Underlay buying guide

 

Why buy underlay?

We always recommend that underlay should be laid or replaced when fitting new carpet or flooring. New underlay has a number of benefits:

  • Better feel - underlay provides the cushioning that makes your carpet feel comfortable and luxurious underfoot.
  • Better look - underlay protects the carpet and keeps it looking new for its expected lifetime. Quality underlay will help to prevent the pile from flattening and enables the carpet to retain its appearance for longer.
  • Longevity - underlay acts like a “shock absorber”, enabling it to sit properly and stand up to wear and tear, and helping it last longer.

 

  • Reducing energy costs - a new underlay helps to keep the heat in, which will reduce energy bills. Some studies have suggested that underlay can reduce energy costs by up to 15%.
  • Reducing noise - a carpeted floor is quiet, but a carpet with an underlay can be 2.5 times quieter. Ideal if you have children! Specialist underlay for wood and laminate floors (such as Timbermate Excel) can reduce in-room noise by up to 50%.
  • Easier cleaning - protecting the carpet pile makes it easier to clean and so more hygienic. Vacuum cleaning is more efficient with underlay as most machines “lift” the carpet pile to provide air circulation and ensure maximum cleaning power. This can help reduce the grinding action of embedded dirt, which can cut and damage the carpet fibres.

 

Different types of underlay

Rubber underlay -There are three basic types of rubber underlay; sponge, crumb and crumb felt.

Sponge - This underlay is manufactured from a high performance synthetic rubber which has the characteristics of natural rubber, but it’s odourless and has greater stability. Sponge underlay gives a soft luxurious feel underfoot, but furniture indentation marks can be deeper compared to a firmer crumb rubber. There are two variants of sponge underlay, waffles and flats.

 

Selecting the best underlay

The following product recommendations are intended as guidelines only - please check with us in-store for your specific requirements.

1.Master bedroom

Looking for luxurious underfoot comfort - recommend John Lewis Red Supreme

2. Spare bedroom

Looking for everyday underfoot comfort - recommend John Lewis Black Waffle

3. Conservatory

(at rear) Looking for a combination of comfort and high durability - recommend John Lewis Multilux

4. Dining room

Where heavy furniture may be moved around for entertaining – recommend John Lewis Blue Crumb

5. Living room

Looking for outstanding Underfoot comfort – recommend John Lewis Red Supreme

6. Hallway

Hallway (laminate flooring) Looking to reduce sound – recommend Timbermate Excel

7. Staircase & landing

Looking for durability due to high traffic – recommend John Lewis Blue Crumb

 

  Best Better Good Reason
Living room Red Supreme Green Sponge Black Waffle The primary requirement is usually comfort. These recommendations cover a range of price points.
Dining room Blue Crumb Green Sponge Multilux The primary requirement is usually the ability to withstand the wieght of heavy furniture most effectively.
Master bedroom Red Supreme Green Sponge Black Waffle The primary requirement is usually comfort. These recommendations cover a range of price points.
Staircase & Landing Blue Crumb Green Sponge Multilux The primary requirement is usually the ability to withstand heavy traffic most effectively.
Hallway Timbermate Excel N/A N/A The assumption is that wood or laminate floor has been used in the hallway and so noise reduction and a moisture barrier are usually the primary requirement.
Conservatory Multilux Green Sponge Black Waffle Conservatories usually require a combination of comfort and durability with less traffic than the living room.
Spare bedroom Black Waffle N/A N/A We recommend comfort at a minimum cost. Red Supreme is recommended if you are looking for a more luxurious feel.