OK, so you’ve made the decision to replace your carpet and you’re looking forward to it being laid and transforming your living space.  But, the importance of underlay in bringing your aspirations to life can’t be overlooked. In this article, we’ve outlined

  1. What is underlay anyway
  2. The different types of underlay and where they’re a best fit
  3. The benefits of underlay to both you and your carpet


What is underlay anyway?

Underlay, as its name suggests, is the material that is laid before your carpet is laid.  Your carpet is then laid on top of the underlay.

It is one of the most important parts of laying a perfect carpet and without it, it’s doubtful as to whether you’ll be thrilled with the end results.

The correct underlay can make even the cheapest of carpet look like a million dollars!  Conversely, getting it wrong can make the most expensive carpet look cheap.

But there’s much more to underlay than the aesthetic. A good underlay will reduce noise, insulate well, protect your carpets from moisture and some can protect from indentations of heavy furniture.

Let us explain…..

The different types of underlay and where they’re a best fit

There are essentially, 4 different types of underlay, each possessing differing qualities and applications.

Foam underlay

is made from polyurethane and is extremely versatile, soft and lightweight.  Because of its flexibility and ease of use, it’s the perfect choice for difficult areas.

Sponge Rubber underlay

As its name suggests, sponge rubber is springy and offers a good ‘cushioning’ effect between the floor and the carpet.  It has excellent durability and sound reduction properties.  It’s probably the best type of underlay to use on concrete floors.  Another thing to consider is if you have an underfloor heating system.  This is where sponge rubber underlay really comes into its own!  Its properties will allow heat to rise from below it to heat the room efficiently.

Felt Underlay

Felt is the most traditional type of underlay and is made usually from recycled products such as jute, wool and fabric.  It is extremely hard wearing and is often used in commercial buildings and where there is heavy foot fall.  And believe it or not, it’s very economical and is easier to lay than its more modern counterparts.  Due to its excellent cushioning properties, it’s a great choice for reducing noise and increasing warmth.  It’s very often laid under wool carpets because it provides a high level of comfort but can also stop the pile of the carpet becoming flat.

Crumb Rubber Underlay

This type of underlay is densely packed with recycled materials and is perfect for protecting your carpet from indentations caused by heavy furniture.

Whatever your requirements, it’s always a good idea to talk it through with an expert who can guide you to an informed choice of the best underlay for your needs.

All underlay types are differentiated again in terms of their ability to retain heat.  They are all given a TOG rating similiar to duvet classifications.  The TOG rating is important to every room, but critical when underfloor heating efficiency is involved.

The benefits of underlay to both you and your carpet

All underlay types share the same properties:  insulation, noise reduction, shock absorbency and comfort.  However, there are different levels of these present in the underlay composition you choose.


So, in conclusion, the importance of underlay is critical for many reasons and it’s a false economy to overlook its importance from aesthetic, comfort and cost-effective perspectives.

It will protect your carpet and keep it looking and feeling luxurious for longer.  It also must be noted that some carpet warranties and guarantees may become invalid if the underlay is unfit for purpose or absent.

If you’d like more information or advice regarding the importance of underlay and the best product for your carpet, then please do get in touch with us at Winnens – we’re flooring and interior experts servicing homes and businesses in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds.  We’d be happy to help….