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Which underlay is best?

Super Green Underlay

What type of underlay is best?

Different underlay types are better for different areas;

Felt Underlay – is a the most durable underlay available with great levels of cushioning, insulation and sound reduction. The durability may make it difficult to cut to fit onto stairs.

Crumb Rubber Underlay – is largely made from recycled rubber which makes it a great choice for use under heavy furniture as it protects carpet from indentations.

Sponge Rubber Underlay – is great for use over concrete floors and underfloor heating thanks to its durable cushioning and heat transfer design.

Foam Underlay – is ideal for tricky areas such as stairs due to its lightweight and soft design. It also has good noise reduction and insulation properties.

The best underlay for stairs is often not the best choice for an entrance hallway, as the hallway underlay needs to be more durable than the stairs.

For rooms with underfloor heating you will need to ensure the combined tog rating of the carpet and underlay is less than 2.5 otherwise the heat will not transfer well through the flooring.

The best underlay for living room carpet is one that is soft so that it’s comfortable and also durable as living rooms receive a high amount of use.

The best carpet underlay for soundproofing is foam or sponge.

The best carpet underlay for uneven floorboards is a thick and robust option such as crumb rubber.

What is the best thickness for underlay?

The best carpet underlay thickness is generally the thicker the better, however it is worth considering the following;

Price – The thicker the underlay the more material is needed and the higher the cost will be.

Fitting – Thicker underlay is heavier to handle and more difficult to cut during installation.

Underfloor Heating – Thicker underlays often reduce heat transfer from underfloor heating systems to the floor surface. Some underlays are specifically designed to be used with underfloor heating, some are not suitable at all.

Woods Good Eco Gold Underlay is made from recycled rubber tyres. Provides excellent sound insulation, DPM and is suitable for underfloor heating.

Does it matter what underlay you use?

Yes, underlay is more important than many people realise.

Comfort – Hard subfloors can be very uncomfortable to walk on with thin underlay and even worse with no underlay at all.

Heat Retention – Having a thin underlay, a poor quality underlay or no underlay at all will be noticeable in the winter months as a quality underlay provides good insulation which keeps your home warmer. Loosing heat through poor insulating flooring will also waste money on central heating.

Heat Transfer – Installing a highly insulated underlay over underfloor heating will prevent a large amount of the heat from reaching the flooring surface, wasting the money spent on the underfloor heating system.

Flooring Lifespan – Using an inadequate underlay will increase the wear and tear on the flooring reducing its lifespan. It can also void flooring warranties.

Installation – Installing the incorrect type of underlay for certain areas can make cutting and fitting during installation much more difficult. This is especially relevant for DIY projects.

Which underlay is best for Bedrooms?

It’s best to use a nice thick and soft underlay for bedroom areas, as people tend to either only have socks on or be barefoot in bedrooms and a hard floor would be noticeably uncomfortable. Felt underlay is a good choice for bedrooms.

The thicker the underlay the softer the floor will feel, however the best thickness will vary from carpet to carpet. If the carpet is thin you will want to compensate with a thicker underlay. If the carpet is thick then a thick underlay could make the combined thickness too great.

How often should you change underlay?

It’s a mistake to not replace underlay when replacing flooring. If you are replacing flooring because it’s worn out then the underlay will be worn out too, even if it isn’t easily visible.

Using an old underlay with a new floor covering will mean the new floor won’t perform as well and it won’t age as well. It’s false economy and should be avoided.

Underlay can last up to 25 years providing the installation was done correctly.


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