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
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.