Good underlay will…

-         Improve underfoot comfort

-         Increase appearance retention, reducing flattening

-         Absorb the pressure of foot traffic and reduce wear

-         Improve thermal insulation and warmth

-         Increase sound insulation

-         Smooth out sub-floor imperfections

-         Last the lifetime of the carpet


Poor underlay will…

-         Feel hard and unwelcoming

-         Reduce carpet life

-         Cause wrinkling and premature wear spots

-         Cause carpet fibres to break down more quickly

-         Not meet British Standards


How thick?
A maximum of 12mm is recommended (working with gripper will be difficult thereafter) but rooms with heavy traffic will need a thinner, denser pad. The combination of thickness and density is all important as a thick underlay with low density may not perform well.


Typically, the thicker the underlay, the better quality it will need to be – 11mm is often used for luxury installations with 9mm and 7mm the common domestic thickness.




Sponge rubber

The market’s most popular underlay is available in flat or waffle patterns in a wide range of weights for different applications. It performs well for comfort and has durable spring retention.

P U (polyurethane) foam

PU foam is a relative newcomer to the market, typically made from recycled offcuts. The foam provides excellent comfort and performance levels with lots of thickness options – and its light weight helps handling. The product can be recycled again after use.


Crumb rubber
Flat and dense, crumb rubber is good for heavy footfall – offering maximum protection but a little less comfort (and very good over stair nosings).


Laminate underlay
Improves the acoustic performance of the floor and helps the boards float above any imperfections in the sub-surface.



A rubber crumb base with a felt top layer offers a good combination of protection, durability and comfort. It also allows carpets with seaming to bed into the top felt.

Underfloor heating underlay
Underlay and carpet with a combined tog rating of up to 2.5 can be used – which means the underlay would normally have a tog rating of 1.0. Most manufacturers offer specialised products for those who have underfloor heating.



This traditional (but environmentally friendly) underlay is made from recycled fibres – wool, jute and synthetic – to create a firm, dense pad with excellent thermal insulation. Still a very popular choice among contractors when stretch fitting woven carpets.

Pre-tackified underlay

A self-adhesive single stick underlay in both needlefelt and PU. A removable system for heavy use when comfort is desired.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  If you’re unsure, ask one of our team who will be able to help you make the right choice about what’s most suitable for your rooms when you are choosing your carpets.


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