Selecting a new carpet is exciting but spare a thought for what goes underneath.
A good quality underlay is vital to extend the life of your carpet and to provide softness and support underfoot and to make your carpet seem thicker, softer, richer and more luxurious.
Underlay is not only confined to carpet, it can be an important component of floating timber floors to quieten transmitted sound, important in your home and especially important in units and apartments where your neighbour is in very close proximity. Underlay will also protect your beautiful floor from any moisture which may come from the sub floor, vital for a long, trouble-free life with your floating timber floor.
There are a number of reasons why underlay is just as important as the carpet you choose:
- Sound reduction
- Heat reduction
There are three main types of underlay: felt, foam and rubber. Like carpet, all types are available in various grades and qualities and these can be matched to your carpet and the wear characteristics of your home.
An underlay should be firm but comfortable. Poorly specified underlay will lead to stretching and rucking and may result in a breakdown of the carpet backing. As a guide, if you stand on the underlay you should not be able to feel the floor with the heel of your shoe.
If you are replacing your carpet, don?t be tempted to use the existing underlay. It will have the same wear patterns that appear in your old carpet and these will quickly resurface in a new carpet. Also, any existing odours associated with general living such as pets, children, food and liquid spillage etc will still remain. Carpet manufacturers warranties also require their products be installed over new underlay.