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5 popular types of carpet underlay

5 popular types of carpet underlay

Not sure which carpet underlay to buy?

If you’ve never shopped for underlay before, or just have zero knowledge on the subject, selecting a product can feel slightly overwhelming. Our online store alone has almost 40 options to choose from, all varying in terms of their composition, characteristics and cost.

So how on earth do you narrow it down to just one?

The first step is to pick a ‘type’ – which, we appreciate, may be easier said than done if you’re new to the world of underlay. But no need to panic buy the first product you see. Our in-house experts are always on hand to offer advice. And to set you on the right track, here we’ve created a brief round-up of the different types of carpet underlay currently available and the benefits of each. 


1. Polyurethane (PU) foam carpet underlay




The popular modern-day option

Recommended: Wilsons Plushwalk 12mm





PU foam is now by far the most popular type of underlay available – and it’s easy to understand why.

Its main advantage is comfort.

Made from recycled furniture foam, it creates an extremely luxurious ‘cushioned’ feel underfoot. Various thicknesses are available to suit different budgets. But generally, the thicker it is, the better it will perform. And measuring in at 12mm, Wilsons Plushwalk 12mm is regarded as the ‘best of the best’ – boasting a 3.5 TOG, excellent insulation, and bounce-back memory foam technology.


Key benefits:

Luxurious levels of underfoot comfort

Impressive heat insulation

Excellent soundproofing

Bounce-back recovery from furniture indents

Lightweight and easy to handle



2. Sponge rubber underlay


Type of carpet underlay



The former favourite

Recommended: Tredaire Colours Red 11mm underlay





Rubber underlay has been around for decades. Yet it’s still a very popular choice. In fact, it’s one of our best-sellers here at Carpet Underlay Shop – particularly Tredaire Colours RED by Interfloor Ltd.

Available in a waffled or flat profile, it’s versatile enough to be used in any room of the home. Thanks to its heavyweight yet ‘spongy’ composition, it’s almost (but not quite!) as soft as PU foam varieties. And it also offers an incredible level of support and protection for your carpet.


Key benefits:

Super soft feel underfoot, without the ‘bounciness’ of PU foam

Protects the carpet and maximises its lifespan

Excellent acoustic insulation

Good thermal insulation




3. Wool felt underlay


wool felt underlay tape



The eco-friendly option

Recommended: Wilsons Wool Felt Underlay





Perfect for customers looking to reduce their impact on the environment. Wool felt underlay is made from 100% recycled materials. No harmful chemicals are used in the manufacturing process and, once the underlay comes to the end of its lifespan, the materials can be recycled again.

Aside from its eco-credentials, this underlay type is also known for its tough, hard-wearing nature. And as such, it’s a fantastic option for high traffic areas – both in the home and commercial spaces.


Key benefits:

Eco-friendly and fully recyclable

Incredibly durable

Outstanding levels of heat and sound insulation

Quick and simple to install

Affordable, starts from just £2.53 per m2



 4. Combination wool felt and rubber underlay


Underlay type



The best of both worlds

Recommended: Wilsons Super Velvet Underlay





Compromises are very rarely a desirable thing. But combination underlay is the exception that proves the rule. Just as the name suggests, it’s made from a combination of wool felt and crumb rubber – and brings the main benefits of each together into one high-performance product.

Not only is it extremely durable – providing excellent support and protection for your carpet – it’s also very soft underfoot. And as a result, it’s a popular luxury option for many home projects.


Key benefits:

Great level of durability

Soft underfoot comfort

Eco-friendly yet also practical

Excels in reducing impact and airborne noise

High TOG rating



5. Double stick underlay


Best underlay for heavy-duty applications



The heavy-duty one

Recommended: Duralay Durafit 650





It is possible to use double stick underlay for domestic purposes, and many people do. However, it’s best suited to commercial projects and contract installations – where the new flooring will be subject to a heavy and constant stream of day-to-day footfall and wheeled traffic.

As the underlay is fitted by sticking it both to the subfloor and the flooring cover, this creates greater stability and prevents unwanted movement (e.g. bumps, ripples etc.) over time. And typically made from PU foam or crumb rubber, it’s a highly robust option that can withstand lots of wear and tear.


Key benefits:

Heavy-duty strength and durability

Greater stability

Good level of comfort

Impact sound reduction and thermal insulation

Quick and easy double stick installation


Still feeling confused?

If you have a question about the various types of carpet underlay available in our store, or would like tailored advice on the best option for your needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

As a UK leading supplier, not only do we stock a wide range of products, but our knowledge is pretty amazing too. And after a quick chat about your project, we can point you in the right direction – recommending both the ideal underlay type and the best underlay for you within that category.

Just give us a call on 0203 887 0994. We’re happy to help at any time. Or if you prefer, send an email to and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

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  • Alex Illidge