How Vital Is Underlay?

June 29, 2021
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What is underlay?

Underlay is a layer of sponge rubber, foam, felt, or crumb that’s fitted underneath the new carpet. Underlay is just as important, if not more important, than the carpet you are looking to buy. Carpet fitting should never be done without having an underlay. What type of underlay do I need? I hear you ask. Well, here are some benefits to having underlay fitted with your new carpet/flooring.

It levels the floor – If you’re laying new wooden flooring, it’s imperative that your flooring is level. The smallest of bumps can create gaps between the planks, inviting dust and dirt to gather, as well as looking messy. Uneven floors can also creak underfoot, which can decrease the floorings life span and cause an annoying sound every time you walk across your flooring. This leads me to my next point…

Reduces sound – Underlay absorbs and muffles the sound of footsteps over the floor surface, which makes it a perfect option for traditional houses or if you live in a split story block of flats, as your neighbour below, you won’t hear you walking around.

Keeps in the heat – It not only insulates sound but is also a thermal insulator, keeping the whole household’s feet toasty warm. An additional benefit to this is that it’s also energy-efficient, ultimately saving money on heating.

Comfort – Is it home if it’s not comfortable? Fitting underlay with a new floor softens its impact underfoot. The thicker the underlay, the softer the carpet will feel, you will feel like you’re walking on clouds.

Makes flooring last longer – The continuous foot traffic on carpet/flooring can cause it to flatten and lose its cushion like feel underfoot. Underlay acts as a physical cushion and can help make your carpet last longer.

Improves hygiene – Underlay prevents moisture and dirt from seeping between the cracks. It’s a more uniform space which makes vacuuming and mopping a breeze!

Minimal indentation – Heavy furniture can sometimes leave lasting indentations in your soft carpets, which becomes a nightmare when you fancy changing the room around. Having underlay minimizes the chances of indentation marks, increases the lifespan of your carpet, and allows you to move your furniture around, should you fancy a change.

Which underlay do you need?

The best underlay to use depends on what room you’re fitting new flooring in, and if you’re having carpet or wooden flooring. One underlay does not fit all!

If you’re laying carpet in a room that gets a lot of daily foot traffic, such as a living room or hallway and stairs, for example, then a firmer underlay would work best. However, in a bedroom that has less footfall, a soft underlay would be acceptable to use.

For commercial flooring or heavy footfall areas in the home, you will need something resilient, and this is where rubber underlay comes in. Perfect for heavy foot traffic and very resilient.
Foam underlay is the most popular type of underlay in the UK. Using foam underlay, you will need a higher density, which gives your carpet more support, which makes your carpet last for longer.
Adding wooden or laminate flooring to the room? Never use ordinary carpet underlay, there are specific underlays you can use purely for wooden or laminate flooring.

Much like bedding, underlay now has a tog rating for helping the customer determine the thickness of the underlay and the thermal insulation. So if you need any assistance into which underlay would help serve you and your home, or office, get in touch with us.


We are Quality Carpets and Flooring, who specialise in carpet and vinyl flooring. We cater for both commercial and residential floor coverings in Bournemouth and surrounding areas providing a professional and efficient service, whatever your flooring requirements.

As part of our bespoke service, we will visit your home or premises, establish your needs and advise on the most suitable floor covering for each area - providing you with a competitive, no obligation quote.

We thrive on recommendation and pride ourselves in providing the expertise that will ensure our customers return to us time and time again.