How to Choose The Right Underlay For Your Flooring

Underlay is something that most carpet fitters recommend. A good underlay will help to protect the floor from damage, will create an extra level of insulation, will help to maintain a good level of hygiene and will keep the floor in better condition. However, not every floor requires underlay, and different floors will need a different type of carpets. Below, we provide a brief guide to carpet, laminate and hard floor carpet. The type of underlay that you need is dependent on your budget, on the type of base upon which you are laying the floor and on the type of flooring you purchase. Here is our quick guide to choosing the right carpet for your requirements. Base Floor: The type of underlay that you buy, whether it is cheap carpet, or expensive hard wood, will depend on the type of base floor, i.e. the type of floor upon which the carpet/laminate/hard wood is laid. There is a variety of types of base floor, but in general, they are concrete or wood. Concrete is notorious for creating damp, as the carpet or laminate cannot 'breath'. Instead, moisture accumulates, which leads to mould and damp. Therefore, when laying laminate on a concrete floor you need to ensure that it has some sort of moisture barrier or absorption. This will help to protect the room from damp. However, with wooden base floors the type that you require will usually be dependent on the type of floor being laid and on your personal preferences. For instance, a thick carpet will require a springier underlay, which will help to prevent the carpet from flattening. A heavy-duty carpet will require a harder carpet, to add an extra level of strength and protection. Conversely, some types of flooring do not require any type of underlay. These flooring types usually come with an underlay bottom. For instance, most laminate floors have a rubber base, which is not fixed to the floor, but is actually free moving (this is known as a 'floating floor' within the flooring industry). Some personal preferences, in terms of the type of underlay required, include: