed specifically to fit your carpet’s specific shape and dimensions.
If you’re unsure what kind of underlay you need, it’s best to consult the product manufacturer for advice. They’ll be able to recommend the best material for your project.
A thin underlay is usually enough for laminate, but if you’re fitting an underfloor heating system or another type of floor covering over concrete, a slightly thicker underlay will help to trap the heat in your home. It’s also worth remembering that some underlays are moisture resistant, which is useful if you’re fitting over a concrete subfloor.
There are many different underlay types, some of which are easier to use than others. These include a range of felt, memory foam and rubber underlays.
Some underlay manufacturers offer the option of adding a layer of padding to the bottom of their underlays, which can add extra comfort and cushioning. This can be a great choice for high traffic areas, such as the bedroom or living room.
You can choose an underlay that is shaped to suit the carpet’s specific design and colour, too. For instance, if you’re installing a carpet that has a waffle pattern on the back, then a patterned underlay would be ideal.
An underlay that’s been designed to fit the shape of your carpet can also be an easy way to ensure that it stays in place firmly. It can also be a great help when it comes to fitting your carpet, as it will allow you to keep an eye on the exact position of each section so that it’s perfectly level.
If you’re installing a carpet in a kitchen, it is a good idea to get an underlay that is moisture resistant, as this can help to reduce the risk of moisture damaging the floors. It’s also worth ensuring that the underlay is thick enough to cover any gaps that are present between the flooring and the subfloor.
Some underlays are also available with sound reduction features – these can be particularly useful for families that have young children, as they can often be quite noisy. They’re generally rated in decibels, and some of the higher quality ones are designed to reduce impact sound to 46dB or less.