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How thick should carpet underlay be?

How thick should carpet underlay be?

The main purpose of carpet underlay is to enhance underfoot comfort and improve insulation. Therefore, as a general rule of thumb – the thicker it is, the better

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing the ideal carpet underlay thickness for your needs, there are several factors you should take into consideration – such as where the underlay will be laid, whether you have underfloor heating, your personal comfort preferences, and budget.

Here we take a closer look at the thicknesses available and offer our advice on the best carpet underlays for different projects and different areas of the home.


Choosing the correct carpet underlay thickness for your needs

As a leading online supplier, we stock underlay in a broad spectrum of thicknesses – ranging from 6 to 12mm – with something to suit all requirements. These products can be categorised as follows:



Nine times out of ten, our advice – here at Carpet Underlay Shop – is to opt for Plushwalk 12mm

Cut from bounce-back memory foam, this is a 12mm underlay that creates ultimate levels of comfort. Not only will your carpet feel super-soft and cushioned underfoot, it also benefits from an impressive 3.5 TOG rating and reduces sound by up to 49dB.

Available for just £5.99 per m2, it’s a luxurious yet affordable option – and the perfect carpet underlay thickness for the majority of home-based projects.


The only exceptions to this include:


1. If you’re installing the underlay in a tricky high-traffic area (e.g. the stairs)

10mm underlay

Here, a thick 12mm carpet underlay can be challenging to fit. To make the installation a little easier – especially if you wish to do it yourself – it’s often worth choosing a slightly thinner product.

Our recommendation is Plushwalk 10mm, which is currently priced at just £6.50 per m2.

This is made from the same high-grade memory foam as Plushwalk 12mm. And as a result, it offers a brilliant level of comfort and demonstrates the same excellent heat and sound insulation. But as it’s only 10mm thick, it’s much easier to fit – particularly in tricky areas, such as a small hallway or flight of stairs.  



2. If you have underfloor heating

Ideal carpet underlay thickness for use with underfloor heating

Thick carpet underlays can actually reduce the effectiveness of your underfloor heating. So it’s important to think carefully about your purchase. Typically, we recommend investing in a product specifically designed for use with a heating system, such as Thermal Stream®.

Constructed from lightweight foam, with punched holes throughout, this encourages airflow and maximises heat transfer. Yet as a 10mm underlay, it’s one of the thickest products available for use with underfloor heating and creates wonderful levels of underfoot softness and comfort.

It may be priced slightly higher, at £8.50 per m2. But Thermal Stream® is a revolutionary product and, if you enter the discount code THERMAL2 at checkout, you’ll get a further 2% off your order.


Get in touch for further guidance

If you’re still unsure on the ideal carpet underlay thickness for your needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of underlay experts are always on hand and happy to help. Once we know a bit more about your project, we’ll gladly advise on which product is likely to be best – whether that be a 12mm underlay, a 10mm carpet underlay or something slightly thinner to match your budget.

Simply give us a call on 0203 887 0994. Or if you prefer, send an email to and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

Alex Illidge

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  • Alex Illidge