The importance of underlay when buying a carpet

When people are buying a new carpet, one of the key ways that they try to save money is by re-using the existing underlay rather than buying new. However, we would always recommend that when buying a new carpet you should buy new underlay to go with it. Why? Because in many ways, underlay is as important as carpet, but this is often overlooked. It can actually provide huge benefits to your home, including making it much more comfortable.

Crucially, new underlay can extend the life of your carpet by up to 40%. It will therefore keep your carpet looking good for longer. New underlay fitted with your new carpet will allow the carpet to sit properly and wear evenly. It supports your carpet from underneath and helps to absorb wear and tear caused by feet and furniture by acting as a buffer or shock absorber, so plays a vital role in helping carpet to retain its appearance for longer. Old underlay will also leave your carpet more prone to indentation marks from heavy furniture. So you might think that you are making a saving by not purchasing new underlay, but it could in fact be false economy.

Underlay is also important for insulation, as it stops heat escaping from your home, keeping your house warmer and meaning you have to use less energy to keep your home as warm as you want it, therefore helping to lower your heating bills. Some studies have concluded that underlay can help to reduce your energy bills by up to 15%, and it can also reduce draughts.

Underlay also has important noise insulating qualities, and in fact it has been estimated that a room with carpet and underlay can be 2.5 times quieter than one without. It can reduce the level of sound within the room, and if you are putting carpet and underlay in an upstairs room it can reduce the amount of sound being carried to the rooms below.

Finally, underlay will dramatically improve how the carpet feels under foot. If you are purchasing a new carpet, probably part of the reason behind you doing so is because you like how soft, luxurious and comfortable carpet feels under foot. New, good quality underlay will provide cushioning to increase that feeling of comfort, and is particularly important if you walk around in bare feet or have young children. Old underlay will have probably lost those soft, bouncy qualities, having been flattened over the years.

So, that explains the importance of underlay, but even when you understand the role it plays you may still think that your underlay is still perfectly fine. But underlay can disintegrate and crumble after lots of use. Many people when buying a new carpet will say that they don’t need new underlay because they have lifted up a corner of the carpet, had a look, and the underlay beneath looks fine. But how often do you walk over the carpet and underlay in the corner of the room? You need to check the underlay in the areas that you walk on most, such as in the middle of the room, in the doorways, and in front of your favourite chair where you might shuffle your feet whilst sitting.

Spending money on a nice new carpet and then putting old underlay underneath it is a bit like spending a lot of money on a brand new car, but then taking the worn tyres off of your old car to save money. You just wouldn’t do it, knowing what a key role the tyres play. It is the same with underlay.

To find out more about choosing, buying and fitting carpet, please read our online carpet guide or visit our company showroom on Outer Circle Road, Lincoln which offers easy viewing in pleasant surroundings and where our friendly and experienced sales staff will guide and advise you through all aspects of your flooring selection.

  • 20 Mar 2015