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Underlay is an essential component of any flooring installation, acting as a supportive layer between the subfloor and the final flooring surface. It plays a critical role in improving comfort, insulation, and the overall performance of your carpet or laminate flooring. At Clarkes Carpets, we emphasise the importance of selecting the right underlay to ensure that your flooring not only looks great but also lasts longer and feels more comfortable underfoot.

The Benefits of Quality Underlay

Choosing the right underlay comes with numerous benefits, enhancing both the comfort and durability of your flooring. Here’s what a good underlay can do for you:

Improve Underfoot Comfort

A high-quality underlay adds a cushioning effect, making your flooring more comfortable to walk on.

Increase Appearance Retention

By reducing flattening and helping your carpet maintain its appearance, a good underlay prolongs the life and look of your flooring.

Absorb Pressure and Reduce Wear

Underlay absorbs the pressure from foot traffic, reducing wear and tear on your carpet or laminate, and helping it last longer.

Enhance Thermal Insulation

Underlay improves thermal insulation, adding warmth to your floors and potentially reducing energy costs.

Boost Sound Insulation

Underlay provides excellent sound insulation, reducing noise transmission and creating a quieter environment.

Smooth Out Sub-Floor Imperfections

A good underlay helps to smooth out minor imperfections in the sub-floor, ensuring a more even and professional finish.

Last the Lifetime of the Carpet

A quality underlay is designed to last as long as your carpet, providing ongoing benefits throughout the life of your flooring.

On the other hand, poor or old underlay can have several negative impacts:

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How Thick Should Underlay Be?

The thickness of your underlay is crucial for optimal performance. A maximum thickness of 9mm is recommended, as working with a gripper becomes challenging beyond this point. For areas with heavy traffic, a thinner, denser pad is preferable. The combination of thickness and density is vital, as a thick underlay with low density may not perform well. Common thicknesses include 11mm for luxury installations, with 9mm and 7mm being standard for domestic use.

Types of Underlay

PU (Polyurethane) Foam

This is the market’s most popular underlay, typically made from recycled foam offcuts. It offers excellent comfort, performance, and insulation, and is lightweight for easy handling.

Sponge Rubber

Available in flat or waffle patterns, sponge rubber underlay provides good comfort and durable spring retention. It comes in various weights for different applications.

Crumb Rubber

Flat and dense, crumb rubber underlay is ideal for heavy foot traffic, offering maximum protection though slightly less comfort. It is particularly good over stair nosings.

Laminate Underlay

This underlay enhances the acoustic performance of laminate flooring and helps the boards float over any sub-floor imperfections.

Combination Underlay

A rubber crumb base with a felt top combines protection, durability, and comfort. It is especially useful for carpet installations requiring seam bedding.

Underfloor Heating Underlay

Specialised underlays are available for use with underfloor heating systems. Typically, the combined tog rating of the carpet and underlay should be around 2.5, with the underlay having a tog rating of 1.0.


Made from recycled fibers such as wool, jute, and synthetics, felt underlay provides a firm, dense pad with excellent thermal insulation. It remains a popular choice for stretch fitting woven carpets.

Pre-Tackified Underlay

This self-adhesive underlay is available in both needlefelt and PU. It’s a removable system designed for heavy use while providing comfort.

Underlayment for LVT

This type of underlay provides a smooth surface for immediate glue-down of LVT flooring. It is ideal for addressing acoustic issues or sub-floor imperfections.

Maximise Your Flooring’s Comfort and Durability with the Right Underlay from Clarkes Carpets

Choosing the right underlay is essential for maximising the comfort, durability, and performance of your flooring. At Clarkes Carpets, we offer a range of high-quality underlays to suit different flooring types and requirements. Visit us today to explore our selection and get expert advice on the best underlay for your needs.


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