When you relay your existing carpet, you tend to think about the colour and style of your flooring before anything else.
While this is only natural – we all want our homes to look as nice as possible after all – there are more important things to consider, especially with such an important project that can cost homeowners a significant amount of money, especially if they’re revamping every room in the house.
One of these important, and often overlooked aspects of a new floor is the underlay. Some are of the belief that carpet can be laid onto any surface and as long as it’s pinned down in some way, that’s it. However, underlay for carpets is vital and performs a number of different roles that you might not notice until it’s taken away.
For instance, it acts as a protective barrier below the surface, prolonging the life of the carpet. As you would expect, carpets do wear out over time, with the high-traffic areas of the home wearing out far quicker, but by putting underlay beneath the carpet you provide a form of cushioning that softens the blow and helps to prolong the life of the flooring.
Another benefit can be noticed when you sit downstairs with someone walking around in the room overhead. If you listen, you can hear a every step the person takes and that is often because there is no underlay, or what is already there has worn out.
New or updated underlay can sound proof the floor to reduce the amount of noise heard throughout the rest of the home so even the most heavy-footed of people can creep around the house like a mouse!
Many homes suffer with heat loss and when we’re paying for our heating this can be a major problem. A common solution is to fit double-glazed windows or to bleed the radiators to get all of the air out of the pipes to allow them to emit heat more sufficiently, but it could be as simple as the underlay beneath your carpet has worn out and is allowing heat to transfer through the flooring more easily rather than holding the heat in and keeping the room warm.
Underlay acts as a protective layer, as already mentioned, but also as a form of insulation which can help to save money in the long term because you don’t need to have the heating turned up for so long, so often.
It also helps to enhance the durability of even the most hardwearing of carpets. In different rooms of the home the carpet is subjected to different kinds of use that result in everyday wear and tear. For instance, the bedroom is regularly subjected to spillages – especially in children’s rooms – while the kitchen has some of the heaviest furniture and appliances that, when moved, can scrape the carpet.
The underlay acts as a form of protection, making the carpet thicker than it actually is and preventing it from slipping and pulling away from the skirting boards.
All of this proves that the underlay is just as – if not more important – than the colour and style of your carpet. Choosing a stylish design is essential to achieving a great looking home, and of course you want it to last so durability is also key, but without the underlay you stand to lose heat, spread the sound around the home and risk your flooring coming lose so be sure to fit it and fit it well!