Do I need underlay?

What is underlay?

Underlay is a supporting layer that is placed underneath carpet and wooden flooring.

And it's essential to achieve a professional finish and to prolong the serviceable life of your flooring.

A decent underlay will make your carpet look and feel better, and last longer, as we explain below.

The benefits of underlay

Underlay has many benefits. It:

  • absorbs sound
  • enhances the comfort of walking on carpet
  • hides small imperfections in an underlying solid floor
  • acts as an additional layer of insulation
  • helps maintain the carpet
  • reduces heat loss

The extra cushioning between the floor and the carpet that underlay provides is especially important when the underlying floor is concrete or made from any rigid material.

Carpet is usually fitted using a method where the carpet is stretched onto carpet grippers along the edge of the room. Underlay also has the practical benefit of raising the level of the floor in line with these grippers, enhancing the look of the fitted carpet.

Under-floor heating

It should be noted that if you have under-floor heating this limits the type and style of carpet that can be used, based on the tog rating. If the tog value is too high, the heat will be trapped and will not warm your room effectively.

Underlay thickness

Contrary to what some buyers believe, thicker underlay does not necessarily mean better: too thick an underlay can result in buckling, worn or even split carpet. But the quality of underlay does vary.

Your TC Matthews carpet and flooring experts will be happy to advise you on the best type and thickness of underlay for your flooring.