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Underlay is one of those things that can seem like just another expense or something else that the carpet provider wants you to pay for.  But there are some really good reasons why we encourage our customers to use underlay on their carpets and benefits in doing so.

Carpet Underlay

Let’s take a look at some reasons why underlay is so important when it comes to buying a new carpet:

It is common to think of underlay as an optional extra, something you can take but you don’t need to.  This isn’t entirely true as many types of carpet use underlays as an integral part of the system.  Getting the right underlay can improve the comfort level of the floor and also the lifespan of the carpet – by as much as 30-50% in some cases.

Some of the key reasons for adding underlay include:

  • It adds a cushioned depth of comfort when you walk on the carpet
  • It acts as a shock absorber and lengthens the lifespan of the carpet
  • It adds a soundproofing layer to the room
  • It adds insulation and helps with energy efficiency

Some of these benefits also apply to other types of underlay that work with vinyl tile, laminate flooring or even engineered wood flooring.

Types of underlay

When you buy a carpet, your supplier will be able to advise you on the right underlay to work well with it.  There are different types that are made from different materials and offering different benefits.


Polyurethane or PU underlay is made from recycled foam and is a popular type of underlay.  It comes in different thicknesses to suit different rooms and gives great heat and sound insulation.  It is also made from 85% recycled materials so is an eco-friendly option.


Waffle gets its name from the underside pattern that looks like a waffle.  This makes pockets or air that improve the feeling when walking on the carpet and also increases the longevity of the flooring.  It is a good thermal and sound insulator and helps with airflow to work with the vacuum.

Crumb rubber

This is a dense and durable underlay that is ideal for high traffic areas such as hallways, landings and stairs.  The construction means it doesn’t dip when you have heavy furniture resting on it.  It is also made from 85% recycled materials so is another eco-friendly option.


Rubber underlay is very long lasting and increases the longevity of the carpet as well.  It insulates the room and reduces sound and can be used in all areas of the home.

Tog rating

The final thing to understand about underlay is the tog rating.  Most of us will have seen this on bedding but it works as well with underlay too.  The tog rating shows the thickness, density and composition of the underlay.  The lower the tog rating, the more heat will get through the flooring and into the room.  Lower tog rating underlays are therefore used with underfloor heating systems.  Higher tog ratings help insulate the room so are used for most types of room.

At Adamms Carpets in North Shields we offer great advice on all types of carpets and underlay, many carpets now also come with an attached underlay for ease of laying and purchase. We stock a huge range of carpets and underlay and will help you find the perfect fir for your space and budget.