Using the best and most suitable underlay for both domestic and contract carpets..

An old saying in our trade”a cheap carpet needs a good underlay a good carpet deserves one”.

There are 3 different types constructions in underlays, and different qualities in each

  1. Hair felt

  2. Rubber underlays

  3. PU underlays (this one you got to pick wisely )

Hair felt is bought by the weight,  you  need a 50 oz weight in this as it suits commercial plus domestic areas because in our experience carpets sit well on it and seldom the carpet stretches or bubbles.  It doesn’t feel bouncy, but more solid to walk on.

Rubber underlay , this has been used for the last 40 years, this is sold again by the weight. Some of rubber underlay if made cheaply use chalk as a filler so to beef up the weight.  We still use the old reliable “tredaire brand” mainly tredaire elite. Again, we find very few problems with stretching and bubbling,  it will stay soft and firm for the life of your carpet and it doesn’t tend to lose its bounce. This underlay suits both domestic and contract installations.

Flat rubber underlay is used under carpets that need to be glued down to prevent them from shrinking (Ex sisal) or on very large contract areas where trolleys moving heavy goods are wheeled over the carpet.

Also rubber underlay with a low tog rating is the only real recommended underlay to be used over underfloor heating, otherwise no heat comes through.

PU underlays, these are fairly new to the Irish market. If using a PU underlay we advise that you pick wisely as this underlay has a lot of cheap versions and we find with these if a low density Spongy (not solid ) version is used your carpet it will feel spongy and not soft and will more that likely need to stretched every so often. We tend to use high density 9 to 11mm quality but not on all types of carpets. They will feel soft but can cause call backs for the Fitter’s which is never good for our reputation so we are selective where we use them.

So as you can see buying a carpet and buying underlay is a science.

Glen O Callaghan has over 20 years experience in the carpet and flooring industry. Come to our showroom or contact us for expert professional advice, – GOC Carpets the home of affordable luxury.


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Here at GOC Carpets  our team are highly qualified with vast years of experience in the flooring industry. We take pride in our customer service and our 100% commitment to our clients, so when it comes to buying a carpet we are happy to give you some expert advice.

Here are some top tips to consider when purchasing a carpet.

First thing to consider is the traffic in the area where the carpet will be fitted.

  • Carpet suitability for wear -according to traffic and area carpet is being fitted
  • Light domestic: bedrooms are rooms with light traffic.
  • Medium domestic: bedrooms with heavy traffic, downstairs rooms with moderate traffic.
  • Heavy domestic: anywhere in the house that has heavy traffic.
  • Extra heavy domestic / contact :  very heavy traffic areas including hotels, guesthouses, all areas of public wear.
  • Heavy contract: this covers all contract areas that have high volume of traffic.

The Second item to consider is Pile Height & Density of Pile

When purchasing a carpet lots of people are drawn to heavy high pile carpets because they feel soft.

In general if the pile height is long it can lack density, hence where it can certainly feel and look luxurious in general they can also flatten and get matted quite easily. 

When asked for advice in this area I like to recommend short pile height and dense pile content, which tends to keep its appearance longer.

 So rule of thumb is the longer the pile the quicker it flattens. The shorter the pile with high tuft content the longer it keeps its appearance

Carpets can wear for a long time but can wear ugly (loose their appearance quite fast).

You should also consider the different textures in plain carpets

Plain carpets, more so than patterned carpets have been more popular in the last 15 years.

There are basically four different types of plain carpet and each have their own variations, in each finish, however to keep it simple there are the following categories:

  • Velvet texture – this is a solid velour type finish and generally has a short pile with a dense pile construction.
  • Twist pile  –  this has a more coarse look and can have one colour of a blend of colour (tweed look), usually as a short pile and can vary in density.
  • Natural texture – also known as loop pile texture this look has a loop or textured finish which does not  feel as soft to handle but can be very durable . With a heavy underlay it can feel soft underfoot.  So this is a visual look which appeals to a lot of people often used on stairs & landings with a runner on the stairs.
  • Saxony – this is usually a longer pile carpet which always feels soft to walk on, particularly if it has a thick underlay. Often it will have on the label – suitable for heavy domestic wear, but as i have said before it tends to flatten quicker.

GOC Carpets was established to cater for the domestic, hotel, pub & leisure industry as well as the corporate sector. We have built a superb reputation for offering a personal service so regardless of your budget call into our extensive showroom and let our professional advisors help you with your next flooring purchase.

See some samples of our extensive carpet range here

buying a carpet

buying a carpet buying a carpet