Here at Tapi, we think carpets are just amazing. There are so many benefits to choosing carpet for your home – it’s warm, comfortable, and feels great under your feet. But a lot of these great qualities are enhanced by a good underlay and picking the best underlay for your carpet will depend on a lot of different factors.
In this guide, we’ll take you through what carpet underlay is and what benefits it could have for your carpet, as well as the different types of carpet underlay you could choose between and give pros and cons for each to help you decide which underlay will work best for your carpet.
Let’s start with some of the easier questions to answer: what is carpet underlay? Well, carpet underlay is a layer of material that sits between your carpet and your subfloor. Every home will have a subfloor, which will be made of either wood, concrete, or another composite material. This is the very base layer of your flooring, and depending on which material it’s made from, it can have different effects on the flooring you choose.
Underlay sits between your subfloor, and whatever flooring you have in your home, creating a shock absorber that can have lots of benefits for your home – it can help to keep heat in, and it also feels great under your feet too. There are lots more benefits you can read about in our guide to underlay if you'd like to know more.
Now we’re not in the business of identifying the best carpet underlay out of all the different brands and types that are available – after all, what works best for you and your home may be completely different to what your neighbours would like! So, instead, we’ll take you through the pros and cons of each type of underlay so you can make an informed decision about which underlay you think is best for you.
The type of carpet underlay that is best for your flooring will depend entirely on the type of flooring you’re working with, the material that your subfloor is made from, and even the different properties you’d like it to have. For example, some underlays have more thickness to them, making them softer under your feet, and some have a high tog rating, meaning they can keep the heat in your room better. Let’s dive in and find out more.
Polyurethane Foam (PU) underlay is made from recycled materials right here in the UK, and it’s one of the most cost-effective underlays that we stock here at Tapi. It’s extremely lightweight, meaning you can move it around easily, so if you’re a keen DIY enthusiast you could fit your underlay - although we always recommend using our trusted fitters.
Sponge rubber underlay combines the best of durability and comfort. Sponge rubber underlay is made from synthetic rubber, and this gives comfort and durability meaning it can last for years and years underneath your carpet. It also has flexibility and softness meaning it feels bouncy under your feet and can make your carpet feel extra comfortable.
Crumb rubber is made from recycled car tyres, and it has great durability and sound reduction. Crumb rubber is made from lots of little crumbs of recycled rubber bonded together to create a sheet of material, it’s not as soft as sponge rubber underlay but is extremely durable, and hardwearing and is the ideal choice for heavy traffic areas, such as stairs.
Crumb rubber also does a great job of bouncing back easily, meaning that you’re less likely to suffer from those annoying carpet indentations from your furniture. Check out our carpet care guide for more tips on how to remove those pesky indentations and marks.
Combination (felt/rubber) underlay is considered the ‘best of both worlds because it combines the properties of two materials: the felt brings warmth and comfort, and the recycled rubber brings durability and sound reduction.
Here at Tapi, we provide a variety of carpet underlays for you to choose from, and the price will vary depending on which type you would like, as well as how much space you want to cover. Our range of underlay covers a variety of budgets, and you can find out more about underlay with our helpful guide, or alternatively, discover the best underlay for laminate.
Why not book a free home appointment to speak with one of our floorologists about which underlay, and carpet options would suit your home best? Or even pop down to your local Tapi store to check out all the samples that we have that might inspire your next big home update!