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Are all types of underlay the same?

30 Jun 2021

Short answer - no.

If you’re looking at updating or adding carpet to your home, don’t forget about the layer you don’t see! A high-quality carpet underlay prolongs the life of your carpet, and certain types provide extra benefits.

Underlay can add an extra layer of insulation to your floors and act as a shock absorber to reduce wear and tear from foot traffic and heavy furniture, and reduce noise. Different underlay types are suited to different rooms, uses and underfloor bases. For example, stairs require particularly hard-wearing underlay, whereas when you are carpeting your lounge you may prioritise comfort and warmth underfoot. We offer a range of underlay types suited to all budgets and purposes.

Wool-felt carpet underlay

Wool-felt underlay is made from 100% recyclable materials, making it an eco-friendly underlay choice! It is a high-quality material that provides superior insulation and underfoot luxury.

PU Foam carpet underlay

Polyurethane foam is also an eco-friendly choice and provides a substantial amount of cushioning and shock absorption. PU foam is particularly malleable, so is ideal for multi-level floor spaces and stairs. It comes in many different thicknesses and densities to suit several purposes and is usually budget-friendly.

Rubber carpet underlay

Rubber underlays are known for superior thermal insulation and durability due to their density. We offer rubber underlay in varying degrees of thickness depending on your needs and budget. We particularly recommend thick sponge rubber underlay if you want to bring comfort and luxury to your lounge or bedroom.

Double stick carpet underlay

Double stick underlay is designed to withstand heavy impact, so is ideal for stairs and commercial or garage scenarios with wheeled traffic. Double stick requires strong adhesives to secure the underlay to the base surface.

Carpet underlay with clay fillers - not recommended

Some manufacturers add clay fillers to their waffle underlays to reduce cost. While this can be a more budget friendly option, in time the waffle structure collapses as the fillers break down; you will have to replace your underlay sooner, so material with clay fillers will cost you more in the long run.

Rule of thumb: new carpet = new underlay. We do not recommend re-using your existing underlay when replacing carpet as it will have the same wear patterns in high traffic areas as your old carpet and these will rapidly show up in your new carpet.

Underlay is an integral component of carpet flooring that helps determine the feel and durability of your carpet. Harrisons have been enhancing Kiwi homes with our excellent range of carpets for over 50 years. We can help you choose the right underlay and carpet to suit your needs and budget. Contact us to arrange a free at-home consultation!

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