Help & Advice
1.Can I lay a new carpet on my existing underlay?
In our opinion it is false economy to fit new carpet over old underlay. Carpets need to have as firm a support as possible in order to achieve its maximum performance. An old underlay will already have become flattened and less resilient to a greater or lesser extent depending on its use and will not give the carpet adequate support.
2.What would you recommend as the cheapest carpet and laminate underlays?
We stock some exceptional carpet underlays for those on a budget with our entry level Sprint 9mm PU and Relay 11mm PU foams which are made here in the UK. Also our Envirolay range of felt carpet underlays offer fantastic value and are kind to the environment being made from 100% recycled materials. For laminate and wood flooring installations we have Novostrat Comfort White foam from an incredible £0.29 per sq mtr.
3.Why use Carpet Underlay?
The installation of underlay reduces sound not only in the room itself but also the transference of sound to the room below. Our top-rated Sound Insulation Underlays include Tredaire Dreamwalk, with a massive 44Db this is one of the top-rated underlays for sound insulation as well as Carpenter Deep Step with an even better 46Db rating.
By using carpet underlay you are providing an additional layer of insulation, which reduces the heat loss through floorboards and reduces under floor draughts.
The underlay acts as a barrier by reducing the flow of air, thereby reducing the dust particles carried by the air.
Envirolay 42 provides excellent comfort and durability along with excellent heat and sound insulation properties. It allows air circulation and carpets to breathe and so reduces dust within in the room.
Carpet underlay produces an extra softness to the feel of the floor, regardless of the quality and thickness of the carpet.
Our Wool Rich Sterling Royale is a super luxury underlay made with an 80% wool content and offers an excellent level of comfort.
The carpet underlay absorbs all the wear and tear keeping your carpet looking better for longer.
The majority of domestic carpets are fitted using a method whereby the carpet is stretched onto carpet grippers. The use of underlay is therefore practical as it raises the level of the floor in line with the gripper pins, which enhances the finished look of the fitted carpet. If you are looking for a Carpet-Underlay-Shop approved fitter then please CLICK here.
Minimises furniture indentations
Underlay supports a carpet and therefore helps to prevent furniture from spoiling the look of your carpet.
Carpets are installed on a wide variety of underlays and whilst we know that in the majority of cases an acceptable performance of carpet and underlay may be achieved, careful choice of underlay can actually enhance the performance of the carpet. We acknowledge that there is a balance to be achieved between providing the right underfoot comfort and the right support to the carpet.
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4. Do all carpets require underlay?
These do not have a cushioned backing and therefore underlay is essential.
Secondary backed Carpets
These are the most common carpets used in the domestic market. The backing is either a polypropylene mesh or hessian and therefore has no cushioning. Underlay is therefore essential.
Felt backed carpets
These carpets have a thin felt back and are often sold described as having in built in underlay. However they offer little in the way of the benefits listed above and we would recommend therefore that they be placed in top of an underlay with a smooth surface.
Foam Backed Carpets
Underlays are not recommended for use with these types of carpets.
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Benefits of Firmer underlays
These give added protection to the carpet against the hard sub-floor during normal walking. Indentations from furniture will be less severe where the carpet is fitted on a firm underlay.
Firmer underlays will prevent excessive vertical movement and stretching of the carpet in use and will therefore help to prevent rucking problems
Examples of firmer underlays include Duralay Treadmore a high-quality crumb rubber underlay made by Interfloor.
Comments on Softer underlays
Soft, low density underlays do not give as much support in heavy wear areas as the carpet pile is effectively squashed against the sub-floor, accelerating wear and appearance changes.
A softer product could eventually collapse under excessive pressure and allow the carpet backing to be distorted, preventing good recovery and making furniture indentations more severe. We would advise against using low density foam underlays of less than 8mm thickness as they are likely to reduce the life of your carpet and mean earlier replacement.
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6. I have been informed that felt underlay is a good type but not widely available in retail outlets, why?
You are well informed. Felt underlay is a more traditional type and a 42oz weight is used widely in commercial installations because it is hard wearing and firm whilst providing exceptional support to the carpet. It is environmentally friendly as it is made from 100% recycled fibres, and has excellent thermal and acoustic insulation properties.
The main reason you do not often see it available in retail stores these days is because it is not as aesthetically pleasing as more modern rubber and PU underlays and also carpet fitters have to spend more time installing it which ultimately reduces the retailer’s profits.
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7. I have underfloor heating, which underlay should I use?
You are limited to the types and styles of underlay available based upon the tog rating. The combined tog for the carpet and underlay should not exceed 2.5TOG. We sell a range of underlays specifically designed for use with underfloor heating for carpets, laminates and contract use. Please seek advice from the manufacturer of the heating system first as the underlay you purchase could affect the performance of your system.
We recommend Heat Flow Laminate or Cloud 9 Radiance, plus many others which are specially designed underlays to be used in conjunction with underfloor heating systems when installed under wood/laminates and carpets. Envirolay 28 felt can also be used as it has an open cell structure and will allow heat to transfer through it easily.
Our range of underfloor heating underlays for Carpets and Wood Floors can be found at:-
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8. Which underlay has the best thermal properties?
We recommend an underlay with the highest Tog Rating such as Envirolay 54, Envirolay 42, Cloud 9 Cirrus, Cloud 9 Cumulus, Tredaire Softwalk & Dreamwalk. The Tog Rating for Envirolay 54 felt is among the highest of all our underlays & we would strongly recommend these as felt underlays have a high wool content which naturally have excellent thermal insulation properties.
All our recommended Thermal Underlays can be found at: -
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9. What is the difference between sound insulation and sound absorption?
When airborne sound arrives at the surface of a wall or floor, some of it is reflected back as an echo, and some of it is transmitted. The remainder is converted into other forms of energy within the material, principally heat. This is known as sound absorption. When airborne sound arrives at one surface of, for example, a floor, some of it is reflected back as an echo, some of it is converted into other forms of energy within the material of the body, and the remainder is transmitted through the material to be radiated as airborne sound on the other side, but at a reduced level. The degree to which this reduction takes place is the sound insulation provided by the floor.
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10. I want an underlay that has excellent sound reduction?
The majority of our underlays listed show the noise reduction properties in terms of dB so that you can make comparisons between the different products. The higher the figure, the greater the noise reduction. Please note that all our acoustic sound insulation figures are based on impact sound and not airborne sound. We recommend Tredaire Dreamwalk with a massive 44dB and Carpenter Deep Step with an even better 46dB rating.
All our recommended Acoustic Underlays can be found at: -
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11. Which are your thickest and softest underlays available?
We would recommend using Tredaire Jazz 12mm PU or Cloud 9 Cumulus and Dreamwalk by Tredaire, both these underlays are 11mm thick and provide a soft and luxurious feel underfoot and all are guaranteed for the lifetime of the carpet when used in recommended areas. Incidentally the Cloud 9 range by Ball & Young has been consistently voted the favorite underlay by the UK Flooring Industry over the last few years.
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12. Which is the best underlay for a concrete floor?
It depends on your budget but we would recommend an underlay with a higher TOG Rating as this will provide excellent thermal insulation and prevent the transfer of heat through the underlay. It will also help reduce cold air transferring through the underlay from the concrete floor. We recommend Cloud 9 Cirrus, Cumulus, Tredaire Softwalk & Dreamwalk, and Envirolay 42 & Envirolay 54 Underlays.
13. What are the best underlays to use on stairs?
Carpet laid over stair nosing’s suffers the heaviest wear in the home. The construction of the carpet is of paramount importance; however, underlays play a very important role. This is primarily to increase the radius over the nosing thus reducing wear concentration. Flat firm underlays offer the best protection such as Cloud 9 Cirrus, Carpenters Rich Step, Tredaire Softwalk and Texfelt Envirolay+.
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14. Which underlay do you recommend to use over wooden floorboards?
All our carpet underlays are ideal for use over wooden floor boards, there is a large choice depending on your budget but generally with rubber underlays and felt underlays the heavier the weight the better the quality and with PU underlays the thicker the product the better the quality. We would recommend Envirolay 42, Cloud 9 Cumulus, and Tredaire Colours Red
15. What is the difference between waffle rubber and crumb rubber?
Waffle rubber underlays like Duralay Hallmark Supreme gain their name from the pattern on the underside of the underlay, which creates small air pockets that help to provide both comfort and insulation. Whilst waffle underlays make use of trapped air, crumb-rubber underlays like Duralay Treadmore are constructed from small particles of rubber moulded together to produce dense and highly resilient carpet underlays. Crumb-rubber is produced by recycling old car tyres that are then granulised and re-processed.16. Do you sell part rolls of underlays
We do offer half rolls or can cut square metres on all carpet underlays, look out for the "Half Roll" and "Square Metre" options on the products page. We believe that all customers should be able to buy just the quantity they need and are the only online store to offer this on all our underlays.
17. I live in a 1st floor flat with wooden floor boards, I want to install a new floor using floor boards to create a new surface, can I install an underlay in between and if so can I fix it to through the underlay using nails?
All our wood/laminate underlays including Timbermate Excel and Cloud 9 Cush'n'Wood are recommended for use under floating floor installations such as laminates where there is no direct fixing to the sub floor required. If you intend to use an underlay under your new floorboards you will reduce the impact sound reduction qualities by fixing with nails. We recommend you seek advice from building regulations as there maybe repercussions in a flat environment if you have someone living below.
18. What depth do I need to allow for fixing a matwell frame?
You need to allow for a minimum depth of 17mm from your floor surface so that the matwell frame is not raised up and the 17mm coir matting will sit inside the frame without protruding out of it. If the depth is higher than 17mm you may need to pack it out under the matting to raise it to the required height.
19. Where can I find a local fitter?
The NICF Directory of Carpet and Floor Fitters is a comprehensive listing containing full details of all accredited members. You can search for a Member in your local area here:
20.Do you stock any underlay for Vinyl?
Yes we currently stock Sound Click underlay. It can be used in conjunction with Click Vinyl and with underfloor heating.
21. How do I work out how much underlay I would require?
Simply measure your rooms widest and longest point in metres, multiply the two which will then give you the m2. For example, a room 3.5m x 4m has a m2 of 14m2.
22.Do you sell underlay by the square metre?
Yes, all our underlays can be purchased by the square metre or as a half roll or full roll.
23.Which underlays are suitable for use on wood block flooring?
24.Do felt backed carpets require underlay?
Most felt backed carpets are designed specifically to not require underlay. You can still fit this, however due to the thickness it may be too soft underfoot and too thick for grippers/ underneath doorways.