Carpet underlay – what you need to know

Carpet underlay (which is another word for carpet padding) is a type of material you can use under a carpet, instead of laying it down directly on the floor. Underlays may help to keep your floor warm, and can also help a room to retain more heat and reduce noise; they can be made from materials like foam, rubber etc.

Foam Carpet Underlay

This underlay is generally made from recycled items or materials, mostly scraps. It is inexpensive and rather light, and also has some sound reducing properties.

Rubber Carpet Underlay

This is a sponge like rubber product that makes your carpeting feel bouncy when they are placed under them. It is also resistant to micro bacteria.

Carpet Tiles Underlay

Carpets’ tiles generally do not need underlays but can be used with them. And if you want some of the features provided by padding like sound reduction and so on with your tiles, you may get some of these for yourself too if your home uses tiles instead of carpeting. You will need to get the type or style of underlay that will work with tiles however.

Pad Thickness

Underlays consist of varying number of weights and thickness. You may have to use some padding with more thickness with carpets made with cut piles than those with some shorter lengths of piles.

How thick your padding is, may also depend on the type of heating system used in your home. If you are using radiant floor heating for example, you may need thin padding, if not, thicker pads may be ideal. You should also consider your manufacturer’s recommendation too for using underlays with your specific type of carpet.

Benefits of Underlay

Underlays can help your carpets to last for a long time; they can also reduce the pressure or impact of foot traffic and/or some other weighty objects on your carpeting over time, which may help them to retain their looks.

Underlays may also provide some additional insulation, can help your carpets’ backings to remain intact and may add more comfort and feel or cushioning to your carpeting too.

Underlay generally save you some money in the long run.

Carpets’ Underlays made with the same type of materials may be sold under different brand names, and you can get your padding with different level of sound reducing properties and ability to retain or lose heat, your choice of underlay will depend on what you will need for your own home.

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