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Which Underlay Should I buy?

By Jason (28/03/2019)

Choosing the right underlay is vital to get the most out of your carpet and to avoid flattening or premature wear and making a decision when you're unfamilar with underlay can be a daunting task, this blog answers some questions and will help you think about what is important to you when choosing a new underlay.

Prostep Underlay Photo

Does your carpet have a latex backing?


Materials such as Sisal, Jute, Seagrass or Coir normally all latex backings and as such require to be fitted using the double stick method, due to this the perfect living 8mm and 10mm underlays are not suitable, however extra step 6mm, prostep 8mm and ultimate living 10mm are all suitable.

Perfect Living 8mm Perfect Living 10mm Extra Step 6mm Prostep 8mm Ultimate Living 10mm
Suitable for Double Stick (sisal, seagrass, jute, coir) NO NO YES YES YES

Do you have underfloor heating?


With underfloor heating the lower the TOG/Thermal Resistance of your underlay and carpet the more effective they will be at allowing heat to flow through, because of this we only have one underlay we would recommend which is the extra step 6mm due to it having a 1.5 TOG rating.

Perfect Living 8mm Perfect Living 10mm Extra Step 6mm Prostep 8mm Ultimate Living 10mm
Thermal Resistance 2.53 TOG 2.86 TOG 1.50 TOG 2.07 TOG 2.53 TOG
Suitable for Underfloor Heating NO NO YES NO NO

Are you trying to reduce noise levels?


Do you have particularly noisy downstairs neighbours, does your home have creaky floorboards or do you perhaps have some kids/monsters that like to make a racket when playing upstairs? In that case it may be beneficial to choose based on the decibel rating, as a rule of thumb the thicker the underlay the more distance sound has to travel through which then reduces the overall noise levels, our best underlay for this is the Ultimate Living 10mm which has a decibel rating of 43DB.

Perfect Living 8mm Perfect Living 10mm Extra Step 6mm Prostep 8mm Ultimate Living 10mm
Decibel Rating 37DB 41DB 33DB 36DB 43DB

What feels best underfoot?


A lot of people would assume that the thicker the underlay the nicer it would feel, but in reality it’s the density of the underlay that is the most important statistic. The denser the underlay the better it is at “springing back” into place, it’s the spring back motion that creates the nice underfoot feeling when you walk on the carpet. The Prostep 8mm underlay is the most dense with a density of 180kg/m3

Perfect Living 8mm Perfect Living 10mm Extra Step 6mm Prostep 8mm Ultimate Living 10mm
Density 100 KG/M³ 100 KG/M³ 180 KG/M³ 180 KG/M³ 145 KG/M³

What is the most cost effective underlay?


In terms of price the most cost effective underlay that we sell is the Carpenter Perfect Living Underlay 8mm however the square meter prices are listed on all of the underlays if you visit our accessories page.

Perfect Living 8mm Perfect Living 10mm Extra Step 6mm Prostep 8mm Ultimate Living 10mm
Price £2.33sqm £2.67sqm £3.33sqm £3.80sqm £3.67sqm

Does thickness matter?


We regard density more important than overall thickness, however thickness has an impact on the decibel rating and thermal resistance so if those traits are particularly important to you then you may want to consider a thicker underlay. It is also worth noting that you may have to shave your doors down or use rising butt hinges if your underlay and carpet are thicker than the previous floor was, or in other cases you may opt to use a thicker underlay in order to match the height of a previous flooring.

Perfect Living 8mm Perfect Living 10mm Extra Step 6mm Prostep 8mm Ultimate Living 10mm
Thickness 8mm 10mm 6mm 8mm 10mm

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