About Underlay

A good carpet underlay will:

  • Provide luxury and comfort
  • Protect & prolong the life of your new carpet
  • Help your carpet to look better for longer
  • Provide excellent sound and heat insulation

You will spend a lot of time, trouble and money selecting your new carpet so it makes sense to protect it with a good quality carpet underlay. Your underlay provides your carpet with essential support and so always buy the best underlay that your budget will allow..

Some carpets are manufactured with a built-in underlay but most carpets are hard backed and it is vital that they are fitted with a good carpet underlay.

Underlay acts as a "shock absorber" between your new carpet and the floor. Floors themselves have no "give" or resilience, so when you walk on a carpeted floor with no underlay all the pressure is absorbed by the carpet, rapidly accelerating its wear.

When an underlay is used it takes all the pressure, "cushioning" the wear and protecting the carpet.

This "cushioning" effect also adds an extra dimension of comfort to your carpet, giving it a really luxurious feel underfoot. In addition, an underlay provides good heat insulation and is excellent at absorbing noise.

Always use the best underlay that you can afford. A top quality underlay will make even the least expensive carpet feel luxurious and will make heavier quality carpets feel spectacular! Storey Carpets sell both Rubber and Foam (polyurethane rebound or 'PU') underlay.

How do I know if I need new underlay?

We always recommend that a new carpet is fitted on a new underlay to give the maximum support and comfort. It may however be possible to use an existing underlay if it has not been down for very long, and if it was a good quality in the first place. This is more likely to be possible in an area of lighter use and could save you money.

Many people check their old underlay by lifting a corner of their carpet and usually the underlay will look fine. However, the corners of rooms do not get a significant amount of use. Your underlay will first lose its resilience in areas of the high use, which is where you need support the most! It is therefore often a false economy to place a new carpet on an old underlay.

A good indication of the state of your underlay can be gained by testing the amount of "bounce" in your carpet in an area of heavier wear (such as a doorway) and then comparing it to an area which is not used (e.g. under a coffee table or sofa). If you can feel a difference then it's time to change your underlay!

Fitting new Underlay

  • STEP 1

When fitting carpets on top of floorboards, always lay an interliner before fitting the rubber underlay. This helps stop dust coming through the joints in the boards, and soiling the carpet.

  • STEP 2

To fit the rubber underlay, first unroll a short length of underlay in a corner of the room, rubber side down, so that the end and the side lie against the gripper strip.

  • STEP 3

Fix the edge of the underlay to the floor with a staple gun or with hammer and tacks. On a concrete floor, use double-sided carpet tape.

  • STEP 4

Roll out the underlay along the edge of the room, smoothing as you go and fixing along both edges. Make sure it is perfectly flat on the floor.

  • STEP 5

At the end of the room trim the underlay against the gripper strip with a trimming knife.

  • STEP 6

Repeat this across the room until it is completely covered.

  • STEP 7

To again prevent dust passing through to the carpet, tape the joints of the underlay together using carpet tape.

Fitting underlays on wooden floors:

Whenever an underlay is used on wooden floorboards an interliner should be used between the underlay and the floor. This protects the underlay but most importantly helps to prevent "up draft" problems. Drafts blow between floorboards and up through carpets. The carpets themselves act as a filter collecting dust and dirt carried by the air which in turn causes dirty lines to appear on the carpet. This is also often seen around the edges or rooms with a gap between the skirting board and the floorboards.

British Standards state that an interliner should always be used on wooden floors and Storey Carpets offer an inexpensive (but high quality) fibreglass product called Interweave.

Underlay Construction

British Standards state that an interliner should always be used on wooden floors and Storey Carpets offer an inexpensive (but high quality) fibreglass product called Interweave.