The kind of carpet underlay you choose is just as important as the carpet you put on top of it. The underlay will protect your carpet, soften noises, provide thermal insulation, cushion your feet and absorbs moisture. It is worthwhile spending some time and money getting the best underlay for your needs.
Rubber Waffle Underlay
The waffle structure is one of the most popular underlays because the waffle design helps air circulate easily, reducing condensation under the carpet. Waffle underlay will quite often outlast your carpet. When purchasing it pay for quality of materials. Thicker underlay is usually better than thinner but if the quality of the material is poor it won't last as long.
Urethane underlay, or polyurethane chips, are made out of recycled furniture. It is very durable and affordable and is particularly appealing to environmentalists. It is available in a variety of weights and thicknesses.
This is an old style of underlay made from fibres. It is not seen as often due to the long-lasting new materials. This underlay was dense and firm.
If you are going to be installing underfloor heating in your home you will need an underlay that allows the heat to flow. The rate of heat flow is measured for each underlay. It is best to talk to a specialist before choosing an underlay for underfloor heating.
How to Choose an Underlay
Choosing the right underlay will depend largely on your budget. You will also need to factor in how much foot traffic your carpet will be getting. Businesses will want durability over comfort whereas a quiet home may prefer comfort over highly durable underlays. You will also want to consider the carpet you are putting on top. If you are choosing an expensive carpet, like a wool, you will want an underlay that protects it as much as possible. If your house is cooler you might want to put in warmer underlays. Basements quite often require thicker underlays. This may not be a priority in a hot attic or warmer climates.
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